Acupuncture for Digestive Issues

Why Acupuncture for Gastrointestinal Disorders? 

60-70 Million Americans suffer from some form of gastrointestinal issue.* Most common treatments involve antibiotics, drugs, or surgery - all of which can cause a number of unwanted side effects. Chinese Medicine is a natural, gentle - yet incredibly effective way to regulate digestion and enjoy the freedom that comes with it!


Flow Acupuncture specializes in 'unexplained' digestive issues that leave doctors puzzled and lab results that offer no answers. 

Digestive and Intestinal issues that can be alleviated with acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine: 

  • chronic constipation

  • chronic diarrhea

  • unexplained stomachache, pain, and bloating

  • nasuea & vomiting

  • incomplete or frequent bowel movements

  • IBS

  • Chrohn's Disease

  • painful bowel movements

**according to data provided by the NIH.

What the Research says....
Acupuncture for functional gastrointestinal disorders.

In some patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and functional dyspepsia (FD), peristalsis and gastric motility are impaired. The stimulatory effects of acupuncture at ST-36 on GI motility may be beneficial to patients with GERD or FD, as well as to those with constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), who show delayed colonic transit. In contrast, the inhibitory effects of acupuncture at CV-12 on GI motility may be beneficial to patients with diarrhea-predominant IBS, because enhanced colonic motility and accelerated colonic transit are reported in such patients. In the future, it is expected that acupuncture will be used in the treatment of patients with functional GI disorders.

Acupuncture for Constipation

Efficacy of acupuncture for chronic constipation: a systematic review.

After strict screening, 15 RCTs were included, containing 1256 participants. All of them were conducted in China and published in Chinese journals. In conclusion, acupuncture for chronic functional constipation is safe and may improve weekly spontaneous bowel movements, quality of life, and relevant symptoms. However, the evidence was limited by the small sample size and the methodological quality.

Acupuncture for Chronic Diarrhea & IBS

Effectiveness of acupuncture to treat irritable bowel syndrome: A meta-analysis

Six randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials met the criteria and were included in the meta-analysis. Using the two different systems (STATA 11.0 and Revman 5.0,) we confirmed the significant efficacy of acupuncture for treating IBS. Acupuncture exhibits clinically and statistically significant control of IBS symptoms.

Electroacupuncture for patients with diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome or functional diarrhea: A randomized controlled trial.

The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of electroacupuncture with loperamide (prescription drug for controlling diarrhea) in a prospective, randomized, parallel group controlled trial. Both electroacupuncture and loperamide significantly improved the mean score of Bristol scale and increased the weekly average number of days with normal defecations and the mean scores of SF-36; they were equivalent in these outcomes. Electroacupuncture is equivalent to loperamide for reducing stool frequency in IBS-D and FD patients.

Influence of acupuncture stimulation on cerebral network in functional diarrhea.

The objectives of this study were to investigate the differences in brain activities elicited by acupuncture between FD (functional diarrhea) patients and healthy controls (HC) so as to explore the possible mechanism.  Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans were, respectively, performed before and after acupuncture. After acupuncture, the FD patients showed a significant decrease in defecation frequency and BSFS score. The regional homogeneity (ReHo) map showed a decrease in the paracentral lobule and postcentral gyrus, and an increase in the angular gyrus, insula, anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), and precuneus in the FD group. Moreover, the changes in ReHo values in the ACC were correlated with the reduction in defecation frequency. Decreasing functional connectivity among the ACC, insula, thalamus, and orbital frontal cortex only existed in the FD group. Conclusively, acupuncture alleviated defecation frequency and improved stool formation in FD patients. The efficacy might result from the regulation of the homeostasis afferent processing network.

**Regional homogeneity (ReHo) changes in functional diarrhea (FD) patients and healthy controls (HC) after acupuncture 

In the News | Media:

Acupuncture With a Zap May Ease Constipation


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