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Treating IBS with Chinese Medicine

While most people associate Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine as treatment for pain, it is also a very effective treatment for internal medicine conditions.

Randy, arrived to treatment due to constant upper back pain. He also mentioned that he suffers from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).

Randy is a university professor, focusing in research, so he spends most of his time in front of the computer. While assessing his posture, it was clear that a few minor posture changes will make big difference for him.

Therefore, we decided to put the most focus on his digestive system and meanwhile check if posture changes alleviate the upper back pain.

The digestive system symptoms where mostly bloating, gassiness, and urgent “explosive” stools. All medical tests came back negative and couldn’t provide him any solution for his condition.

While examining his diet and eating habits, three main trends were very clear to me:

  • Randy is consuming a lot of “cold” and uncooked food (smoothies, salads, sandwiches…).
  • He often skip meals due to his very busy schedule
  • He always eat while he’s working or reading

This is a classic case that described in Chinese Medicine as “weak digestive system”.

The digestive system in the eyes of Chinese Medicine is a system that likes regularity. In the five element method, it belongs to the Earth element. Earth is stable, steady, and moves in regular rhythm. Therefore, regularity in eating hours is very important.

Another very important aspect of healthy digestion is that eating is a full body activity. It is recommended not to eat while working, reading, watching TV etc. When we eat, we eat!

Above all, the most important guidance we gave Randy was to consume more warm and cooked food, and stop the cold raw foods. That included ice cold drinks and smoothies, ice-cream, salads, etc. The digestive system is a system that likes heat and dislikes cold. The cold slows digestion and “allows” food to get rotten in our body. From the Chinese Medicine perspective, this is the most important aspect of healthy digestion. To compliment that, it is known today that most digestive enzymes function better at temperature of 38-42 degrees.

We saw Randy weekly for an Acupuncture treatment that was focused on digestive health and to monitor and guide his diet.

After 6 weeks in treatment, all digestion symptoms were resolved. His bowels were normal and in good consistency. He was no longer gassy or bloated.

He also is not suffering from upper back pains.


For more information on Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, contact Justin Lee for a complimentary 15 minute consultation.  Call 416-792-4400 today to schedule your consultation or appointment!