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Addressing The Symptoms Of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Using Moxibustion Therapy

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Within Chinese Medicine circles, moxibustion in Jacksonville is an often used treatment mainly used to eliminate ailments and strengthen the body. In Shanghai, Fudan University researchers recently performed an animal experiment to clarify the effects of moxibustion on the colon.

There are two kinds of moxibustion commonly administered on humans: direct and indirect moxibustion. In this animal experiment, the indirect method using a moxa roll was used. The rats used in the study have developed CVH or chronic visceral hypersensitivity, a disease associated with IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome and affiliated symptoms in humans. For a period of seven days, thirty minutes a day, moxibustion was used on two bilateral acupuncture points – ST 25 (intestinal/digestive problems) and ST 37 (more acute intestinal/digestive conditions). To help in the experiment, a control group left untreated was included.

Evaluation was conducted and the CRH (hypothalamic corticotropin-relasing hormone) levels of mRNA and the rates of abdominal withdrawal reflex were analyzed. Among humans, an important factor in IBS is the Corticotropin-releasing hormone,which is associated with decreased motility of the colon under stress.

Researchers discovered that moxibustion led to a substantial reduction of CRH mRNA expression to normal levels and a decrease in the sensitivity of the colon.

Since it is easy to perform and considered safe to use, moxibustion can be used as a home/self-help remedy. These kinds of research works are important in order to understand better the internal functions of the therapy. A study similar to the aforementioned experiment have witnessed beneficial effects with the same results as electro-acupuncture therapy. More studies are recommended to further assess whether both therapies used in a human model would be better than a single therapy.

Written by Valerie

March 12th, 2019 at 12:55 pm

Acupuncture for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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There are Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) patients who have tried all kinds of conventional treatments to help relieve their symptoms but to no avail. Fortunately, they have a wonderful option in natural, effective and safe alternative treatments such as traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and acupuncture. These two fine medical alternatives have undergone a number of studies and have consistently shown great results in treating IBS. Documents kept in these studies show that acupuncture and TCM to be effective and safe for the treatment of IBS without the need for pharmaceuticals.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is also known as mucus colitis or spastic colon. IBS is a syndrome because it exhibits a series of symptoms that may differ per patient. This condition comes about due to the abnormal movement of the large and small intestines. IBS signs and symptoms can involve diarrhea and/or constipation that are experienced in alternating fashion and stomach pain and cramping. It is usually accompanied by other issues in the gastrointestinal system like nausea, bloating and gas. All symptoms can be exacerbated by severe stress or by overeating and can often be relieved after the patient makes a bowel movement. About 10% to 20% of the people in the United States suffer from IBS and women are more afflicted with this condition than men.

Even with the huge leaps medical science has made these past decades, it still cannot understand what really causes IBS.  Irritable bowel syndrome is not an infection nor is it biochemical in nature. It does not entail ay anatomical change nor does it involve a structural problem. Medical scientists are looking into the belief that there might be problems in the communication between the brain and the gut which may explain why episodes of IBS usually occur during times of stress or emotional upsets.

TCM explains that IBS is the result of an imbalance in energy between the Spleen and the Liver.  The Spleen according to TCM is connected with the digestive function and helps convert food into blood and energy (the Chinese call Qi or Chi). Various factors can weaken the Spleen. They include lack of exercise, fatigue, over worrying, overwork, unhealthy foods and overeating. The Liver, on the other hand, oversees the smooth flow of substances throughout the body. Extreme stress and emotions can upset this flow resulting in blood and Chi stagnation. When the Liver is not moving smoothly and the Spleen is not strong, the Liver overacts on the Spleen that shows up as symptoms of IBS.

An imbalance in Spleen/ Liver can be likened to an episode of diarrhea or short-term appetite loss during times of emotional stress. With IBS, however, these symptoms happens gradually; the stress or emotional problem lasts over a long period of time, and the IBS symptoms can endure for years.

Practitioners of TCM particularly acupuncturists are knowledgeable in the treatment of Spleen/Liver disharmony using various methods. Based on the symptoms and attributes of the patient, the acupuncturist may recommend lifestyle changes, dietary therapy, Chinese herbs and, of course, acupuncture to help treat and even cure this malady.

There are certain lifestyle changes that can aid in the reduction of IBS symptoms. They include:

Getting enough sleep to help manage properly the symptoms. The most common trigger for IBS symptoms is stress. Stress can come about due to lack of sleep. Sleep also enables the body to regenerate and heal.

Use of probiotics – Probiotics are supplements that aid the beneficial bacteria in the gut to improve digestion. One good probiotic you can take is yogurt. Yogurt contains good bacteria like lactobacillus acidophilus.

