The digestive system is an integral part of the immune system and plays a significant role in a person’s sense of well-being. Scientific evidence has demonstrated that there are more serotonin receptors in the gut than in the brain. Thus, a functional digestive system is one of the crucial keys to health and happiness.
Issues with the digestive system can be detrimental to one’s sense of wellbeing. We must eat several times a day and if eating causes discomfort, our ability to fully function is severely affected.
Acupuncture and herbal medicine can safely and gently treat the following conditions:
There are some digestive disorders that are chronic and may have genetic and autoimmune components. Although acupuncture and herbal medicine may not be able to cure these diseases, it can reduce inflammation and prevent flare-ups for the following:
To treat digestive issues, we evaluate what you are putting in your body and how your body is able to process food.
It is important to give the body whole foods that it is able to process. A balanced diet that includes fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains is recommended. We suggest limiting processed food, packaged food, coffee and alcohol as they can be very irritating to the gut lining. It is also important to limit sugar and dairy as they may exacerbate inflammation in the gut.
Some people may already be eating a healthful diet but still experience issues with digestion. In these cases, it is important to evaluate the nervous system. Our nervous system has two branches, the Sympathetic branch that governs “flight or fight,” and the Parasympathetic branch that governs “rest and digest.” If the body is in a constant state of stress, the Sympathetic branch is active. The body’s blood will be sent to the limbs and little energy will be dedicated to digestion.
We can use acupuncture to reset the nervous system and activate the Parasympathetic branch. This will send blood to the internal organs and dedicate energy to digestion. In a Parasympathetic state, peristalsis (wavelike movements in the gut) moves food through the digestive tract at an appropriate speed, allowing for better absorption and passage.
If food allergies are suspected to be the cause of discomfort, we will order a food allergy blood test.