Abdominal Pain and IBS

Abdominal pain and discomfort are common symptoms that many people put up with or dismiss as normal.  Bloating, distension, sharp pain and cramping can be caused by an imbalance in your digestive system, but your stress levels, hormones and menstrual cycle can also play a role.  Chinese medicine and acupuncture can help to harmonise your digestion and balance your hormones, restoring proper function and easing pain and bloating. Nervous system support and stress management are also important for a healthy digestive system.  


Irritable bowel syndrome is a common cause of abdominal pain.  As well as pain, you may also experience diarrhoea, constipation, alternating bowel habits and urgency.  The exact cause of IBS is not known, but it is thought to result from a disruption of the communication between the brain and the gut.  Increased sensitivity of the nerves of the gut, as well as abnormal reception by the brain of signals from the digestive system are thought to be involved in the development of irregular bowel patterns and pain.


Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are known to have calming effects on the nervous system, returning it to a state of homeostasis and reducing the stress response.  By balancing the nervous system, treatments can support normal digestion by easing tension and spasm in the gut and promoting regular function.


Diet and lifestyle changes are also important in the treatment of abdominal pain.  The community of bacteria in your gut is important for good digestive health. Focussing on wholefoods whilst minimising processed foods, sugar and additives can promote a balanced gut microbiome.  Chinese medicine dietetics emphasises eating in tune with the seasons, and ensuring that food is energetically suitable for your constitution. By responding to our external environment we can promote balance in our internal environment.  


Digestive imbalance and abdominal pain usually take some time to develop, and as such can take time to unravel.  Incremental and gradual changes to your diet and lifestyle, as well as supportive acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, can start you on the journey back to vibrant health.