Acid reflux, also known as heartburn. Is the result of the lower esophageal sphincter either not closing at all? Or closing inadequately and allowing the acid produced; by the stomach to go up into the esophagus.
By Li Zheng
Common causes of acid reflux include. The presence of a hiatal hernia, being overweight, and having unhealthy eating habits.
The common symptoms experienced during acid reflux include. A sensation of bloating, burping, nausea, and dysphagia or narrowing of the esophagus.
Acid reflux can be treated with lifestyle changes; such as adopting a healthier style of eating. As well as a healthy choice of foods. This acupuncture is also known to provide relief and target at the root cause of acid reflux.
Treatment of the Root Cause.
People suffering from GERD often have indigestion along with symptoms. Such as acid regurgitation and frequent burping.
Medications offer some symptomatic relief, but over a period, it may worsen symptoms. Or the patient may suffer side effects such as headaches and muscle cramps.
Treating the root cause is the only way to rid the patient of this problem. Failure to treat it can lead to an increased risk of esophageal cancer, Barrett’s esophagus, or chronic coughing.
The increasing presence of this disease in the population. Has led to intensive research to find definite causes for its appearance. As well as possible alternative treatments including acid reflux acupuncture.
Conditions That Cause.
The presence of a hiatal hernia causes acid to escape into the esophagus. As a result of the upper part of the stomach protruding over the diaphragm.
Additionally, malabsorption of food is also known to be a factor of acid reflux. As a result of this, there is a build-up of stomach pressure. Which causes the opening of the sphincter between the esophagus and stomach.
Aging is another factor that causes acid reflux. Aging also causes a decrease in the production of stomach acid which leads to less efficient digestion.
Unhealthy food habits such as snacking or eating big or spicy meals close to bedtime. It does not allow the food to digest adequately and exerts pressure on the diaphragm.
While medications help to relieve the immediate effects of acid reflux. They can also cause malabsorption of vitamins and minerals.
Furthermore, long-term use of antacids can cause anxiety, panic attack, heart problems, and neuropathy.
Treating with Acupuncture.
Acupuncture focuses on the roles of the pancreas, gallbladder, spleen, and liver in the digestion of food.
A disruption in the function of any of these organs can cause acid reflux and other digestive problems.
Acupuncture uses fine needles to stimulate these acupuncture points. To help restore the normal function of the digestive system.
Acupuncture can also help tone the sphincter muscles between the stomach and the esophagus. As a result of treatment, you will be able to digest food; with normal movements of the stomach and intestine.
Since emotional distress can also upset the digestive pattern. The acupuncturist also formulates a therapy program. That helps the patient reduce stress and strengthen their digestive function.
Dr. Li Zheng, Ph.D. is a licensed acupuncturist & herbalist with a Ph.D. in medical science. A graduate of the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. Who practiced as a physician in China, she has 26 years of experience?
In addition, she is also a professor. And clinical supervisor of the New England School of Acupuncture; a consultant for Health Grid Inc. And the author of two books, “Acupuncture and Hormone Balance” and “Chinese Acupuncture, and, Herbs for Common Diseases”.
How Stress Is Causing Your Digestive Problems.
Most of us have direct experience of how chronic. Or intense psychological stress can affect the digestive system.
Ancient practitioners of Chinese Medicine. It also theorized that the gut (particularly the Liver) was the seat of emotions.
Modern science explains this phenomenon, discovering that up to 90%. Of our neurotransmitters and hormone are produced in the gut.
What Happens to Digestion When We’re Stressed?
Something not many of us knows, at least logically, is that the digestive system. Is in fact governed by the Central Nervous System. Namely, a sub-branch of the nervous system referred to as the “parasympathetic nervous system”.
The parasympathetic system is our “rest and digest” state. Only when we are relaxed and free of stress. Do the parasympathetic system and therefore digestion, activate?
When we enter a state of stress, the counterpart to the parasympathetic system; the sympathetic system, activates.
