If you’ve been following, you know we’ve been talking about digestion all month. In our June newsletter we talked about digestive balance and gave tips for better gastrointestinal (GI) health. We wanted to follow up that topic and discuss elimination. By far, our most popular FB post ever was the link to the article “The No.1 reason to check out your No.2.” It’s a great article so we’re going to chat a little more about why Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners want you to check out your #2s.
If you’ve seen a TCM practitioner you know we always ask our patients about their bowel movements. It’s an external sign that tells us what’s going on internally. Most commonly we’ll ask about frequency (not going vs. going too much), consistency (hard and dry vs. loose) and completeness.
I know the “ew” factor may seem high, but this is a normal part of life and we all do it. When I sit down with a new patient, before I ask the dreaded bowel habit questions, I like to preface it by saying that in Chinese Medicine the ideal bowel movement is like a ripe banana (sorry banana lovers!) – it’s solid but soft, easy to pass without straining and feels complete.
Common digestive upset symptoms include:[checklist icon=”check” iconcolor=”” circle=”yes”]
- Increased gas and bloating
- Bowel movements that feel incomplete
Remember that TCM doesn’t ascribe to the “one-size-fits-all” approach, so what may be causing gastrointestinal upset in one person can manifest differently in another. For example, on person may get stressed out and experience IBS symptoms (sudden cramping and loose stool) while in another stress may cause constipation. Regardless of the internal disharmony, many digestive and elimination complaints are successfully alleviated with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.
Commonly treated digestive conditions with TCM
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Crohn’s disease
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can do wonders for those suffering from bowel complaints. As I mentioned before, the reason we ask is because it’s an indicator of internal functions.
Like the weather we see outside, we also have internal weather – cold, hot, dry, damp, and windy. GI upset can be a consequence of irregular weather patterns in the body so if you’re unhappy with your current forecast, schedule an appointment to get back to Sunny Days!