Constipation: Have You Tried Acupuncture?

30 Jan, 2020

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At our Paddington Acupuncture clinic we like to know a lot of things about you and one of those things includes your bowel motions! We know it might feel funny discussing it, but it is a very key way we can see what might be going on.

For a lot people, constipation is a constant and puzzling struggle. If a person has no more than two bowel movements per week and there’s no underlying condition or medication responsible, the problem is known as chronic severe functional constipation (CSFC).

Common causes of constipation include dehydration, lack of exercise, medications and a diet lacking in dietary fibre.

Symptoms can include;

  • Straining to pass a stool
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Hard, dry stools that can be painful to pass
  • ‘Never well done or empty’ sensation after passing stool
  • Having to sit on the toilet much longer than usual

Often patients will also have other conditions like;

    • Nausea
    • Gastric reflux or heartburn
    • Disturbed sleep patterns
    • Fatigue
    • Restless legs syndrome
    • Crawling skin (formication)
    • Frequent colds, flus, post nasal drip and sinusitis
    • Headaches.

While many people believe they simply have to live with it, left untreated it can lead to more serious problems like incontinence, haemorrhoids or rectal prolapse.

How can acupuncture help?

Constipation can be helped, and it is definitely not something you have to live with. A huge 1000 person study published online Sept. 12, 2016, by Annals of Internal Medicine showed that almost a third of people receiving acupuncture had increased bowel movements per week, and the effects lasted an additional 12 weeks. As a result, the study suggests that acupuncture may be an effective treatment option for people with CSFC.

On your initial appointment, our acupuncturists will perform a thorough assessment to determine the cause of your condition and then assist with moving the condition (dry heat, stagnation or cold conditions) with acupuncture, moxa and/or herbs to correct the underlying cause of your symptoms.

What else can I do?

  • Increase your dietary fibre with vegetables, fruit, wholegrains, seeds and legumes.
  • Exercise. Just 30 minutes a day can assist in improving bowel motions, not to mention boosting general wellbeing.
  • Increase water intake. This helps to soften the stool. Keep in mind tea, coffee and alcohol are not included in water intake as these actually strip water from your body.

If you would like to talk to one of practitioners or make an appointment, please call us on 3369 0045 or alternatively, you can book online here.