Acupuncture for Gut Health

by | Nov 17, 2023 | Acupuncture and digestion

Digestive issues like bloating, wind, pain, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) are some of the most common conditions I see in my clinic. Research shows that around 1 in 5 adults in the UK has IBS, although the true number is likely to be much higher because not everyone sees their GP about it. 

Then there are the inflammatory bowel disorders like Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis. They are not as common as IBS but they can be very painful and life limiting. Fortunately, acupuncture for gut health has been shown to be highly effective and I help many patients with IBS and other digestive issues. 

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is the collective name for a group of symptoms that includes pain, discomfort, and a change in bowel habits (constipation, diarrhoea, or a mix of both). Anyone can get IBS, though it is more common in women than men.

What causes Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

There are several possible causes for IBS:

  • Stress is a common trigger. Your brain and gut are in constant communication via a network of nerve fibres that transmit messages between the two organs. When you feel stressed, it directly affects the messages being sent to your gut. You may start to feel butterflies in your tummy, feel bloated, or develop tummy pains and changes in bowel movements.
  • Antibiotics kill bad bacteria but they also wipe out the good bugs too which can lead to IBS symptoms. This is why it is important to supplement with probiotics (the good bacteria) after a course of antibiotics.
  • Gut infections like gastroenteritis and food poisoning can lead to IBS.
  • Food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities can be a trigger IBS.

How does Acupuncture help digestive issues and gut health?

It is thought that acupuncture supports gut health by:

  • Stimulating nerve responses that influence gut motility (the rate at which food is squeezed through the digestive tract).
  • Stimulating the production of natural anti-inflammatory and pain-killing chemicals.
  • Promoting the release of digestive juices and enzymes so that food is broken down and digested comfortably.
  • Balancing the flow of nerve signals between the brain and the gut – this is helpful if your gut is hyper-sensitive to stress or certain foods and drinks.

One study of 233 patients with IBS found that using acupuncture alongside usual medical care produced a significant reduction in the IBS Symptom Severity Score when compared to treatment with mainstream medicine alone. The benefits of the acupuncture were maintained long term too, which shows how long lasting the right acupuncture treatments can be.

Acupuncture and Crohn’s Disease – an Inflammatory Bowel Disorder

Another clinical trial looked at patients with mild to moderate Crohn’s Disease and compared acupuncture treatments to sham acupuncture. After 12 weeks, the acupuncture group showed significantly lower symptom activity, better diversity in the gut microbiome, and lower levels of inflammation in the gut. These improvements were maintained at the 36-week follow up too. 

As you can see, Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture is a proven treatment for a range of digestive problems. Gut health is the foundation to our overall health and wellbeing – it is how we receive nourishment from foods and eliminate wastes and toxins. If you feel your gut is out of balance, get in touch today and let’s work together to rebuild the foundation of your health.


Do you experience pain, bloating, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Are you struggling to manage an inflammatory bowel condition like Crohn’s Disease?

Contact me TODAY to find out how Acupuncture can help relieve  painful and distressing digestive issues. 

Call Tiziana on 07788 633292 or email

Want to know what my clients are saying? York Traditional Acupuncture has been awarded the Outstanding Award for the number of 5-Star reviews received on Free Index – click through to read over 170 verified reviews from satisfied clients.