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Acupuncture: A Holistic Approach to Alleviating Gastrointestinal Issues

Gastrointestinal (GI) issues can disrupt our daily lives, causing discomfort and distress. Common GI issues include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), acid reflux, bloating, constipation, and Crohn's disease. 60 to 70 million Americans suffer from GI issues and while Western medicine offers various solutions, many people are turning to acupuncture as a natural and holistic alternative.

If you are experiencing mild GI issues the following recommendations might be useful for managing them at home.

Dietary Adjustments:

  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals.

  • Incorporate high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

  • Avoid trigger foods such as spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol.

  • Eat cooked meals, avoiding raw, cold foods and drinks.


Drink plenty of water throughout the day to aid digestion.

Regular Exercise:

Engage in physical activities like walking, yoga, Qigong or light exercise to stimulate digestion.

Stress Management:

Practice relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and mindfulness.


Include probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, Kimchi, kefir, and sauerkraut to promote a healthy gut flora.

Common Gastrointestinal Issues and Treatments

Here are some of the most common GI issues we see at out practice, their symptoms and what the western treatment alternatives are:

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS):

  • Symptoms: Abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation.

  • Western Treatments: Dietary changes, fiber supplements, antispasmodic medications, and probiotics.

  • Bodhi TCM Treatments: Acupuncture and potentially herbal formulas depending on the patient. A study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology found that acupuncture significantly reduced the severity of IBS symptoms, including abdominal pain and bloating, compared to standard care alone . The holistic approach of acupuncture, which targets multiple aspects of health and wellbeing, often yields more comprehensive and lasting relief.

Acid Reflux (GERD):

  • Symptoms: Heartburn, regurgitation, chest pain, and difficulty swallowing.

  • Western Treatments: Antacids, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), and lifestyle changes.

  • Bodhi TCM Treatments: Acupuncture, bio-electric therapy and potentially herbal formulas depending on the patient. The journal Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics demonstrated that acupuncture is effective in reducing the frequency and severity of acid reflux symptoms. Patients who received acupuncture showed significant improvement compared to those who only took PPIs . This suggests that acupuncture not only alleviates symptoms but also promotes long-term healing of the esophageal lining.


  • Symptoms: Feeling of fullness, swelling in the abdomen, and discomfort.

  • Western Treatments: Dietary adjustments, digestive enzymes, and medications to reduce gas.

  • Bodhi TCM Treatments: Acupuncture, bio-electric therapy, lifestyle changes and potentially herbal formulas depending on the patient. A study in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine reported that acupuncture effectively reduced bloating and other symptoms of functional dyspepsia. Participants experienced less bloating and discomfort after undergoing acupuncture sessions . By addressing the underlying issues of digestion and stress, acupuncture offers a more sustained improvement.


  • Symptoms: Infrequent bowel movements, hard stools, and difficulty passing stools.

  • Western Treatments: Laxatives, stool softeners, and dietary fiber increase.

  • Bodhi TCM Treatments: Acupuncture, bio-electric therapy, life style changes and potentially herbal formulas depending on the patient. Clinical research published in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology found that acupuncture significantly improved bowel movement frequency and consistency in patients with chronic constipation. The treatment helped regulate bowel function more effectively than laxatives, providing a natural solution to this common issue .

Crohn's Disease:

  • Symptoms: Abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, and malnutrition.

  • Western Treatments: Anti-inflammatory drugs, immune system suppressors, and surgery.

  • Bodhi TCM Treatments: Acupuncture and bio-electric therapy. A pilot study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine indicated that acupuncture could reduce inflammatory markers and improve quality of life in patients with Crohn's disease. The study found that acupuncture reduced abdominal pain and diarrhea, showcasing its potential as a complementary treatment for managing this chronic condition .

Why Acupuncture and TCM is a Better Option

Every protocol we use at Bodhi is personalized to bring you fast relief from GI Issues. We take into consideration your health status, your lifestyle, health goals and where you are in your health journey. We also use our bio-electric therapies to boost the results of our treatments and provide faster relief. Here are some of the benefits of our protocols for GI issues:

  • Holistic Healing: We address the root causes of GI issues, rather than just masking symptoms.

  • Reduced Side Effects: Unlike some medications, our treatments have minimal side effects.

  • Personalized Treatment: Each protocol is tailored to our patients unique health needs.

  • Stress Reduction: Our protocols helps reduce stress, a common trigger for many GI issues.

  • Improved Digestive Function: Our protocols can enhance digestive function, promote bowel regularity, and reduce inflammation.

When to Seek Acupuncture Treatment

If you experience persistent GI symptoms that do not improve with home remedies or standard treatments, it might be time to consider acupuncture. Signs that you could benefit from acupuncture include:

  • Chronic abdominal pain or discomfort.

  • Frequent episodes of bloating, constipation, or diarrhea.

  • Symptoms of IBS, acid reflux, or other GI disorders not adequately managed by medications.

  • A desire to reduce medication usage due to side effects or ineffectiveness.

At Bodhi we offer a natural, effective, and personalized approach to managing and alleviating gastrointestinal issues. By addressing the underlying causes and promoting overall wellness, we can provide relief and improve the quality of life for those struggling with GI disorders.

If you're seeking an alternative to traditional Western treatments, call us at 321-312-0771 and find out how we can help.


  1. Wang, X. et al., World Journal of Gastroenterology, 2015.

  2. Zhang, Y. et al., Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 2017.

  3. Lee, A. et al., Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2016.

  4. Liu, Z. et al., Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 2018.

  5. Joos, S. et al., Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2012.


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