Via Carolyn Vignola, R.Ac.
More specifically, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). April is IBS and Stress Awareness Month. With over 5 million Canadians suffering from IBS, it’s definitely time to eliminate the stigma. Common symptoms include: excessive gas, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, constipation and/or bloating. In many cases, these symptoms can be managed through mindful tracking and lifestyle changes.
Because there are many factors that can trigger an IBS flare-up, it is important to pinpoint the irritants. Are you running to the bathroom after a stressful meeting? Is last night’s spicy take-out coming back with a vengeance? Are you bloated after an emotional phone call with a friend? Along with stressors and certain foods, medications can also create inflammation. Taking notes throughout the day to track how your body reacts is a helpful first step.
Lifestyle changes will be essential. Before reaching for those prescriptions try increasing dietary fibres, limiting caffeine and avoiding overly spicy and fatty foods. In conjunction, managing stress will be key. In comes acupuncture. Not only does acupuncture soothe the nervous system but it also regulates digestion. By tapping into powerful points directly linked to the digestive system, it can soothe symptoms and remind the body to go from fight or flight to rest and digest.
Acupuncture comes in many forms. In a private setting you can expect a thorough intake, Tui Na (Chinese massage), needling, heat sources like a heat lamp or moxibustion (the burning of mugwort) and/or fire cupping. Another way to administer this beautiful medicine is through Community Acupuncture. This way provides a shared healing experience with other patients in the same room and at half the price! The practitioner spends 15 minutes conducting an intake and needling appropriate points. Community Acupuncture’s approach harmonizes imbalances using points below the elbows and knees. This method can access the whole body allowing the practitioner to treat many ailments like pain (yes, even back pain!), insomnia, allergies, menstruation issues, emotional support and of course, digestive disorders like IBS.
Give acupuncture a try today!
Source: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Canadian Digestive Health Foundation. (2020, August 4). Retrieved March 17, 2022, from https://cdhf.ca/digestive-