Our GUT is where life all begins…
It’s the place the nutrients that fuel each and every cell in the body come in, and it is the last pathway the toxins leave the body. It also a big influencer of our mood, cognition and mental health.
The significance of GUT health in Chinese medicine
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the digestive function is called “Wei Qi”, literally meaning “Stomach Energy”. We believe “Wei Qi” is THE foundation of life and source of energy after birth. The function of our digestive system is an essential part of any treatment, regardless of the main complaints. One of the objectives for any successful Chinese medicine treatment is a robust, well balanced digestive system. There are no lack of treatment of out GUT in Chinese medicine, from the most famous acupuncture point Stomach 36 that can stimulate the digestive function and boost energy, to hundreds of Chinese herbal formulas that has been used to treat various digestive related conditions, from acid reflux, gastritis, constipation, colitis, IBS, to diverticulitis and hemorrhoids.
Relationship between digestive and other system
Both modern science and Chinese medicine have found there are a few factors contributing to the health of the digestive system:
1. Enteric Nervous System and Gut-Brain Axis
Enteric Nervous System(ENS) is the branch of the Autonomic Nervous System(ANS). It starts from the bottom of our brain and branches down mainly through the vagus nerve to our internal organs, including the stomach and small intestine. It is the command center for the digestive system. It regulates the activities of the digestive glands, smooth muscles of the GI tract in response to food digestion and nutrient absorption. It also collects signals from the digestive organs and sends it back to the Central Nervous System. This bidirectional neural pathway between the brain and digestive organs is called Gut-Brain Axis(GBA). Any interruption or failed function of GBA leads to an array of digestive diseases such as acid reflux, bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, IBS, SIBO, Colitis etc. The health of the digestive system also influences brain function through Gut-Brain Axis. Recent evidence suggests the function of Gut-Brain Axis is critical for mental and cognitive health (link to mental health page). A problematic GBA can cause problems such as irritability, brain fog, anxiety, depression and autism.
Acupuncture can help to regulate the nervous system by switching the sympathetic branch(fight or flight) off and turning the parasympathetic branch(rest and digest) on. Therefore regulate the digestive system and restore its normal function.
2. Immune system and Inﬂammation
While some foods are called “pro-inﬂammatory” such as sugar and dairy. Limiting these food can improve some digestive symptoms. However, The restrictive diet has its long-term side effects, in addition, we cannot ignore the fact that many people do not react to those foods in the same way as people with “food sensitivity” issues. What makes people react to the same food differently is the dysregulated immune response (a.k.a. Inﬂammation). Inflammation is an innate mechanism of our immune system that is regulated by the enteric microbiome, the bacterial colony in the colons. The complexity of the interaction between the immune system and digestive system requires a holistic approach to keep the inflammation in check by maintaining the healthy microbiome in the digestive system.
3. Blood health
The state of circulation and coagulation is not as relevant as other factors in western medicine point of view, but it is a very important factor in Chinese medicine.
Chinese medicine identifies blood stagnation often presented in many digestive issues, especially chronic conditions.
For example, hemorrhoids is a common digestive condition. Its name itself indicates bad blood circulation at the end of the GI tract. Dalu’s treatment for Natural Hemorrhoid Treatment in Toronto with Chinese herbal formulas and acupuncture can address the blood circulation issues and alleviate symptoms such as bleeding, itchiness, severe pain, anal fissure, constipation etc.
Leaky Gut syndrome has been discussed more in recent years. It is believed by many experts the major factor behind many digestive disorders. In Chinese medicine’s point of view, this condition has both characteristics of blood stagnation and inflammation. Addressing these two issues is critical to improving the integrity of the GI tract.
What digestive conditions can be treated with Chinese medicine and acupuncture in Toronto, ON?
Dalu Wang, toronto-based acupuncturist and Chinese medicine practitioner, uses Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture aims to optimize digestive function, supporting digestive enzyme secretion, ensure proper nutrient absorption, and promote a healthy balance of ﬂora in the colon.
Furthermore, Dalu always makes sure the Peristalsis, the coordinated movement of smooth muscles in the GI tract, are moving the contents in your bowel properly. Neither too slow (constipation), or too fast (diarrhea).
The following are the conditions that can be treated by Chinese medicine and acupuncture but not limited to:
- Small Intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s disease
- Chronic Diarrhea
- Chronic appendicitis
- Burp, Gas and Bloating
- Food Intolerance/Allergy
Goals of TCM Treatment for Digestive Conditions at Kampo Health
Dalu focuses on addressing the root causes, aiming to solve the underlying dysfunctions, food sensitivities, and infections/inflammations. His Chinese medicine treatments work effectively to;
- Relieve the painful symptoms of gas and bloating
- Promote the proper GI movement and circulation in the digestive organs
- Control the inflammation by regulating the immune system
- Restore the proper functioning of the GUT by balancing the microbiota environment.
Therapies may involve personalized herbal formulas, acupuncture, dietary adjustments, lifestyle changes, therapeutic exercises and meditation that support the health of digestive organs and the nervous system.
Work with a Chinese medicine doctor in Toronto, Canada
If you have struggled with your digestive health, and are looking for a holistic practitioner to address the root issues. contact Dalu and set up an appointment to start working on your gut health today!