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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (TCM)

What is IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common, long-term condition of the digestive system. If you have IBS, you could suffer from bouts of stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and/or constipation. It’s considered to be a functional disorder of the intestines, occurring in the absence of visible structural abnormality.

IBS in TCM perspective

IBS is considered as a dysfunction of the digestive system. In TCM, our digestive system, including the functions of the Stomach, Spleen, Large Intestine and Small Intestine, transforms food into Qi and Blood, which are the most important substances necessary for life. Imbalance or dysfunction of these organs can lead you to have symptoms such as nausea, bloatedness, poor appetite, loose stools or constipation.

How we treat IBS at Richmond Osteopaths

Digestive organs are made of muscles, so our aim is to put health back into muscles with gentle stretching and massaging. Your IBS can result from eating too much greasy or spicy food, or from emotional factors aggravated by stress, so trying to find out how stress is affecting you will be our other aim. Massage, stretching, mobilising and manipulation can help reduce physical tension, affecting mental tension. Acupuncture helps by alleviating the pain, regulating bowel movements and preventing abdominal pains or cramps associated with this condition. It also regulates the gastrointestinal functions, which may in turn treat the root of the problem.

Our advice

Heat. Applying a hot water bottle on your stomach for short period of time will help circulation and relaxation of digestive muscles. Maintaining good digestion is the basis for good health.

The “sciency” part

Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system, which can induce colon spasms, causing abdominal discomfort. IBS sufferers’ colon can be oversensitive to the smallest amount of conflict or stress. Acupuncture activates the opposing parasympathetic nervous system, which initiates the relaxation or ‘rest and digest’ response.

If you are suffering from IBS, why not book in and see us today