This stress state or the “flight or fight” response shuts down digestion by reducing blood flow. To the digestive organs, it inhibits digestive fluid secretion. And instead sends the blood and biological energy to the muscular-skeletal system, to prepare for battle.
When the sympathetic system is chronically stimulated by prolonged stress. It can lead to gastrointestinal disorders, inflammation, and weaken the immune system.
One example of how stress can cause common digestive issues.
Is by causing the esophagus to spasm and altering stomach acid secretion.
This leads to heartburn, acid reflux and can make you feel nauseous. Another example is the effects stress has on the colon. Intense stress increases the secretion of stress hormones cortisol, prolactin, and serotonin. Which can cause the colon to become hyperactive or tense, which leads to diarrhea or constipation?
When any of these conditions become persistent. The inflammation and overall poor functioning of the digestive system can eventually lead to stomach ulcers, IBS, and inflammatory bowel disease.
How to Manage Stress for Better Digestion.
Reducing total stress is not a quick-fix job, it requires a holistic, multi-factorial approach. However, psychological stress is one of the primary, dominant stressors; that negatively affect the digestive system.
While getting a handle on the causes of psychological stress can take time. There are some simple things you can do to mitigate their effects.
One simple way to de-stress is to engage in fun, moderate exercise. Physical exercise relieves tension, gets us out of our heads. It improves our mood by releasing endorphins but also helps with the elimination of stress hormones.
Some of the healthiest forms of exercise include. Walking, hiking, biking, swimming, dancing, yoga, Thai qi, and weightlifting.
Other great ways to reduce stress include:
Relaxation – People with digestive issues are often overly stressed and do not relax enough. Getting authentic, deep relaxation is more challenging in today’s world. But can be achieved through yoga, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation. Visualization, cognitive therapy, biofeedback, good music, spending time in nature, camping, lovemaking. And working on an enjoyable project or hobby.
Communication therapy – A major source of psychological stress dwells in the world of communication.
In fact, most stress and problems in life have their roots in communication trouble. If you’ve ever been in a situation where you didn’t know what to say. Someone wasn’t talking to you; you know the stress associated with poor communication.
Taking courses or reading books communications can be helpful for improving. Our quality of life, relationships, and reducing a great source of stress.
However, simply having a good friend or loved one you can talk to freely about your stress. It can be a major stress reliever. Personally, I have found cognitive therapy to be a major help in relieving chronic stress in my life.
There are even studies that have demos rated a 70 percent improvement. In stress symptoms after 12 weeks of cognitive therapy.
A bad diet can ruin a good digestive system. Poor nutrition can be a source of biological stress, but also, eating the right foods can help curb the effects of stress.
In general, it is helpful to eat more protein and salt when stressed. In fact, soldiers in the army are required to eat a higher protein diet to mitigate the catabolic effects of combat.
So, it is best to take a two-sided approach nutritionally, where you avoid junk foods. That adds to your stress and eat nutrient-dense, wholesome foods that help replenish a stressed body.
Choose your battles –
An interesting thing about life is that problems seem to be valuable. If we had no problems at all, we’d be existentially bored.
So, the goal is not to eliminate all problems and stress from our lives. Instead, we need to pick our problems wisely.
For example, starting a new fulfilling relationship will have its challenges. But in the end, the problems are usually worth it.
The same goes for starting a new project or goal. A good rule of thumb is that any given condition in life would ideally be 80% pleasure with 20% pain.
The pain is the optimal amount of stress that just makes like interesting and helps us grow.
Mental and emotional stress can cause a lot of problems for an otherwise healthy digestive system.
Stress all together is unavoidable, it seems to be a natural part of the game of life.
What’s important is how we react to our stress and problems. And that we ultimately avoid it from becoming chronic.
If you know you are under too much stress and/or have symptoms of digestive stress. Then, these tips will help.
If stress management is the problem, there are cognitive therapists. Yoga, and meditation instructors who can provide verified help.
For solutions to a wide variety of digestive problems and tips for effectively reducing stress.
Be sure to check out my online digestive course Perfect Digestion. You can find the course here: http://thewellnessacademy.thinkific.com/courses/perfect-digestion