Garden Acupuncture Constipation Program
- Individualized Treatment For 3 Months
- 24 Acupuncture Treatments
- 6 Customized Chinese Herbal Formulas
- Gua-Sha, Tui Na, Cupping & Ear Seeds
- Nutritional Support, Information and Education
What is Constipation?
Constipation is classically defined as having less than 3 bowel movements per week. However, from a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, that is way off. When you put food in, waste should move out. You should be moving your bowels every day! Acupuncture for constipation can be an effective form of relief that is natural and safe. Acupuncture treats constipation through the ability to move and balance qi and directly work on the nervous and immune systems. It promotes the restoration of proper function and contributes to the overall health of your gastrointestinal system.
Constipation is not fun.
Not only is constipation uncomfortable to deal with physically, it can also be uncomfortable to talk about. If you are not having daily bowel movements or are experiencing symptoms, we invite you to talk to our discreet and understanding providers. Some common symptoms are:
- Bowel movements not occurring daily
- Pain and Straining when moving bowels
- Stool that is hard, small or like pebbles
- Abdominal bloating and pain
- Sense that you didn’t finish moving your bowels
- Nausea and vomiting
Why am I constipated?
Constipation is experienced by people young and old and has many contributing factors from diet, emotions, lifestyle, changes to the colon structure or as a side effect of medications just to name a few. Some other causes of constipation may be more serious such as an intestinal obstruction, Crohn’s disease or diverticulitis so it is always important to mention to your provider if you are not having bowel movements regularly or have experienced a change in your bowel habits or stool.
Have you ever had to go and decided to hold it? This is common with kids not wanting to go at school or adults not wanting to go at work. Nobody wants anybody else to know that they poop. Or sometimes there isn’t a bathroom available. But ignoring the urge to go on a regular basis can back you up. The longer you hold stool in, the more heat builds up and causes drying of the stool making it harder to pass. Do this enough times and it will become habit. The colon remembers.
Vacation constipation. This may be temporary but no less uncomfortable and frustrating. There are a few things at play here. First, you are taking yourself out of normal routine. Second, you may be uncomfortable using a bathroom outside of your home. Third, dehydration and change of diet. And lastly, anxiety, excitement and fatigue also can affect the gut. Taking some steps to help ease this will make your travels more comfortable and help prevent this from being a continuing issue when you return. Drink plenty of water, keep active, have healthy snacks like veggies and fruits, limit alcohol and don’t ignore the urge to go!
Stress and Anxiety. If you suffer from chronic anxiety, have a high level of stress or experience emotional trauma, constipation may be a result due to a sympathetic nervous system response that can decrease the movement and muscle contractions in the large intestine. Addressing stress levels and your lifestyle are two ways Traditional Chinese Medicine can help you.
Your diet and lack of fluids could lead to constipation. Also, not enough exercise and movement. Physical activity helps promote peristalsis in the large intestine. If your are sedentary and sluggish, your GI tract might be too. Acupuncture for constipation can help promote peristaltic movement and Traditional Chinese Medical recommendations for diet and lifestyle can help improve the composition of your stool and overall digestive health.
Pain Killers and Opioids. A major side effect of pain killers and especially opioids is constipation. Traditional Chinese Medicine has shown to reduce pain by up to 50% without the use of medication. If you are on a medication and experiencing constipation, please talk to a healthcare provider. Acupuncture for constipation is a natural way to get relief, help restore normal function and to reduce pain.
Many turn to extremely high fiber products or harsh laxatives to produce a bowel movement. When used on a consistent basis, the normal contractions of associated muscles that help move and produce a bowel movement become lazy. Lots of people end up not being able to move their bowels without using a laxative. This should be avoided. Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture for constipation can help move the bowels quickly, naturally and safely with treatment and herbs when needed. But it is crucial to continue and re-teach the muscles how to work properly again. Restoring function is the goal not just producing a bowel movement for temporary relief.
Constipation from a TCM Perspective
Constipation is a symptom. From a TCM perspective, all the things that are diagnosed as causing constipation are also symptoms! TCM not only helps to alleviate symptoms but goes a step further to correct root causes. This is how Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine differ in many cases. In Western Medicine for example, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may be one cause of constipation but in TCM, irritable bowel syndrome is just a collection of symptoms reflecting a pattern out of balance in your body. The pattern is the actual diagnosis and correcting that pattern is how you address the condition and relieve symptoms, not by simply controlling or managing the symptoms alone. Identifying the pattern that is causing constipation for you specifically is what is important because it can be different from person to person. That is why an individualized approach is so necessary.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine the two main pattern categories for constipation are excess and deficiency patterns. Once evaluated, the pattern can be identified more specifically. A few examples are heat or cold constipation, Qi stagnation or an organ deficiency such as spleen or stomach qi deficiency. Using acupuncture, herbs, nutritional counseling and lifestyle recommendations, your underlying pattern is treated directly in addition to giving acute symptom relief.