More than 20 million Canadians suffer from some sort of digestive problem, ranging from constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and acid reflux (GERD) (1).
Treating a chronic digestive problem is most successful when hitting it from different angles. Tools a practitioner will often use to treat digestive concerns include making positive dietary changes, taking supplements such as probiotics, prebiotics & herbs, getting the right amount of exercise, managing stress, and getting acupuncture. Yes, acupuncture can help improve gut health.
HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE IMPROVE GUT HEALTH?
Regular acupuncture treatment is a wonderful addition to any gut healing protocol. If you have read my other posts on acupuncture, you know that acupuncture works by improving blood flow to targeted body areas, improving our nervous system response, and improving our hormonal balance. When it comes to gut health specifically, acupuncture works by:
- Increasing blood flow directly to the digestive organs.
- Taking us out of our “fight-or-flight” mode, and placing us in our “rest-and-digest mode. Many of us spend the majority of our day in a highly stressed fight-or-flight mode. When we are in this high-stress state, our blood is diverted from the digestive tract into more peripheral areas of our bodies, such as our limbs. Acupuncture brings us into a calm, healing, rest-and-digest state. When in this state, blood flow is naturally directed to our digestive tract, therefore helping improve digestion, and heal our digestive organs.
- Regulating our hormones; every function in our body is regulated by hormones. Acupuncture helps improve digestive health by regulating the hormones that regulate digestion.
- Reducing inflammation; poor gut health is the primary source of inflammation, especially when a digestive condition exists.
- Boosting immunity, helping us fight off any pathogens that may be residing in our digestive tract.
WHAT DOES SCIENCE SAY?
Many studies have proven the positive effects of acupuncture on digestive issues when compared to a control group. Acupuncture has been shown to help improve:
- Irritable Bowel Disease – Crohn’s Disease & Ulcerative Colitis (2, 3)
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Constipation & Diarrhea (4, 5, 6)
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (7, 8)
I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU!
Have you tried acupuncture for gut health?
Lindsay Rusk Health is a dedicated resource for people who are interested in health and improving their health. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links. These links add no extra cost to you. I recommend products and brands that I personally use for myself or my family. For more information, see my Terms + Disclosure.