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Do-Advice » Blog Archive » Acupuncture as an Acid Reflux Natural Remedy Fact or Fiction?

Acupuncture as an Acid Reflux Natural Remedy Fact or Fiction?

With the risk of side effects and the desire to avoid chemicals and drugs, an acid reflux natural remedy is an attractive solution for many heartburn sufferers. 

For this reason and the increased interest in Chinese Medicine many people wonder if there’s evidence behind the acupuncture therapies that are offered by many practitioners. 

Firstly, let me say that it’s hard to tell whether acupuncture will work for you, as there are so many different causes of the condition and everyone reacts differently.

However, within the past few years, there has been significant interest in this topic by the medical community. For example a Taiwanese gastroenterologist recently undertook two acupuncture experiments that were designed to study the effectiveness of traditional eastern medicine as an acid reflux natural remedy. 

The study was published in the August 2005 issue of the American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology by Dr. Duowu Zhou, Wei Hao Chen, Katsuhiko Iwakiri, Rachael Rigda, Marcus Tippett and Richard H. Holloway of the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Australia.

In the two experiments it was reported that the transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxations (TLESR’s), which directly effects acid reflux, were inhibited by electrical acupoint stimulation.  This is a high-tech version of the traditional acupuncture procedure.  The two experiments used stimulation that was barely felt on the Neiguan acupoint found on the wrist. 

This stimulation reduced transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxations by a surprising 40% from 6 an hour to just to three and a half an hour.  It was also significantly higher than the placebo group, which received “sham” stimulation on the hip, which lowered TLESR’s by only 0.02 times per hour.

Of course, whether or not acupuncture would work for you is dependent upon your own unique condition.  You may want to try the therapy more than once to test whether or not it will be successful in your own case.  You may also want to try traditional forms of acupuncture as an acid reflux natural remedy. It has also been shown to be successful and is typically less expensive than the electrical acupoint stimulation.  Moreover, it is more likely to be covered by your health insurance policy.

Acupuncture has been an acid reflux natural remedy for over two thousand years in Chinese medicine.  The traditional form has been used up until and including current times to battle the symptoms of GERD, including pain, burning, nausea, and vomiting.  Modern research has suggested – as in the case of the experiments at the Royal Adelaide Hospital – that acupuncture functions by altering the way that nerve cells signal one another, and can influence the way the central nervous system releases certain chemicals in the body.  It is the recent study, though, that is the first to give evidence that it can, indeed, benefit the function of the lower esophageal sphincter.

Though the study used electro-acupoint instead of the stimulation of needles as the acid reflux natural remedy, the researchers don’t see any reason that they should not offer similar results overall as they both apply stimulation to a specific acupuncture point.

As an alternative to acupuncture, with needles or electric stimulation, you could try acupressure. This involves applying pressure on acupuncture points with your fingers and thumbs. You could try this at home by applying pressure to the Neiguan or P6 point on your wrist. This is located on the inside of the wrist between the 2 large tendons. To find the spot for this acid reflux natural remedy hold your hand out and bend it toward you, the Neiguan or P6 point is in the middle of the wrist about two finger-widths from where the hand and wrist meet.

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