Acupuncture for Digestive Health
Over forty percent of people in the United States are affected by some form of a digestive health disorder. This can include irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and acid reflux. There are many medications to address such condition, but the side effects can be quite severe by themselves. This is the reason why more people are looking into alternative treatments such as oriental medicine and acupuncture. It has been reported that these two natural methods are at least as effective in treating digestive problems as standard modern treatments.
There has been evidence that oriental medicine and acupuncture had been used since the first century in China. Acupuncture requires specific acu-points to be targeted while oriental medicine usually involves herbal medications and lifestyle changes. Traditional Oriental medicine believes that digestive disorders are caused by imbalances of the Qi, or life energy, in the spleen and / or stomach. The spleen is said to be the main controller of all Qi in the body and it is also responsible for transforming food into the nutrients and life energy the body needs.
Oriental medicine treatment plans are customized per person depending on the conditions, general health, and symptoms involved. The idea is to restore balance of the spleen in order to restore the functions of the digestive system. The techniques involved include lifestyle changes, herbal medication, exercise, diet changes, and acupuncture.
The Acupuncture Point Zusanli
This point is also referred to as St 36, or Stomach 36, and is considered one of the main points used in acupuncture. It is tender point located a few inches below the kneecap right outside the shinbone. Restoring balance to this point will not only aid in the healing process of the digestive health system, but can also benefit the body in many ways.
Adjusting Zusanli will let blood and Qi flow through the body as it should while also strengthening the stomach and spleen. It can also either decrease or increase the body’s blood press and white blood cell count. Due to its enormous role in balancing the body, it is the point that is seen as the most beneficial for the body.
In Qi Gong, massaging this point is seen as an important exercise that should be done every session. Certain herbs are burned on this point to help increase the lifespan and vitality of a person. Zusanli translates to “three miles of the foot,” which means that even when a person has no stamina left; using acupuncture on this point would allow them to walk at least three more miles. In Chinese, the word comes from the phrase “Moxa Zusanli and live to be one hundred.”