Dietary changes – Treatment for IBS should always include removing foods that trigger IBS symptoms replacing them with healthy foods rich in fiber content to the diet. Fiber that is easily soluble is very good for the GI tract. These kinds of foods include legumes like split peas and lentils, berries and oatmeal.  Crude fiber can irritate the gut and foods with crude fiber can even trigger IBS symptoms. Some foods with crude fiber include raw vegetables and oat bran. Foods that can irritate the gut include carbonated drinks, chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, dairy products ad fatty or greasy foods.

Availing of quiet time and stress relief activities like breathing exercises, yoga, visualization or meditation. The removal of stress is very important to properly manage your IBS symptoms.

Exercise –Exercising especially regular exercise does help in treating stress. Regular exercise also helps treat constipation, regulates the bowels and moves energy.

 

Manhattan Acupuncture Clinic
900 Broadway, Suite 404
New York, NY 10003
Ph: (917) 968-6456
http://www.manhattanacupunctureclinic.com/

Written by Valerie

June 21st, 2014 at 6:58 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Lifestyle and Home Remedies

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Implementing home remedies and changes to diet and lifestyle that help prevent or lessen IBS symptoms should be as important in properly managing your symptoms as seeing your doctor and getting treatment for your condition. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can strike people of any age and causes stomach pain, constipation or diarrhea.

Diet Changes

When you have IBS, the muscles and nerves of your digestive system, particularly the neuromuscular system of your intestines become very prone to irritation from certain foods and fluids that you are eating. The intestines contract and start to cramp, accumulate gas and you begin to have either diarrhea, or become constipated during or a little while after your meal. To prevent this from happening you need to determine what foods and fluids irritate your intestines so you may avoid them in the future. Many IBS sufferers find that foods and drinks like artificial sweeteners, beverages containing caffeine, fatty foods, dairy products and chocolate. Pain can be caused by intestinal gas during an episode of IBS and certain fruits, cabbage and beans can only exacerbate the pain. Keep in mind that although fiber betters the function of the intestines it causes the cramping and gas to become worse. In order to avoid gas and cramping, slowly incorporate foods and fluids that contain fiber into your diet over a number of weeks to a month. Have a journal that contains a list of the foods and fluids you have eaten for two to three weeks and write down the symptoms you have experienced after you have eaten or drank some of these products. Doing this will help you either to cut down eating or drinking these products or avoid them altogether.

Stress Relief

Too much distress or even extreme joy can exacerbate your irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. Better control of your emotions means better control of your symptoms as well. To help relieve physical and mental stress, you can sleep or do relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation to bring your mind and body to a state of placidity banishing any feelings of depression or anxiety you have. When you’re relaxed, your intestinal contractions will then start to normalize.   Exercise can also relieve stress and help you feel relaxed later on. You can then start to enjoy lesser bowel symptoms. You can go to your doctor to talk or a counselor if you suffer from anxiety or depression because of your IBS.

Drugs

Medications for IBS are all designed to lessen or relieve IBS symptoms. One type of drugs used is antispasmodics and its purpose is to lessen the pain from the cramping of the intestines. Another type of medications is antidiarrheal drugs which take care of diarrhea. Laxatives are used for IBS sufferers suffering from constipation. Certain antidepressants taken in small doses are also used to address intestinal pain. Sedatives or tranquilizers can be used to address anxiety-exacerbated IBS symptoms. These drugs should be only used for short amounts of time. Be sure to follow the instructions that come along when you purchase laxatives and antidiarrheal drugs or instructions in their use coming from your doctor or pharmacist. Over-the-counter meds for diarrhea like Kaopectate or Imodium should be taken in the most minimum dosage that proves effective for the problem. You can take Imodium for half an hour after you have eaten especially if what you’ve eaten will likely lead to diarrhea. Use all these medications properly and responsibly since abusing them will bring you other health problems in the future. To be 100% sure that you use these medications correctly consult with your doctor or pharmacist first before taking them.

Drink lots of water since water can help wash away harmful contents in the intestines that aggravate your stomach problems. As mentioned a while ago, stay away from drinks that contain caffeine since it can worsen your diarrhea. Alcohol too as well as carbonated drinks like soda should be avoided since these drinks will cause gas to develop in your intestines.

 

Manhattan Acupuncture Clinic
900 Broadway, Suite 404
New York, NY 10003
Ph: (917) 968-6456
http://www.manhattanacupunctureclinic.com/

Written by Valerie

October 5th, 2013 at 10:04 pm

Posted in Acupuncture

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