Abdominal pain, bloating, IBS – Can Acupuncture help?

Bloating and abdominal pain and distension, often known as IBS, is becoming increasingly common, especially among women in western countries. Those who have the condition will know what I am talking about without going into too much graphic detail!

The exact cause is unknown but being a ‘syndrome’ there can be a variety of different symptoms and different levels of discomfort. There can be many contributory factors such as diet (e.g. refined foods, wheat and gluten intolerance), gynaecological issues and hormonal problems. Stress is also often a major factor.

There is a long tradition in Oriental medicine of treating digestive disorders and traditional acupuncture may be able to help. Oriental medicine has developed a very comprehensive system of understanding how the body works, based on many years of research and clinical experience, and an understanding of what happens when the energy (or Qi), which can be viewed as the body’s electro-chemical system, gets out of balance.

Acupuncture attempts to treat the root cause of the problem and look at the energetic processes that are not functioning correctly. For example, bloating is seen as stagnation of Qi in the colon and the whole digestive system. This stagnation in turn gives rise to problems with abdominal pain, bowel problems and lethargy. The aim of acupuncture in such cases is to help the body heal itself by stimulating the Qi and helping it to flow properly. In order to further increase its effectiveness in such cases, acupuncture is often used alongside herbal medicine, dietary advice and sometimes stress management.

I have helped many people over the years using acupuncture and my success rate with such disorders is very high. Six sessions are normally required, and whilst (in common with other mainstream and complementary therapies) it can never be guaranteed, it is a widely used and accepted therapy. For more information see my details below.

Finally I would advise people considering having acupuncture, or indeed any other complementary therapy, to ensure that they have consulted their GP and had conventional medical advice and diagnoses before embarking on any therapy.

by Jethro Rowland