THE BLOG

Soothe Your Bowels With Acupuncture

27/03/2013 14:02 GMT | Updated 26/05/2013 10:12 BST

Acupuncture and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) affects 10-20%* of the UK population at any one time causing embarrassment and discomfort to sufferers. Up to 12million people in the UK are affected by IBS at some time in their lives. More women seek help but it is just as common in both sexes and commonly starts between 15-40 years old. Acupuncture has been found to be very effective in relieving the symptoms of IBS.

IBS is a long-term and often debilitating condition that causes re-occurring pain or discomfort in the abdomen. Bloating, swelling, bouts of diarrhoea and/or constipation and feeling sick are just some of the symptoms which can cause misery for sufferers. The exact cause of IBS is unknown; so many sufferers remain undiagnosed or struggle to manage their symptoms.

Traditional acupuncture is a branch of Chinese medicine that recognises the importance of healthy bowels for overall physical and emotional health. Acupuncture treatments for IBS have been researched, refined and developed in China for thousands of years and understands how emotional stress can combine with physical factors to stagnate the body's vital energy, known as Qi, and result in the symptoms of IBS.

Acupuncture moves stagnation and regulates the flow of Qi in order to restore normal bowel function so that your body can properly digest food and eliminate waste products. By alleviating energy blockages in the body, acupuncture relieves IBS symptoms by reducing pain, regulating muscular movement and strengthening of the digestive tract, reducing anxiety and depression as well as decreasing stress. Acupuncturists look at the body as a whole and also provide dietary advice to ensure patients are well nourished and improve digestion.

I've seen many patients who have struggled to get a diagnosis for IBS and so look to Traditional Chinese Medicine to help. Many of them who have suffered with IBS for years have found acupuncture to be a great relief.

IBS awareness month (April 2013) aims to raise awareness and increase understanding of this very common condition. For further details please go to www.acupuncture-helps.co.uk and www.theibsnetwork.org

*NHS.UK

Acupuncture:

The Acupuncture I practice is based on Chinese medicine principles that have been developed, researched and refined for over 2,500 years. Genuine Traditional Acupuncture is holistic, not focused on isolated symptoms. It regards pain and illness, whether physical or mental, to be a sign the whole body is out of balance.

About the BAcC:

The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) to which I belong has a membership of nearly 3,000 professionally qualified acupuncturists. It is the UK's largest professional body for the practice of acupuncture. BAcC members practise a traditional, holistic style of acupuncture diagnosis and treatment based on a system developed and refined over 2,000 years. To achieve BAcC membership, practitioners must first undertake extensive training in acupuncture (minimum three years full-time or part-time equivalent), which includes physiology, anatomy and other biomedical sciences appropriate to the practice of acupuncture.