“Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs can provide real relief for chronic constipation if you are seeking a natural remedy, even during pregnancy. I really enjoy treating it because the results are substantial quite quickly so it is easy to see progress. Acupuncture has a really strong effect on the digestive system and any emotional connections that are related to it. Melani Bolyai, L.Ac.
Herbs and Acupuncture can be an indispensable treatment option for relieving constipation.
Traditional Chinese Medicine views constipation as a weakness or a blockage of qi, or energy flow, in the colon and lung meridians, and acupuncture works through the nervous system and energy channesl in the body to realign and restore the body’s natural balance. Traditional Chinese herbal remedies offer a natural way to stimulate, balance and maintain the digestive function. Clinical practice shows that acupuncture therapy is safe and effective and the therapeutic effects are still present several months after the treatment has been completed.
Constipation is a problem occurring in the digestive system and is characterized by the passage of small amounts of hard, dry bowel movements. Traditional Chinese medicine advises that optimal digestion should include at least one bowel movement per day. Constipation can cause bloating, along with uncomfortable and sometimes painful pressure, and an overall sluggish feeling.
Acupuncture can also relieve Irritable Bowel Syndrome
In a healthy digestive system, the colon functions to absorb water while forming un-digested food into solid waste and to push it toward the rectum by muscle contractions. Constipation occurs when the muscle contractions are too slow and/or the water absorption is too great, causing stool to be hard and dry.
Constipation is often caused by a lack of high fiber foods and hydrating liquids in the diet, as well as a lack of exercise, which can be caused by lifestyle or daily routine changes such as pregnancy, aging, or travel, which can upset the body’s digestive schedule. Ignoring the body’s natural urge to have a bowel movement can also have a negative effect on the colon, as well as other systemic problems and diseases which can affect the system as a whole, including stroke and irritable bowel syndrome. Certain medications, including antidepressants, some pain relievers, antacids and blood pressure medications can also have a negative effect on regularity and stool.
Self-correcting constipation leads often to the use of over-the-counter laxatives and/or enemas, which, if used in excess can lead to damage of the nerve cells in the colon and interfere with the colon’s natural ability to contract. Whereas bulk-forming laxatives or fiber supplements such as Metamucil are generally considered the safest option, some can negate the absorption of other medications.
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The digestive system as a whole can be benefited by the consumption of healthier foods. It is important to eat foods high in fiber, both soluble – the kind found in many fruits and vegetables, and insoluble – the fiber found in whole grains. Other high fiber food include beans, bran cereals, wheat bran, psyllium husks and ground flaxseeds, and vegetables such as asparagus, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, and dark leafy salad greens. It is equally important to limit the amount of refined or processed foods that contain white flour and sugar, as well as a high fat content, like many meats, cheese, and ice cream.
Drinking enough liquid along with ingesting more fiber is important, otherwise it is possible to worsen the condition. Drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water (and some fruit juice) help the colon by adding water and softening the stool. It is important not to replace water with dehydrating liquids such as coffee, tea and colas, which contain caffeine, and those containing alcohol.