At our Gold Coast Acupuncture clinic we like to talk about a lot of topics and one of them is your bowel motions! Whilst for some this may seem strange, for us, it can tell us a lot about what’s going on with you.
Chronic constipation is infrequent (less than daily) passing of hard, dry stools that can often be difficult to pass. Common causes include dehydration, lack of exercise, medications or supplements and a diet lacking in dietary fibre.
Symptoms can include;
- Straining to pass a stool
- Bloated abdomen
- Abdominal cramps
- Hard, dry stools that can be painful to pass
- Sensation of not feeling fully evacuated
- Having to sit on the toilet much longer than usual
- Infrequent need to pass a stool (1)
Failure to address these symptoms early on can result in
- Incontinence (urinary and faecal)
- Rectal prolapse (constant straining pushes a portion of the rectal lining out of the anus) (1)
How can Acupuncture help?
Acupuncture (electro) has been seen to assist in more frequent complete spontaneous bowel movements, 3 times more effectively than sham acupuncture points in a randomized clinical trial with over 1000 patients (2). Improvement in symptoms has also been seen in combined treatment with rice grain moxibustion and acupuncture in a randomized controlled trial (4).
On your initial appointment our acupuncturists will determine the cause and assist with moving the condition (dry heat or cold conditions) with acupuncture, moxa and/or herbs to help improve your symptoms.
What else can I do?
- Exercise! At least 30min a day can assist in improving your bowel motions, whilst inadvertently helping with stress, anxiety & overall wellbeing!
- Drink more water! Liquids help to soften the stool, so increase your daily intake of water and you will notice the difference, (but that doesn’t mean tea, coffee or alcohol which are diuretics).
- Increase your dietary source of fibre with vegetables, fruit, wholegrains, chia seeds, legumes.
If you would like to talk to one of practitioners or make an appointment, please call us on 5531 6461 or alternatively, you can book online here.
1. Betterhealth.vic.gov.au. (2017). Constipation. [online] Available at: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/constipation
2. Liu Z, e. (2017). Acupuncture for Chronic Severe Functional Constipation: A Randomized Trial. – PubMed – NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27618593
3. McDonald J, Janz S. The Acupuncture Evidence Project: A Comparative Literature Review (Revised edition). Brisbane: Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd; 2017. http://www.acupuncture.org.au.
4. Wang L, et al., (2017). [Randomized controlled study on chronic functional constipation treated with grain-shaped moxibustion and acupuncture]. – PubMed – NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21528597