Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is estimated to affect 10-15% of all adults in the United States. The abdominal pain and bowel symptoms caused by IBS are unpredictable, often interfering with everyday plans and quality of life. Yolanda Vasquez, LAC, has extensive experience using alternative treatments such as acupuncture and massage to relieve IBS symptoms. Call her office in Manhattan, New York City, or schedule an appointment online for treatments to help you cope with irritable bowel syndrome.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) refers to a group of symptoms. When you have IBS, you have abdominal pain and bloating together with changes in bowel habits. There are four types of IBS:
People with IBS often have coexisting health conditions that aren’t related to their gastrointestinal problems. If you have IBS, you’re at a higher risk of developing chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic pelvic pain, depression, anxiety, and temporomandibular joint disorders.
IBS is a chronic condition with symptoms that tend to come and go, but they can severely affect your quality of life. Treatment for IBS focuses on managing symptoms with dietary changes and medications that may help diarrhea or constipation, but they don’t heal the problem. If you’re like most people with IBS, you’re searching for alternative treatments.
Acupuncture is one of the most common alternative methods used to relieve IBS symptoms. Acupuncture effectively improves symptoms such as abdominal pain and bloating, the number of bowel movements, type of stool, and the sensation of having an incomplete bowel movement.
A unique method of acupuncture called moxibustion also relieves IBS symptoms. Moxibustion combines acupuncture with heat produced by burning the herb moxa, also called mugwort. When used on specific acupoints, moxibustion was about 77% effective for alleviating IBS symptoms.
Ms. Vasquez may also recommend massage therapy for IBS. Massage helps relax abdominal muscles and relieve bloating. If you’re constipated, certain types of massage movements that focus on pressure points can stimulate bowel movements.
Both acupuncture and massage can diminish stress and anxiety, two mental health concerns that commonly occur in people with IBS.
Acupuncture stimulates the release of chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin, that may affect IBS symptoms. Treatment with acupuncture can also improve pain associated with IBS by triggering the release of the body’s natural painkillers, called endorphins. Acupuncture also opens pathways of energy, which improves the flow of Qi, and supports your body’s natural ability to heal.
If you’re not familiar with the acupuncture process, how it works, or what to expect, please don’t hesitate to contact Ms. Vasquez. She’s available to answer your questions and to schedule a consultation to talk about your IBS health concerns and alternative treatments that can help.