Acupuncture for Digestive Health: Treatment Methods and Health Benefits

acupuncture for digestive health
Photo Source: Gardie Design & Social Media Marketing, Unsplash


Acupuncture works in a way that it doesn’t just treat a specific symptom, but it holistically heals an individual. For example, if you have a problem in your stomach, practitioners also take other organ systems into consideration. As a result, there’s an overall balance that can lead to a full treatment of the disorder. Acupuncture for digestive health can help boost your metabolism, regulate digestion, increase gastrointestinal muscle contraction, reduce acid secretion, and promote overall relaxation.


Contemporary scientists have extensively studied the effects of acupuncture on gastrointestinal function, yet more work is necessary to make research data more reliable. However, there are pilot studies which show that acupuncture  for digestive health is effective in a wide range of gastrointestinal disorders. These include gallstone disease, postoperative ileus, Crohn’s disease, peptic ulcer disease, constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, nausea and vomiting.



How Acupuncture for Digestive Health Can Help

So how does acupuncture actually help treat digestive disorders and promote better health? Here are some studies that support the idea of getting acupuncture for specific digestive issues:



A study published by NCBI in 2010 confirmed that acupuncture can inhibit intra-esophageal acid and bile reflux in patients who have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Acupuncture balances stomach acid levels, and also regulates the function of the small and large intestines.



Acupuncture treatments help with proper digestion so that the body can break down food easily without bloating or accumulation of gas.



This is treated by stimulating the digestive system through inserting needles on specific body points. Patients may just need one treatment alone, or regular treatments for chronic cases.



Traditional Chinese Medicine refers to this health concern as the accumulation of dampness or cold in the digestive system. An acupuncture session can clear, warm and strengthen the digestive tract. This will consequently alleviate symptoms of diarrhea.


Ulcerative colitis

Acupuncture can provide relief from ulcerative colitis and other inflammatory bowel diseases. A 2006 study by The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) states acupuncture and moxibustion have been extensively used in China to treat inflammatory bowel diseases. Now, acupuncture is increasingly practiced in Western countries.



Every acupuncture treatment for diverticulitis would be slightly different for every individual. The treatment session would involve clearing the heat from inflammation and healing the digestive tract.



Long-term digestive problems lead to the acid erosion of the stomach lining. A combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbs can decrease the accumulation of stomach acid. It can also bring back balance in digestion, and promote healing for the digestive system.


Maybe you’ve tried various pharmaceutical treatments and drugs for digestive problems, but they haven’t completely solved your concerns. You can try undergoing acupuncture that promote natural and holistic healing for your body. As with other treatment methods, consult with your doctor first. This can determine whether or not taking an acupuncture treatment for digestion is the best way for you to address your illness.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara


What To Expect in an Acupuncture Session

You’ll feel a slight tingling or numbness in the base where the needles are inserted on your body. The size of the needles is almost as small as hair strands. Thus, you’ll barely feel anything while lying down and letting the needles sit on your skin. Minor health concerns would usually just need one treatment session. However, chronic cases might need regular treatments, usually once or twice a week. After treatments, most patients feel relaxed and well. This is because the stimulation from the needles induces the secretion of endorphins (the “feel good” hormones).



Book a Session with a Licensed Acupuncturist for your Digestive Health

Santa Barbara Herb Clinic offers a wide variety of natural healing specialties, including acupuncture for digestive health. Our licensed acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine practitioner will interview you and give a thorough assessment of your symptoms. You will get a customized treatment plan that you can take in our clinic if you’re in the Santa Barbara or Goleta area. A prescription of herbs and recommendations on diet and lifestyle will also be provided. We also offer phone and video consultations, plus shipping of herbal prescriptions wherever you are in the world.