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Acupuncture & Natural Health Solutions Newsletter   Providing Natural Health Care for the Entire Family
Issue #2016-4a

Acupuncture and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

April is IBS Awareness Month

Do you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)? According to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD), an estimated 25-45 million people in the United States have IBS (source). This all-too-common disease is characterized by chronic stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, excess gas, and irregular bowel movements. While there's no known cure for IBS, however, acupuncture may offer relief.

A recent study conducted by researchers in the U.K. found acupuncture to offer relief of IBS symptoms. For the study, researchers split 233 IBS patients into two groups, one of which receive acupuncture plus the usual care, while the second group strictly received the usual care.

"Acupuncture for irritable bowel syndrome provided an additional benefit over usual care alone. The magnitude of the effect was sustained over the longer term. Acupuncture should be considered as a treatment option to be offered in primary care alongside other evidenced based treatments," wrote researchers in the study's conclusion.

So, how is this Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) able to treat IBS? Traditional Chinese belief states that our bodies have an active energy force (Qi) which connects our organs and vital systems. Normally, Qi flows without obstruction, traveling along defined paths known as the meridian system. When a blockage occurs within the body, blood becomes stagnant and systems are vulnerable to disease and illness, which is where acupuncture comes into play.

Acupuncture involves the placement of thin needles in specific areas of the body, rightfully known as acupuncture points. While the exact number of acupuncture points has fluctuated over the years, TCM practitioners give the ballpark figure of roughly 2,000, all of which are spread across 12 major meridians and 8 secondary meridians. The primary function of acupuncture is to restore Qi by correcting blockages in the meridians. When Qi begins to flow, diseases and health conditions such as IBS correct themselves.

Will acupuncture cure your IBS? There's no enough evidence to definitively say that it's a cure for IBS. However, numerous studies, including the one cited above, attest to the healing power of acupuncture. Whether you experience minor or severe symptoms as a result of IBS, you should consider seeking acupuncture. It's a safe, painless and highly effective way to treat a wide variety of diseases, only of which is Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Give me a call today to learn how you can get back on track to better health!
  Alternative Treatment for IBS

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common disease suffered by an estimated 25-45 million people in the United States. Symptoms include chronic abdominal pain, bloating, excess gas and irregular bowel movements. Symptoms can be brought on by a number of triggers including anxiety, insomnia and stress. Although there is no known cure to IBS, there are numerous alternative treatments to prescription medication that can help relieve symptoms.

Herbal Therapies

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) uses herbal remedies to treat a number of ailments and diseases including IBS.

Peppermint has been studied and used to help treat IBS discomfort. Because it is a natural antispasmodic, peppermint can help decrease muscle spasms in the gastrointestinal tract. Common ways to use peppermint include peppermint tea or peppermint oil, both can be found at your local health store and most grocery stores.

Ginger can also be used to help IBS symptoms. Ginger works as an anti-inflammatory and is thought to strengthen the gastric lining and decrease nausea. You can buy ginger tea as well as make your own by boiling water with ginger root.

Fennel can immensely help bloating and gas due to IBS. Fennel is considered a carminative, meaning it has properties that prevent the formation of excess gas in the gastrointestinal tract. Fennel can also help heartburn, indigestion and common stomach pain. You can find fennel seeds in your local health food store and can be used to make tea.


Acupuncture is commonly used to treat chronic abdominal pain, bloating and other IBS symptoms. There has been at least one study done that specifically looked at acupuncture as a treatment for IBS. Acupuncture has been shown to relieve pain and stress, which are common triggers for IBS. This is done by regulating blood flow and Qi (pronounced "chee") through acupuncture points.


Probiotics are a healthy bacteria that normally live in your gut. It has been thought that those with IBS do not have enough probiotics in their intestinal tract. You can easily add probiotics to your diet by eating foods such as yogurt and sourdough bread. Kombucha and kefir are drinks that also include probiotics. Probiotic supplements can be found at your local health store.

Meditation and Exercise

Meditation and exercise are excellent stress relievers and in turn can relieve IBS symptoms that are commonly caused by stress and anxiety.

Not only does exercise release endorphins that help fight stress, but regular physical activity can help regulate your gastrointestinal system.

Research done at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on meditation and IBS found that women who practiced mediation had around a 38 percent reduction in symptoms, according to U.S. News.

Meditation focuses on deep breathing and staying in the moment to relax the mind and body.

Alternative medicine including TCM and acupuncture can largely decrease your IBS symptoms and help you live a more pain-free life!

Sources: Click the link to read the articles.

1. US News & World Report article:  

    Mindful Meditation Might Ease Irritable Bowel Syndrome 


2. Acupuncture clinical studies and IBS 


3. International Foundation For Gastrointestinal Disorders article: 

    Complementary and Alternative Treatments

Foods To Avoid For People With IBS



Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition that's digestive condition characterized by chronic stomach pain, bloating, irregular bowel movements, diarrhea and/or constipation. It's estimated that upwards of 15% of the United States population suffers from IBS, many of whom do not even realize it. While there's no known cure for IBS, individuals can prevent symptoms from occurring by avoiding the consumption of certain foods.




