Go With Your Gut- Treating Digestive Disorders with Acupuncture
People experiencing digestive disorders and general discomfort around food often seek acupuncture as an alternative to constantly chugging rennies or laxatives and needing to wear their track pants out to dinner for comfort- no one wants to do that!
THE ENGINE ROOM
The most commonly used point in Chinese medicine is Stomach 36 which ' bestows longevity and endurance, conserves vitality and revitalises energy. You have to admit that is an impressive rap sheet, this highlights the importance of the stomach as the centre of the system.
The stomach channel is your engine room for the body- if something is amiss here the whole system is thrown off and many other issues can arise ( brain fog, poor skin, groggy in the mornings, loose stools, gum disease, headaches, lethargy) when the body does not receive all the nutrients it needs.
I hate to sound like a broken record but your diet is key. No surprises there. I will avoid delivering a lecture, but the easiest things to do are limit processed junk and to eat a variety of rainbow coloured fruit and vegetables, and some fermented foods like kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, and miso. A probiotic with over 20 billion is very helpful. In Winter, avoid cold or raw foods, instead soups and stews-are warm for digestion.
Conditions acupuncture can treat are IBS and Crohns, bloating, reflux, sluggish digestion, stomach distention, and general abdominal discomfort or nausea after eating. An article to explain more about the ins and outs is here.
THE GUT-BRAIN CONNECTION
Scientists have recently discovered that the gut is now considered the second brain. Therefore your ‘gut instinct’ is much more than something spouted by life coaches. As this article explains ‘trusting your gut is trusting the collection of all your subconscious experience’. So the gut can be quite the catalogue of internal data depending on your age and exposure.
The Chinese have known this for centuries. The Earth element consisting of the stomach and spleen transports and transforms food, emotions, thoughts, and energy.
An overwhelmed mind weakens your stomach and this has a knock-on effect on the whole system. There are aptly named points to take the edge off a churning mind St 9 ‘Head Tied‘ and Bl 49 ‘Thought Dwelling’. Sadly there isn’t really a point that is called ‘Flatten Stomach for Upcoming Date‘. Shame.
This article from Lenny Letter The Digestive Mind explains in a witty and easy-to-swallow (see what I did there?) style how a constant stream of information and stimulus weakens the spleen and stomach qi. Taking a break may seem impossible when you are in the midst of something but small breaks provide the body with time to process.
An easy action plan is to take social media breaks as often as possible, try not to read or watch TV at meal times (this also includes not eating lunch at your desk answering emails or falling down an ‘inter stalk’ rabbit hole), and install the free f.lux app on your devices. It reduces the blue light which stimulates the brain. This is especially useful in the wind down to sleep.
Be kind to your gut, it’s the gatekeeper to your entire system.