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Acupuncture Treatment for GERD is Definitely Worth a Try

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For a lot of people, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD is a persistent problem, despite alterations in lifestyle and diet. Drugs may not be that fully effective at treating this disease. Surgery is both extremely invasive and expensive, leaving sufferers to endure the symptoms without relief. To try and get some form of relief, these people may raise their intake of medication bringing about dangerous consequences.

The Risks Involved in Taking PPIs

PPIs or proton pump inhibitors have been proven to cause damage to the ability of the body to absorb calcium and contribute to the development of other health condition such as osteoporosis – bone deterioration. And even if you counteract this effect by raising your intake of carotenoid, there is no denying the fact that PPIs are unsafe when used for extended periods of time. The Mayo Clinic states that people who have been taking PPIs for more over a year should be examined for calcium absorption.

Proton pump inhibitors are the most widely used mode of therapy for GERD, in spite of the fact that not all GERD conditions are associated with stomach acid. The manufacture of stomach acid can be impaired by PPIs but since about 50% of all GERD occurrences are not associated with the production of stomach acid, it is understandable why a lot of GERD patients fail to find relief from those drugs.

What is Acupuncture?

For hundreds of years, acupuncture treatment has been used to heal various ailments. The method stimulates certain points on the body via the insertion of needles. The patient’s illness determines the focal point of treatment. Acupuncture has been used to resolve several types of diseases from intestinal issues to fertility problems

In terms of utilizing specific acupoints on the body, acupressure is the same as acupuncture. The difference between the two is that acupressure does not use needles for treatment. Instead, it uses pressure on the acupoints to bring about treatment and healing and treatment.

Acupuncture for GERD

Since acupuncture strives to treat the whole digestive system, not just the condition, which in this case is GERD, the outcomes are not based on the reason why GERD occurs. This implies that regardless if your GERD is due to a malfunctioning lower esophageal sphincter (LES) or from too much production of stomach acid by the body, acupuncture will always be able to help.

Does Acupuncture Work?

For people who have never experienced homeopathic, natural, or holistic healing, considering a treatment in which needles are involved can be quite challenging. However, there is indeed proof that acupuncture in Boca Raton can help sufferers of GERD.

The Neuroenteric Clinical Research Group conducted a study to determine if acupuncture treatment was more effective at treating GERD compared to the doubling of dosage of PPI inhibitors. In the study, 31 participants who were not improving from PPI medication once a day were grouped into two. One group was administered with acupuncture along with a single dose of PPI and the other group was treated with a second dose of PPIs. The study revealed that the group given acupuncture and a single daily dose experienced greater symptomatic relief compared to the group treated with a double dosage of PPIs.

An Australian study conducted fairly recently took a look at how effective acupuncture was for the treatment of GERD. The researchers exploited a specific acupoint located on the wrist to help induce relaxations of the LES, which is the sphincter that causes GERD when it malfunctions. After LES relaxations have been induced, the researchers applied a current to lessen the frequency of LES relaxations. A 40% decrease in LES relaxations was noted in the study. However, the researchers agreed that more studies need to be done to prove that acupuncture truly works for GERD although this Australian research adds proof to acupuncture’s efficacy in treating GERD.

Acupressure vs. Acupuncture

There has been no study to determine whether acupuncture or acupressure is more effective at treating GERD. Acupressure may be more attractive to people who are wary about the thought of needles being stuck inside their bodies. However, both acupuncture and acupressure may not work for all people.

Is Acupuncture a Good Way to Address GERD?

Since there has been evidence showing acupuncture’s effectiveness in treating GERD, then the treatment should be an option to consider for GERD sufferers who have been taking PPIs for a long time without any success. If you are considering getting acupuncture, just be sure that you seek a qualified and accredited acupuncturist. This treatment can be harmful or dangerous if done improperly.

All in all, so long as you are being treated by a qualified acupuncturist, the treatment’s effects are harmless. You lose nothing apart from your time and money if the treatment does not work. If acupuncture is done safely and professionally, no health problems will arise, unlike PPIs.

Written by Valerie

February 28th, 2017 at 3:18 pm

Posted in Acupuncture

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