Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Acupuncture

“Acupuncture-moxibustion for irritable bowel syndrome is better than the conventional western medication treatment.” This is the conclusion of Pei LX, et al. (2012) in their meta-analysis, see abstract at end of this post.

IBS

I have known for many years that acupuncture and moxibustion frequently provide remarkable and life changing results in the treatment of the signs & symptoms of IBS. I have had many patients who have suffered with distressing signs and symptoms for years; they have been through numerous tests and visits to consultants eventually receiving a diagnosis of IBS. They are often prescribed a number of pharmaceutical medications, which in themselves may cause other problems, and are pretty much left to cope as best they can.

A course of acupuncture can relatively quickly relieve many of the signs and symptoms of IBS, such as bloating, stomach cramps, alternating diarrhoea and constipation and urgent stools, to name but a few. When acupuncture is combined with dietary changes based on a pattern disharmony* the results are often remarkable, and over a course of about 3 months many patients are able to get back to a ‘normal’ life.

In my experience for long term recovery it is imperative that acupuncture is combined with changes to the patient’s diet based on Chinese medicine food energetics. Chinese dietetics is different from our general Western ideas of how food affects our health, often changes to diet based on food energetics is not difficult to accomplish.


Acupuncture-moxibustion for irritable bowel syndrome is better than the conventional western medication treatment. This is the conclusion of Pei LX, et al. (2012) in their meta-analysis, see the following abstract from their study:

“OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the clinical efficacy and safety of acupuncture-moxibustion in treatment of irritable bowel syndrome systematically.

METHODS:

Clinical randomized controlled trials on treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with acupuncture-moxibustion were collected. Through retrieval of CNKI (1979 – December of 2011) and VIP (1979- December of 2011), randomized and quasi-randomized controlled clinical trials on treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with control study between acupuncture and sham acupuncture or western medication were included. The test bias risk and quality assessment of each experiment were carried out by two researchers in accordance with the Cochrane Handbook 5.1.0 standard. And RevMan 5.1.6 software was adopted for the Meta analysis.

RESULTS:

Eleven researches were included with totally 969 patients. Meta analysis shows that the effective rate of the combined methods of acupuncture and moxibustion [RR = 1. 27, 95% CI ( 1.09, 1.49)] is superior to conventional western medication treatment.

CONCLUSION:

Acupuncture-moxibustion for irritable bowel syndrome is better than the conventional western medication treatment.

References:

Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2012 Oct;32(10):957-60. [Meta analysis of acupuncture-moxibustion in treatment of irritable bowel syndrome]. Pei LX, Zhang XC, Sun JH, Geng H, Wu XL. Acupuncture and Rehabilitation Department, Jiangsu Province Hospital of TCM, Nanjing, China.”

*Patterns of disharmony: Also called pattern diagnosis and pattern discrimination are the diagnosis that traditional Chinese medicine practitioners give to the disharmonies that lead to disease; it is these patterns that are treated to return your body and mind to a proper and healthy balance. After your initial consultation and throughout your treatments I will discuss with you your particular pattern diagnoses, bear in mind that these patterns can change as your condition changes or if you contract new conditions, such as a common cold or stiff neck. There are dozens of pattern disharmonies and some more common examples are Spleen Qi Deficiency, Liver Qi Stagnation, Dampness, Heat, Coldness, Liver Blood Deficiency, Kidney Yang Deficiency, Kidney Yin Deficiency and Lung Qi Deficiency.

By Austin ©Austin Austin 2014 www.austinaustin.co.uk