Gastrointenstinal Disorder Treatment

Our services include Chineses acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, Cupping, Moxa.


GI treatment by acupuncture: Scientific research into the effects and mechanisms of acupuncture for gastrointestinal diseases including inflammatory bowel disease has been rapidly growing in the past several decades.

Acupuncture points (acupoints) are special nodes (or outlets) on the meridians that are channels that connect to specific organs, modulate related body function, and carry “qi,” a vital force flowing throughout the body. It is believed that when “qi” flow in meridians/channels is impaired or out of balance, organ dysfunction occurs and associated illness ensues. According to the channel theory, acupuncture stimulates “qi” flow along an involved channel and normalizes “qi” imbalance, thus restoring related organ function.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a complex chronic disease with a prevalence of 0.3% to 0.5% in North America, Europe, and Oceania.1–3 It affects approximately 1.6 million Americans,4 with an annual financial burden of approximately $31 billion.5–7 Although various medications are available to reduce disease activity, all have limitations and potential complications.8 In addition, current medical therapies mainly focus on immune modulation but lack a systemic approach to address the multifaceted aspects of IBD that go beyond inflammation and include gut microbial imbalance,910 intestinal barrier dysfunction,11 gut motor/sensory dysfunction,12–17 and psychological factors.18–20 It has been estimated that almost half of IBD patients seek complementary and alternative therapies, including acupuncture.21–24 Numerous studies have been performed to assess the therapeutic potential of acupuncture for the management of various gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, with some promising effects on GI symptoms and inflammation.

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome/Visceral Hypersensitivity(IBS)

Many patients with IBD have superimposed irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). One study of 62 CD and 44 UC patients showed that IBS-like symptoms were common, with 59.7% of CD and 38.6% of UC patients having coexistent IBS.12 In a meta-analysis of 13 studies containing 1703 patients, the prevalence of IBS was 39% in IBD, specifically 46% in CD and 36% in UC.89

Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in ameliorating symptoms of IBS, possibly via inhibition of visceral hypersensitivity. In 1 study, electroacupuncture at acupoints PC6 and ST36 increased the threshold of rectal sensation to rectal distension in patients with diarrhea-predominant IBS.90 Another study assessed 58 patients with IBS-related diarrhea who received acupuncture 3 times a week for a period of 4 weeks and found that acupuncture improved diarrhea and abdominal pain.91 Bao et al. performed a multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled trial for moxibustion at acupoints ST25 and ST36, with 3 treatment sessions per week for a period of 6 weeks. They demonstrated that moxibustion treatment ameliorated symptoms score, quality of life, and Bristol stool form scale in 104 patients with IBS-related diarrhea. In addition, a meta-analysis of 17 randomised controlled trials involving a total of 1333 patients confirmed similar results that acupuncture improved abdominal pain and diarrhea in patients with diarrhea-predominant IBS.

GI Dysmotility

GI dysmotility can occur in patients with IBD and may lead to symptoms mimicking those of IBD when IBD is in remission or inflammation is subsiding. Ongoing symptoms in such situations may be related to autonomic abnormalities in patients.93 Evidence for GI dysmotility in IBD patients includes the following: (1) delayed gastric emptying was reported in about 30% of children with CD,14 was associated with higher disease activity in IBD,15 and resulted in dyspeptic symptoms in patients with inactive CD94; (2) small bowel motility functions such as contractions and propagations were impaired in CD16 and postproctocolectomy UC95–97 and were correlated with inflammatory activity (measured by CRP and calprotectin levels) during CD flares98; (3) colonic motility patterns of diarrhea in patients with UC were characterized by reduction of colonic contractility,99100 acceleration of colonic transit,101 and enhanced propulsive activity of the colon.100

Acupuncture has been extensively investigated in GI dysmotility and has been shown to be effective in improving multisegment dysmotility through modulation of autonomic nervous system function from the esophagus to the colon.102 Although most GI functional studies involving acupuncture were not performed in IBD or colitis models, the antidysmotility properties of acupuncture may be an additional beneficial target for ameliorating gut motor dysfunction in IBD.