Traditional Chinese Medicine and Digestive Health

Digestive disorders are amongst of the most common disorders treated by both the NHS and complementary therapists across the board.  These disorders range from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) to hiatus hernias and acidosis, where the stomach either produces too much acid or in some cases too little acid.  Other symptoms include bloating, constipation, and candida, loss of appetite, fatigue and frontal headaches.  The list goes on.

Many of these problems are diet related.  Convenience foods are often high in fat, sugar and salt, and are mass produced.  People often eat whilst working or watching television, which means they are not concentrating on the act of eating and therefore inhibiting the proper digestion of food. There are several other causal factors, too many to mention here.

Traditional Chinese Medicine which includes acupuncture and herbal medicine can be very effective in helping all kinds of digestive disorders.  Acupuncture sees the digestive system as part of an energetic system which is controlled by the energetic actions of the stomach and the spleen.  The spleen in Chinese medicine refers to the energetic action of the spleen rather than the organ itself.  The spleen and stomach are part of what is known in Chinese medicine as the Zhang – Fu.  They are the principal system for digesting food, and converting it into energy, or Qi, which is the energy that maintains life and health.  Lifestyle, diet and stress all the above contribute to weakening the ability of the spleen and stomachs energy to create Qi.  Thus giving rise to the myriad of digestive disorders.

Acupuncture alongside herbal medicine, as well as dietary and lifestyle changes, can be of enormous benefit with nausea and vomiting.  Acupuncture is an extremely powerful yet subtle mode of treatment, in that the action of the needles in specific acupuncture points re-directs and clears blockages of Qi.  It can also help boost the Qi thus improving a person’s energy and wellbeing, and help prevent the symptoms occurring.

Herbal medicine can play a vital role in digestive health.  Much of the food and drink we consume often contains toxins that can affect the purity and the flow of Qi and the blood.  Herbal medicine can be used to detoxify the whole system, cleanses the blood and clears, what is called damp in Chinese medicine.  This is the equivalent to conditions like candida, and phlegm in western medicine.  Excess toxic damp is very common, and herbs are an excellent way of cleansing the digestive system and regulating the bowels.

The treatment of long term, chronic digestive disorders can require a number of treatments over several weeks to be fully effective. In many cases it is advisable to consult with our nutritionists here at The Wyndham Centre who can give detailed dietary, food intolerances and nutritional advice.  Acupuncture and herbal medicine, together with changes to diet, lifestyle and stress management, can be extremely effective.