The World Health Organisation has recommended acupuncture treatments for dealing with a variety of gastric disorders such as hiccups, gastritis, gastric hyper acidity, ulcers, colitis, constipation and diarrhoea.
In the theory of traditional Chinese medicine, the key organ to take note of when looking at such gastric disorders is the spleen. It has the primary responsibility for the transportation and transformation of food around the body, including the excretion of waste from the body.
For the spleen to function well, it must be moist. However, if there is a deficiency of chi in the spleen, it may become too moist and a condition known as 'damp heat' will develop.
For the stomach to function well, it must be dry. When it is imbalanced, it can easily overheat and create a painful condition known as 'stomach fire.' The liver can also contribute to gastric infections.
There are four main reasons for gastric disorders according to traditional Chinese medicine:
Most patients who are suffering from gastric disorders have a lower than usual immune response. The cells of the immune system produce a protein called immunoglobulin in the blood serum and tissue fluids. This protein helps to exterminate antigen bearing micro-organisms in the blood stream and tissues. Extensive research has proved that applying acupuncture to certain points increases the levels of this protein.
This helps the body to deal with a multitude of health conditions including chronic gastritis, antral gastritis, gastric ulcer and atrophic gastritis.
Let us look at another way in which acupuncture helps the function of the digestive system. When we eat, the stomach secretes a hormone called gastrin in the digestive tract.
This helps the stomach produce more acid and helps the contraction of muscles in the walls of the stomach and colon. This action moves the food along the digestive tract. Acupuncture techniques along the relevant acupuncture points can raise the levels of gastrin and ensure a more efficient digestive system.