Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) affects 10-20%* of the UK population at any one time causing embarrassment and discomfort to sufferers. Up to 12 million people in the UK are affected by IBS at some time in their lives. More women seek help but it is just as common in both sexes and commonly starts between 15-40 years old. Acupuncture has been found to be very effective in relieving the symptoms of IBS.
Traditional acupuncture is a branch of Chinese medicine that recognises the importance of healthy bowels for overall physical and emotional health. Acupuncture treatments for IBS have been researched, refined and developed in China for thousands of years and understands how emotional stress can combine with physical factors to stagnate the body's vital energy, known as Qi, and result in the symptoms of IBS.
Acupuncture moves stagnation and regulates the flow of Qi in order to restore normal bowel function so that your body can properly digest food and eliminate waste products. By alleviating energy blockages in the body, acupuncture relieves IBS symptoms by reducing pain, regulating muscular movement and strengthening of the digestive tract, reducing anxiety and depression as well as decreasing stress. Acupuncturists look at the body as a whole and also provide dietary advice to ensure patients are well nourished and improve digestion.
Julie Ann Reynolds, acupuncturist and British Acupuncture Council member says; 'I've seen many patients who have struggled to get a diagnosis for IBS and so look to Traditional Chinese Medicine to help. Many of them who have suffered with IBS for years have found acupuncture to be a great relief.
Acupuncture can relieve stress, one of the main causes of IBS as well as reduce pain, bloating and nausea. By treating the underlying cause of the problem rather than just the symptoms, acupuncture can provide longer term relief for sufferers'.
To find a practitioner in your area call the British Acupuncture Council on 020 8735 0400 or visit www.acupuncture.org.uk
IBS awareness month (April 2010) aims to raise awareness and increase understanding of this very common condition.
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