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Acupuncture and Eastern Medicine Blog

Mount Vernon Washington, Skagit Valley

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  • Writer's pictureAnna Palucci Young, L.Ac., AEMP

If you are suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Acupuncture and Eastern Herbal Therapy (AKA Chinese herbs) can help!

What is IBS?


Western medicine describes Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) as a group of symptoms that occur together, including repeated abdominal pain, changes in bowel movements leading to diarrhea, constipation, or both. 


Other symptoms may include bloating, gas, a feeling of incomplete bowel movements, as well as Several bowel movements per day 


While it is not life threatening, all of these symptoms can significantly diminish a person’s quality of life.



What causes IBS?


While IBS is very common, the cause is still not completely understood. IBS is considered a functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder as there are generally no visible signs of damage or disease to the digestive tract. Functional GI disorders are classified as disorders of gut-brain interactions which can cause the GI tract to be more sensitive and change how the muscles in the bowel contract. Other causes may be related to diet and imbalances in intestinal flora as well as stress and anxiety.


How can Acupuncture and Herbal Formulas Help?


Acupuncture and herbal formulas can improve blood flow and relax the GI tract, normalize bowel function and decrease bloating and intestinal inflammation. Other healing effects include the regulation of neurotransmitters and the restoration of intestinal flora. In addition, these modalities can be very helpful in relieving stress and anxiety.


One of the herbal formulas that is used to treat IBS employs four herbs: white peony, atractylodes, citrus peel and siler. Each herb has a different individual action but they also work together synergistically to provide gentle but effective relief from IBS.


White peony is helpful for relieving stress and along with siler helps to relax the GI tract. Atractylodes helps nutrients to absorb in the small intestine while citrus helps to relieve bloating and gas.  


It is important to understand, however, that Eastern medicine does not just treat symptoms, the focus is on treating the root cause of imbalances in your body. This is done by employing a very powerful diagnostic system which uses your individual signs (tongue and pulse diagnosis, abdominal palpation) and symptoms to identify patterns of disharmony unique to your body. because IBS looks different for each person who experiences it.


If you are interested in finding out more about how Eastern medicine can help you, please give me a call or text at 360-926-0859.

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