GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is known to cause acid reflux or heartburn. It is a chronic disease which results in the contents of the stomach being pushed up into the oesophagus. This will irritate the food pipe lining and may trigger a painful burning sensation in the chest.
It is estimated that at least 40% of adults experience acid reflux and there are times it can last for days. 20% of adults experience heartburn weekly, and GERD is the one of the most common reasons for this condition. If you are experiencing symptoms of GERD, it is recommended that you seek out the help of a medical professional. Doctors will most likely treat your acid reflux with medications known as proton pump inhibitors. Otherwise, you may like to try some lifestyle changes involving cutting a variety of foods from your diet. However, some patients will still continue to suffer from the symptoms of reflux including:
- Chest pain
- Discomfort in upper abdomen
The benefits of TCM and acupuncture
Acupuncture and TCM can offer an alternative therapy that may benefit many people with acid reflux and other digestive disorders. In fact, acupuncture has less side effects than medications and if combined with natural herbal remedies for heartburn, it may provide some long-term positive results.
TCM is a holistic system used for over 3000 years in China. In this type of alternative treatment, health problems are considered imbalances caused by Qi blockages in our body. This imbalance is thought to cause disorders of the organ systems, sometimes linked to emotional disturbances. TCM practitioners believe that acid reflux and other digestive problems are influenced by anxiety and stress.
People who have ongoing feelings of worry, anger, and frustration are likely to have liver, spleen, and stomach issues since these emotions may increase acidity and inflammation in our organ systems.
TCM also uses herbal formulations that were developed several centuries ago, and these natural supplements can support the correct functioning of the internal organs. Also, herbal remedies can help increase healthy mucus in the oesophagus, which can soothe and treat damage due to stomach acids.
Acupuncture can help balance our Qi through the insertion of fine and sterile needles to specific points in our body. This process triggers specific nerves and may help boost the production of natural chemicals in our brain, reducing anxiety and stress which in turn can help decrease GERD symptoms.
An acupuncture practitioner is also likely to ask questions about a patient’s dietary habits because this will provide them with a better overview of the problem. Therefore, a qualified TCM practitioner will plan and recommend several meaningful lifestyle changes for each patient.
Overall, TCM and acupuncture is a viable option which may help to alleviate the symptoms of GERD. If you would like to try acupuncture for acid reflux, organise an initial consultation with your local practitioner to discuss your concerns and how they may be able to help.