Acupuncture is part of ancient Chinese Medicine, which involves inserting very thin needles into certain points of the body to improve health. By inserting these needles, you are improving the flow of energy or Qi.
Researchers at the Hunan University of Chinese Medicine wanted to explore whether or not acupuncture would be successful in boosting digestion and relieving stomach pain.
The study included both electroacupuncture and manual acupuncture.
The findings revealed that acupuncture was beneficial in treating indigestion and stomach pain with effective rates being 91.3 percent for upper abdominal pain, 90.62 percent for postprandial excess fullness, 95.45 percent for premature fullness, 93.33 percent for upper abdominal burning sensations, 87.5 percent for postprandial nausea, and 83.33 percent for belching.
Among the control group – those who did not receive acupuncture – they did not score above 42.86 percent in any category.
The two main points targeted for the acupuncture group are known as Zusanli (ST36), PC6 (Neiguan). Zusanli was picked due to its location of the stomach foot and for its ability to target organs like the gallbladder, large and small intestine, bladder, stomach, and San Jiao. This area has been found successful in treating patients with gastric mobility issues and can help regulate gastric rhythms. Neiguan was selected for its ability to target pain and promote qi circulation and stomach health.
Other points were added based on more specific digestive issues.
The findings indicated that acupuncture was more effective than medications that target abdominal pain and indigestion discomfort.
Several questionnaires and tests were administered to determine the effectiveness of acupuncture in relieving abdominal pain and indigestion and found acupuncture to be safe and effective in either case.
If you wish to try acupuncture as a means of improving digestion, ensure you are seeing a trained professional.
Also read: 3 easy steps for better digestion