As part of my Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatments I regularly practise abdominal acupuncture to improve digestion with my clients.
Many ancient Chinese medical texts focus on abdominal acupuncture diagnosis, with the abdomen being described as the ‘root and foundation’ of a person. So many vital organs are found in the abdominal region including the digestive tract, which we know now communicates constantly with your brain via its own nervous system called the enteric nervous system.
Think of a time you felt nervous or anxious. Did it affect your digestion? Did you experience ‘butterflies’ in your tummy, or any aches and pains in your abdomen? Our brain and digestive system are talking to each other all the time, which means our thoughts and emotions have an immediate impact on how we digest, assimilate, and utilise food.
I see many clients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, a condition that is massively influenced by stress. The way their brain is processing stress and the signals it is sending to their gut causes unpleasant and distressing symptoms such as constipation, diarrhoea, wind, and bloating.
One of the main highways of communication between your brain and gut is via the vagus nerve. This is the largest nerve in the body, extending from the brain deep into the abdominal area, carrying nerve fibres that control both sensations and movement. Over-stimulation or disruption of this nerve can cause many health problems, particularly in the digestive system.
The vagus nerve and all the other smaller nerves in the enteric nervous system produce neurotransmitters: chemicals that carry the messages from one nerve to another.
Serotonin is well known as being the neurotransmitter responsible for elevating mood and feelings of satisfaction and positivity. But did you know that over 90% of serotonin is produced in the gut not the brain? It is part of the gut-brain communication and influences gut function.
I can gather a lot of information about your health by looking at the skin of your abdomen: its colour, texture, and temperature reveal a great deal. I may also gently palpate your abdomen, to check for any lumps or anomalies that may guide my diagnosis.
Acupuncture works by stimulating the flow of Qi (pronounced ‘chee’) around the body. Blockages in Qi can lead to areas of stagnation, poor circulation, and accumulation of toxins which in turn manifests as ill-health and dis-ease.
Needling certain acupuncture points stimulates the release of neurotransmitters and endorphins which can ease pain, promote relaxation, and elevate mood.
There are 3 layers to your abdomen that can be stimulated accordingly;
No two treatments are the same and I will select the abdominal acupuncture points that are most relevant to your needs.
Suffering with IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME, PAIN, OR STRESS?
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