East West Acupuncture

East West Acupuncture

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Digestive Disorders



Present studies on gastrointestinal complaints support the efficacy of acupuncture in the regulation of gastrointestinal motor activity and secretion. These effects appear to work through opioid and other neural pathways. Several descriptive accounts have reported acupuncture to be effective for diarrhea, ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome and cholelithiasis. Many gastrointestinal disorders are exacerbated by stress, and acupuncture has been shown to relieve stress, so this is an area of potential interest for future studies.

Filshie and White write: “The function of the gut is regulated by a combination of enteric nerves, afferent and efferent autonomic function and psychoimmunological influences. The subtleties of the interplay between endogenous opioid and CCK secretion, 5-HT and autonomic nerve manipulation by acupuncture are only just beginning to be studied. Drug treatment is currently directed at specific targets such as smooth muscle, the enteric nervous system, sensory receptors in the gut, autonomic nerves and the brain. Acupuncture is likely to work at multiple sites simultaneously, utilizing endogenous transmitters at lower and more specific amounts and ‘doses’ than drug therapy and with fewer side effects.” (Medical Acupuncture, p.233).