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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) plagues millions with its symptoms of pain, discomfort, and generalized digestive malfunction.
Most troubling about this disorder is that it has come to be a catch-all diagnosis used in cases of digestive or gastro-intestinal disorders or conditions not easily classified according to traditional Western categories or descriptions.
Generally speaking, IBS may be described as chronic digestive and/or gastrointestinal disorders accompanied by pain and other uncomfortable symptoms. The condition is usually aggravated by stress and anxiety, although food sensitivites cannot be ruled out in all cases.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine address IBS and related conditions by taking a three-pronged attack. Starting first with acupuncture, the practitioner reduces pain by removing qi blockages and obstructions while reducing the patient's reactions to stress and anxiety. The judicous use of certain herbal formulas is often quite helpful in securing and reinforcing the therapeutic effects of the acupuncture treatment.
Lifestyle modifications are frequently a part of the TCM treatment of IBS and related conditions. Changes in diet, based on the TCM analysis of the patient's condition and body type, frequently produce dramatic results, as do the performance of certain gentle exercises (tai chi, qi gong, etc.), selected and recommended by the practitioner for their overall strengthening and relaxation effects.
By treating the patient as an integrated, wholistic being, and not as a set of symptoms or problems, the TCM practitioner is able to account for all possible factors and causes of IBS, and any other condition, for that matter. Only by working on the patient's physical, emotional, and energetic condition can a treatment be effective.
Best results are usually seen after about six treatments using acupuncture, although immediate symptomatic relief is experienced following the first treatment.