Treating indigestion with TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) is an excellent choice for many patients. According to the World Health Organization and the National Institutes for Health, TCM therapies, such as acupuncture and Chinese herbs are very useful in the natural treatment for acid reflux and many other digestive disorders including food allergies, gastritis, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, and colitis. Acupuncture significantly improved esophageal dysmotility, GERD symptoms, and lower esophageal sphincter pressure. It successfully reduced the frequency and intensity of heartburn, regurgitation, chest pain, and dysphagia (difficulty or discomfort with swallowing). Patients have reported relief in as few as one treatment!
Acupuncture is also a safe alternative for pregnant women suffering with indigestion who prefer to remain medication free. A combined Brazilian study conducted by Rio Preto Medical College and Sao Paulo Federal University found that a control group of pregnant women who had never had indigestion/hyperacidity nor acupuncture responded favorably. Dr. Joao Bosco Guerreiro da Silva, lead author of the study said, “Although small, this study suggests that acupuncture can relieve symptoms of indigestion that are pretty common in pregnancy… Acupuncture can be effective. It is safe and simple to apply and every pregnant woman can be treated.”
Many medications used to relive digestive discomfort will eventually cause side effects.
These can be minor or in some extreme cases life threatening. Some complications associated with medications for GERD is that food may not properly digest due to the suppression of the stomach acids. Other medications may eliminate good bacteria along with the harmful bacteria in the digestive track also surpassing proper digestion. The use of antacids affects the levels of good bacteria that normally protect the body from bacterial invasions. Many people do not realize that some antacids can also leave a person more vulnerable to food poisoning. Enzyme secretions that are necessary for proper digestion can also be negatively affected by the use of antacids. This can lead to interference with the proper absorption of vitamins, micronutrients and calcium compounds.
Some patients unresponsive to drug therapy have seen significant improvements after receiving acupuncture care or treating their indigestion with TCM. High resolution measurements of the esophagus confirm that acupuncture can improve the activity of the lower esophageal sphincter( LES) whose proper functioning prevents acid reflux.
According to TCM, heartburn is usually exacerbated by emotional upset and eating unfavorable foods. Acid reflux, burping and hiccups are seen as rebellious qi that is rising where it should be sinking. Luckily, there are several herbal remedies that can be used for treatment in addition to or in stead of acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs in combination have been used for thousands of years by millions of people to help resolve illness and promote health and well-being. Chinese medicine is an ancient form of healing that helps to realign and strengthen the body so that it can heal itself, and prevent illnesses from occurring, or reoccurring.