Food should be a positive influence in your life: It provides the nutrients needed to keep the body running and is often tied to feelings of comfort and fun, inspiring memories of time spent with family and friends. Digestive issues like bloating, acid reflux, poor or excessive appetite, constipation, diarrhea, cramping, and pain often indicate an imbalance in the digestion system, causing malabsorption of nutrients and discomfort possibly to the point of no longer enjoying food. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), our goal is to bring the digestive system - and any other organ systems involved - back into balance so that these uncomfortable symptoms decrease. In cases of digestive issues, the Licensed Acupuncturist will almost always recommend diet therapy in addition to acupuncture treatments and may suggest herbal medicine as well.
Acupuncture gives the body a gentle nudge to heal itself, but with digestive issues especially, the choices you make when you leave the clinic have a big impact on how well you'll heal. Your acupuncturist will use points on different parts of the body - not always on the abdomen! - that aid normal digestion, and the best way to continue to support your body as it gets back into balance is by choosing foods that are easy to digest and benefit the digestive organs. Many people are turned off by the word "diet" but really all it means is what you choose to eat. Our diet therapy involves making small changes over a period of time that lead to long-term health. In most cases we'll give you a long list of foods that are known to influence the digestive organs, and out of those foods you choose which ones you'd like to start adding to your meals. The goal is for changes to be sustainable! True health is a marathon, not a sprint, and our practitioners don't want you to feel great only to crash after finishing an extreme diet. That being said, if you have severe symptoms, we may suggest cutting back to a very basic diet and then slowly adding in foods as your symptoms improve. Every individual is different, and we customize our treatments and dietary recommendations to each patient.
Please contact us if you would like more information about how acupuncture works for digestive issues.
Photo credits: Sarah Anna Hansen Photography
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