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Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Chinese Medicine

Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Eastern Medicine Theory is a disharmony between the Liver (Gan) and Spleen (Pi) Symptoms

IBS can be aggravated or brought on by the following examples:

bulletWorse during stress 
bulletWorse after eating particular things 
bulletAlternating diarrhea and constipation 
bulletWorse during emotional turmoil
bulletLoose stools or hard pebble-like stools

Acupuncture is a good treatment choice since irritable bowel syndrome is a functional problem rather than a structural problem. 

IBS is known as 'Liver invading the Spleen ' in Chinese medicine. The function of the liver is to ensure the smooth circulation of Qi around the body. By doing this it aids all the other vital organs. When the liver is out of balance it can upset other organs, and in this case the spleen, (i.e. the digestive system). The liver is particularly affected by stress, anger, bitterness, frustration, resentment, and lack of exercise.

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Acupuncture is a good treatment choice since irritable bowel syndrome is a functional problem rather than a structural problem. 

bulletFood for thought... Is your body toxic?

Junk food consumption has increased drastically in the last few decades. Compared to 1981, in 2001 the average American consumed in one year: 45 large bags of potato chips - up 78%; 120 orders of French fries - up 130%; 190 candy bars - up 80%; 120 pastries or desserts - up 95%; 150 slices of pizza - up 143%

What long-term effects may we expect from such progressive dietary degeneration? A new movie called Super Size Me documents precisely what physical and psychological changes take place when one consumes too much junk food. Last February, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock decided to become a human guinea pig by eating three meals a day for 30 days at McDonald’s. The film centers around the impact this had on his health and life. As reported by the New York Post on January 22, 2004.:

“Scores of cheeseburgers, hundreds of fries and dozens of chocolate shakes later, the formerly strapping 6-foot-2 New Yorker - who started out at a healthy 185 pounds - had packed on 25 pounds. But his supersized shape was the least of his problems. Within a few days of beginning his drive-through diet, Spurlock, 33, was vomiting out the window of his car, and doctors who examined him were shocked at how rapidly Spurlock's entire body deteriorated.

Junk foods and soft drinks contain dangerous additives and  chemicals, and many are laced with "excitotoxins“ found in such ingredients as monosodium glutamate [MSG], aspartame (NutraSweet®), cysteine, hydrolyzed protein, and aspartic acid. Excitotoxins are substances added to foods and beverages that literally stimulate neurons to death, causing brain damage of varying degrees.

Why are some people affected and not others? 
If the digestive system (spleen in Chinese medicine) is strong, then it is still able to function adequately even though the liver maybe out of balance. In other words, for IBS to occur there needs to be an imbalance in both the liver and the spleen (digestive system). Thus, to treat IBS it is important to smooth the flow of the liver's energy and to strengthen the digestive process. Along with acupuncture, this will involve eating food that is easier for the body to digest. 

IBS is often successfully treated with a combination of acupuncture as well as dietary  and lifestyle changes.

For a private consultation, please contact us at 704.968.0351

 
 

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