Can acupuncture treat IBS?
Yes, it can!
As an acupuncturist, every year I treat hundreds of patients who come in with various symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) having heard of how this ancient, traditional Chinese medicine practice might help them in a drug-free way.
Acupuncture is thriving in the US due to its high efficiency rates. I see the truth of this over and over in my practice with IBS patients as they start getting relief from symptoms within a few acupuncture treatments. An IBS symptom such as abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, or general discomfort starts dissipating as soon as healing of impaired gut function begins.
Is it a Miracle?
No. Your body is the miracle! With irritable bowel syndrome(IBS) or any illness of the intestine, the body has veered away from health many times because of poor lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, stress, or unknown causes. Acupuncture treatments gently guide the body toward optimal conditions for self-healing. With each precise placement of these tiny needles, the body activates its healing processes: balancing the energy of the body which in turn increases blood circulation, decreases inflammation, relaxes muscles, releases endorphins, and increases immunity overall. This creates an optimal environment for healing in the body which extends to the bowel area. For irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients, acupuncture treatments are focused on creating that healing environment in the gut and avoiding flare-ups.
Acupuncture effects are cumulative, therefore each targeted treatment produces more and more of these powerful healing gastrointestinal effects. It is also deemed to be effective as a means of reducing stress, anxiety, and insomnia which often trigger IBS symptoms. After repeated acupuncture sessions, the bowel can begin healing back to its proper function, even after years of IBS symptoms.
Acupuncture sees each person as an individual with their own unique health history and focuses on treating the individual, not a digestive disorder. It also takes into account all factors which can disrupt health like diet, lack of movement, and emotions. An acupuncturist can very often get to the root cause of abdominal symptoms and provide a treatment that culminates in a reduction, if not complete elimination, of symptoms. Gastrointestinal healing rates vary due to differences in immunity and overall health as to how many treatments are needed for optimal healing and a reduction of IBS-related symptoms. What I find is that most IBS patients choose to follow an acupuncture maintenance plan after their IBS symptoms have become manageable.
I have seen many patients achieve relief from IBS symptoms through their healing transformation with acupuncture. Along with food therapy, Chinese herbal medicine, and stress management, acupuncture provides patients with a decrease in IBS symptoms and an increase in overall health.
Resources that can help:
You can see Cynthia at Total Health Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
For IBS-friendly foods, check out the Epicured menu!