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Recently, a friend suggested that I incorporate acupuncture into my care to treat my IBS. What is acupuncture and will it help me?

A Johnson: Great question. You will be happy to know that acupuncture might be a very helpful modality for you. Before I explain, let me tell you a little bit about acupuncture. Acupuncture is a well-known form of complementary medicine. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, “acupuncture is among one of the oldest healing practices in the world. As part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), acupuncture works to restore and maintain health through the stimulation of specific points on the body.” The basic premise of TCM is that health and wellness are maintained when the body’s energy is in balance. This concept is very similar to the idea of homeostasis in Western medicine. However, from a TCM perspective, illness and disease begin to occur when the body’s energy becomes imbalanced. When this happens, acupuncture can be used to bring the body back into balance to restore health and wellbeing. Acupuncture itself is a technique that uses the gentle insertion of tiny hair-thin needles into various points on the body. So, can acupuncture help you? The answer is yes, it may be helpful! According to the World Health Organization and National Institutes of Health, acupuncture has been proven effective or shown to have a therapeutic effect on a wide variety of health conditions, including conditions associated with IBS. More recently, a study conducted at Duke University Medical Center found that, in some patients, acupuncture was effective at addressing abdominal pain; constipation; diarrhea; and helps to regulate the body’s secretion of gastric acid. Additionally, in my experience as a Chinese medicine practitioner, I have had very positive clinical outcomes in patients with IBS related complaints. These have included abdominal pain, fullness, and bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, belching, fatigue, headaches, palpitations, and dysmenorrhea (e.g., uterine pain during your menstrual cycle). Again, great question. I hope this information has been helpful. At this point, my suggestion for you would be to search out a nationally board certified practitioner with “oriental medicine certification” in your local area. Go to the NCCAOM certification registry at: http://www.nccaom.org/find/index.html.
2008-07-26 20:36:24

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