Gastro-oesophageal reflux (or acid reflux) disease is a condition in which food or liquid travels from the stomach back up into the oesophagus. As the food has usually been only partially digested, it is very acidic, and can irritate the oesophagus, often causing heartburn and other symptoms.
In Western Medicine, acid reflux can be either due to a problem with the lower oesophageal sphincter (and band of muscle fibres that usually close off the oesophagus from the stomach). If the sphincter do not close properly, food and liquid can move up backward into the oesophagus.
Acid Reflux can also be caused by sliding hiatus hernia, where the gastro-oesophageal junction “slides” through the hiatus so that it lies above the diaphragm. As many as 30% of people of 50 years are affected by this condition. Most sliding hiatus hernias are very small, and most people with a sliding hiatus hernia have no symptoms. Symptoms only occurs in the presence of Acid Reflux.
From Chinese Medicine point of view, many different emotions are often at the root of this disease, and affects many organs such as the Stomach, Spleen, Liver, Lungs and Heart. Irregular diet, or unhealthy diet (excessive consumption of greasy food, cold or hot food), and over working are also often linked with the development of this condition.
Acupuncture can dramatically help to treat this condition. However, in order to be able to make the correct diagnostic, I need to ask the patient many questions concerning the symptoms he or she is experiencing. For example, someone who is experiencing acid regurgitation, has difficulty in swallowing even liquids and has lost a lot of weight will be treated differently than someone who is experiencing acid regurgitation, always feeling cold, vomiting clear fluids and also has lower back pain.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Acupuncture is very effective to help alleviate the symptoms of these conditions:
Stomach Pain, Ulcerative Colitis, Constipation, Diarrhea, Acid Reflux, Heartburn, Abdominal Pain, Halitosis (Bad Breath), Bloating, Nausea / Vomiting, Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease, Dyspepsia (Indigestion), Stomach Ulcers, Duodenal Ulcers, Diverticulitis, Morning Sickness, Gallstones, Haemorrhoids (Piles), Crohn’s Disease, Weight Gain / Weight Loss
Source: Maciocia (2008) The Practice of Chinese Medicine