Brussels Sprouts

Although they are loaded in beneficial nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, manganese and fiber, Brussels sprouts should be avoided by people with IBS. This fun-sized vegetable can worsen the symptoms of IBS by promoting excess gas and abdominal pain. While each and every case of IBS is unique, most people report adverse symptoms after consuming Brussels sprouts.


Another food that you should avoid is broccoli. This crunchy, stalky vegetable is high in fiber and it promotes gas - two elements that can worsen IBS symptoms. It's important to note, however, that cooking broccoli may eliminate some or all of its negative effects. So if raw, uncooked broccoli triggers a bout of IBS, try steaming or sautéing it. Doing so may allow you to reap the nutritional benefits of this vegetable without irritating your digestive system. 

The truth is that any high-fiber vegetable may cause digestive issues in people with IBS, so don't assume that broccoli and Brussels sprouts are the only culprits.


You may want to think twice before eating a milk-filled bowl of cereal for breakfast in the morning, as it can worsen IBS symptoms. Normally, the small intestines do a pretty good job at breaking down lactose. If there's no enough enzymes to perform this operation, however, some of it will travel to the large intestines where the it's fermented. Not only will this cause gas, but it can also cause bloating, cramps, spasms and diarrhea.


It should come as no surprise that beans is on our list of foods for IBS sufferers to avoid. Beans (legumes) contain a special type of sugar known as oligosaccharide, which the body is unable to break down. Since they aren't broken down in the same manner as other sugars, oligosaccharides pass through the small and large intestines, at which point bacteria converts them to gas.

Give me a call today to learn how you can get on track to better health.  

The information contained within the  newsletter is only used to educate and inform. This newsletter is  not a substitute for the advice of a licensed and registered health  care provider. Seek prompt attention for emergencies. Consult  a health care provider for specific health concerns, and before  starting a diet, cleanse or exercise routine.
Monthly Acupuncture Column Featured in SW Florida's Health & Wellness Magazine 
Toni Eatros, AP,
Acupuncture Physician, 
is the  featured acupuncture columnist in the popular SW Florida's Health & Wellness Magazine.
Be sure to check out April's issue, on stands now, about A Closer Look at Cholesterol & Statin Drugs - Part 1
Click the link below 

Acupressure points


Rubbing acupuncture

points with your finger for  30 - 60 seconds can stimulate and promote the circulation of Qi within your own body,  restoring health and well-being. 




Stomach 25 (ST25):

English: Celestial Pivot

Chinese: Tian Shu




At the level of the belly button, both sides, 2 fingers from center of navel.



 Actions & Affects:


All intestinal issues:

constipation, diarrhea, dysentary, bloating, pain, masses, accumulations of any type


Irregular menstruation, painful periods, fibroids, cysts, fertility issues and leukorrhea.



Acupuncture Research


Alleviates Irritable Bowel Syndrome



Acupuncture has proven to be especially effective in alleviating Irritable Bowel Syndrome for patients suffering from a particularly severe type of IBS known as IBS-D. 


Recent research has shown that acupuncture has a 96.7% total effective rate with many patients recovering completely from IBS. 


The study tested the effects of acupuncture on abdominal pain and other severe effects of IBS-D.


 By itself, acupuncture had a 76% total effective rate but when combined with moxibustion, an herbal remedy, the total effective rate spiked to 96.7%.

The symptoms of IBS-D include abdominal pain and diarrhea and can be debilitating.  This research is promising for any seeking treatment 

for IBS-D. 


If you suffer from IBS, make an appointment with an acupuncturist because you can be sure that they can help. 


To read the article, 

click here.


Acupuncture Books







Health Tips

To help ease the discomfort of IBS, here are a few suggestions: 


1. Proper nutrition is considered one of the most important foundations to health and disease prevention. Avoid wheat, dairy, corn and products that contain carrageenan. You can also cut down on, smoking, recreational drugs, caffeine, refined sugar, icy cold and raw foods. 


2. Eating a high fiber diet can help regulate the bowels and keep them moving properly. Foods that are well-cooked and tender are helpful, such as: yams, sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, squash, green peas, dark leafy green vegetables, almonds, and ground 

flax seeds. 


3. Eat your food more slowly and try to chew well. When you eat in a relaxed atmosphere, you'll be able to digest better. Avoid watching television and standing while eating. 


4. A good breakfast substitute could be: high-fiber cereal, including oats, flaxseed meal, hemp seeds, brown rice or psyllium husks. You can also substitute dairy milk for almond or rice milk. 


5. Drinking a warm digestive tea prior to eating can help regulate your digestion and alleviate some discomfort. You may want to consider peppermint or ginger tea. Consuming a digest if to help with digestion. 






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