Acupuncture for Constipation
Constipation (Biàn Mì 便秘) affects 1 in 4 Canadians, and is something I see often in my practice. Constipation can come on suddenly and last a short period of time or be something someone struggles with the majority of their lives. It occurs when feces remains in the large intestine too long so that the interval between defecations is prolonged, difficult, or painful due to dry, larger, or hard feces. In Chinese medicine, we say that for regular bowel movements there must be enough "water to float the boat" and enough "wind in the sails". Here, water refers to lubrication for smooth transit of stool and wind refers to enough Qì or Yáng for proper peristalsis in the Intestines. When treating constipation, I often use acupuncture, herbal medicine, dietary therapy, and lifestyle advice with the goal of regulating the underlying pattern so bowel movements begin to occur on their own without the use of laxatives. Constipation may be due to excess causes such as too much Heat in Large Intestine drying the stools, Qì Stagnation due to emotional stress not allowing a proper flow of Qì to push the stools, or due to deficiency causes such as deficiency in Qì or Yáng resulting in not enough functional energy to push the bowels (aka not enough peristalsis), Blood or Yīn deficiency causing dryness so the bowels are not well lubricated. Each of these scenarios requires a different use of acupuncture points, herbs, dietary and lifestyle suggestions; no one treatment is the same. Digestive health is one of my passions in my practice. If you or someone you know is struggling with constipation, consider trying acupuncture and herbal medicine!
In health and happiness,
Painting: 明/清 佚名 海天旭日圖 卷 Sea and Sky at Sunrise, Unidentified Artist, Ming dynasty
Disclaimer: Any information on this website or blog post should not be used for self-diagnosis or substitute for medical advice. Please always seek advice from a qualitied health practitioner for any health concerns.