Chinese medicine Linwood is very effective at treating ‘functional’ digestive problems, where conventional medicine may struggle. Chinese herbal treatment is tailored to you as an individual. The practitioner will take note of your digestion and bowel pattern, your energy levels, the characteristics of your tongue and pulse and the things that may trigger an attack, looking at the broader state of your health. Acupuncture treatment will be aimed at calming the bowels, clearing any residual infection if it is present and supporting your digestion to make it less vulnerable to stress. The medicine may be prescribed in tea or pill form. In addition your practitioner may recommend lifestyle and dietary changes. Improvement can happen quite quickly, although you may need to continue for several months to get the full benefit.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common chronic condition which upsets the bowel (with either diarrhea or constipation or both at different times) causing discomfort or pain. When severe, it can be very debilitating and can seriously interfere with one’s work and social life. It is thought that to one degree or another it affects 20% of the UK population. Symptoms are often worse with upsetting emotional events or stress at work. The first episode often occurs after a period of stress or gastrointestinal infection. Conventional medicine relies mostly on dietary recommendations and anti-spasmodic medicines for the pain. IBS is considered to be a ‘functional’ problem, i.e. one that does not need surgery or major drug treatment. The connection with emotional stress is recognized and that sometimes leads to the use of anti-depressants.
Anxiety is a normal human feeling and most people experience it to some degree as a normal response to stress. Anxiety becomes pathological when it repeatedly interferes with daily life, is irrational, excessively prolonged or out of proportion with the cause. In TCM, anxiety is the emotion most frequently associated with disorders of the Heart and instability of the shen. The shen is easily agitated by Heat and easily destabilized if Heart qi, yin or Blood are weak. TCM practitioners will assess the general state of health in order to identify the underlying pattern of disharmony to give the most effective treatment.
A lot of studies present a summary of the evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of depression and anxiety. The available sources provide some evidence that acupuncture is an effective treatment for these conditions.