Acupuncture for ConstipationConstipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders. According to The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, approximately 42 million Americans suffer from constipation at any given time.

Constipation Description

This condition is described by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) as:
• Fewer than three bowel movements a week.
• Bowel movements with stools that are hard, dry, and small, making them painful or difficult to pass.

Constipation Population

The DHHS also claims that constipation can afflict just about anyone yet those that are more likely to suffer are:

• Women (particularly during and shortly after pregnancy)
• The elderly
• Non-Caucasians
• People with lower incomes (probably due to a subpar diet)
• Surgical patients, especially when anesthetized
• Those taking pain or depression medication

Causes and Attempted Cures for Constipation

Many factors can be the cause of constipation such as dehydration, poor diet, disease, intestinal parasites, medication, stress and/or lack of physical activity. However, receiving relief for constipation is difficult to attain. Conventional medicine offers over-the-counter (OTC) medicines such as stool softeners, laxatives, liquid glycerin and enemas which, for some, can be taxing, toxic and uncomfortable.

The Naturopathic Acupuncture Way

Working with a naturopathic doctor trained in the ancient practice of acupuncture may allow you to approach your constipation challenge from a less synthetically medicinal angle.

In addition to administering botanical medicine such as herbs and other plant based remedies; clinical nutrition; and nutraceutical supplementation, acupuncture for constipation could be the best start.

In a clinical study of acupuncture for treatment of chronic functional constipation (CFC), Chinese researchers from The First Clinical Medical College, Nanjing University concluded that with a 67% total effective rate,

“The effect of acupuncture for CFC with exact etiology, disease location and classification diagnosis is definite”

Another Chinese study conducted at the Guang An Men Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences and published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) noted in their abstract that,

“No obvious adverse event was associated with acupuncture for constipation. In conclusion, acupuncture for chronic functional constipation [CFC] is safe and may improve weekly spontaneous bowel movements, quality of life, and relevant symptoms.”

The Approach

A naturopathic doctor/acupuncturist will approach each case of constipation individually. Rather than hear symptoms for five minutes and then write out a prescription, a naturopathic doctor will check several locations of your pulse; the color of your tongue, eyes and skin; and your detailed life history.

Some examples of this approach entail looking for clues as to what type of constipation each patient may have and then be able to administer the proper acupuncture meridians (pathways).

In Classical Chinese Medicine (CCM), these types and their clues might be described as:

Hot Constipation – Internal heat which effects organs leading to fluids drying up, or outside heat which is more chronic and related to emotions. Hard, dry stools, feeling warm or thirsty, bad breath, mood swings, and possible mouth ulcers. Tongue is red/yellow and pulse is strong and rapid.

Qi Constipation – Liver overacting on the large intestine due to emotional causes. Bloating, tenderness/pain near ribs, belching, high emotion. Tongue is purplish. Pulse is deep and wiry.

Wind Constipation – This is when a rare exterior pathogen affects the bowel functions. Fever, dry cough and sore throat. Tongue presents a red tip with a yellow coating. Pulse is weak and floating.

Food Constipation – Certain foods as well as overeating may cause painful constipation. Bloating, nausea, flatulence, dry lips. Tongue is thick with a greasy coating. Pulse is tight.

Cold Constipation – Deficient yang resulting in internal cold which has congealed leading to constipation. Pale face, abdominal pain, sensitive to cold. Tongue is pale. Pulse is slow and deep.

Blood Deficiency – Blood deficiency constipation often afflicts the elderly or presents after an illness causing fluid to dry up the intestines and cause constipation.Dry mouth, dizziness, heart palpitations. Tongue is pale and dry. Pulse is thin and stagnant.

Qi Deficiency Constipation – When your Qi (chee – life force) becomes deficient diarrhea often is the result however it may also present as constipation. Pale and tired looking. Tongue is pale. Pulse is empty.

Yin Deficiency Constipation – Lacking in proper Yin often results in a lack of fluids which presents as Yin deficiency constipation. Night sweats, dry mouth and throat, constant thirst. Tongue is red and cracking. Pulse is floaty and empty.

Acupuncture for constipation goes way beyond a pill or liquid that may minimally help but never address the deep rooted cause. Using this alternative approach can offer the opportunity for you to not only relieve and/or cure your constipation but to begin moving potentially stuck energy.
When this energy is nudged into moving again many health problems could dissipate.

At Integrative Med Solutions, we will design an acupuncture and naturopathic treatment program that works for you. In many cases, insurance covers portions of the acupuncture treatment. Allow us to support you to achieve optimal health. To make an appointment or find out more about how acupuncture and naturopathic medicine can benefit you, please call our office at 914.337.2980 or CLICK HERE to schedule an online appointment.

*Please CLICK HERE to see a current list of In-Network Insurance Companies for Acupuncture that we participate with as well as insurance companies that commonly have Out-of-Network benefits. Please call 914.337.2980 or contact us to verify your specific benefits. If you are emailing, please include your full name, date of birth and insurance identification card number.

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