One of the more unknown skills of a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner is the ability to treat hemorrhoids (piles), a painful condition in which the veins in the part of the anus or rectum becomes swollen. There are two types of hemorrhoids: internal hemorrhoids and external hemorrhoids. Internal hemorrhoids occur when the swelling remains inside the rectum. Those that bulge outside the rectum are known as external hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids are very common conditions more so when you’re pregnant and after giving birth. They are caused by increased pressure in the rectum’s veins which in turn causes the veins to expand and bulge, resulting in pain, especially when you’re sitting.
Straining during bowel movements is the most likeliest cause of hemorrhoids. They may also be caused by rectal infections, sitting for a long time, and from constipation. In certain instances, they may be due to liver cirrhosis and other diseases.
One should take into consideration the difference between hemorrhoids and anal fissures. Anal fissures are simply physical tears in the anal sphincter that leave steaks of blood in toilet paper and result in painful bowel movements. Anal fissures are usually caused by large stools, constipation and straining. They are long narrow sores that every time a bowel movement occurs get re-opened and irritated.
Symptoms of hemorrhoids include:
– Single or multiple tender but hard lumps near the rectum
– Pain during bowel movements
– Bright red blood in the stool, toilet tissue, or stool
– Anal pain or ache that’s especially felt while sitting
– Anal itching
According to Chinese Medicine hemorrhoids is divided into three stages:
Stage 1 – hemorrhoids that freshly bleed upon defecation. They are small and don’t externally bulge.
Stage 2 – tissues protruding from the rectum that’s accompanied by bleeding; within a short time, however, the tissues retract into the sphincter.
Stage 3 – large hemorrhoid protrusions that cause bleeding and need physical pushing to return them into the rectum’s interior. They may leave the body when fatigued or when standing for a long amount of time or with laughing, sneezing, or coughing.
How to Prevent Hemorrhoids
– Eat lots of fiber, whole grains, fresh veggies and fruits and drink plenty of water every day to keep your stool soft.
– Try breathing through your bowel movements. DO NOT STRAIN. Don’t hold your breath. Relax, take your time, and try to enjoy your bowel movements.
– Exercise regularly. This can help bring about smooth bowel movements.
– Try keeping the rectal region clean. Cleanse it gently using chemical free baby wipes or pure olive oil soaps.
– When you have a bowel movement, do it in a squatting position since the toilet seat can make it harder to pass stool by compacting the rectal canal. If your knees are higher than your buttock when sitting, raise yourself up by using the platforms on either side of the toilet.
– Try not to stand or sit for long periods of time too often. Stretch, take short walks, and improve blood circulation through that area, try contracting your mid-section.
– Keep your emotions smoothly flowing. Anger can exacerbate your hemorrhoids.
– Perform anal exercises to hold and tighten the rectal /sphincter muscles. Do not hold your breath while contracting the stomach, contract and repeat as frequently as you can.
Other Helpful Remedies
– Include more fiber rich, whole green chlorophyll into your everyday diet.
– Use a Chinese herbal ointment called Jing Wan Hong. This balm acts as a burn cream to treat infection and inflammation, alleviate pain and contribute to the healing of the damaged tissues. Apply this ointment twice or thrice a day to the problem area.
– Use witch hazel pads to wipe the rectum front to back. You can also use witch hazel as a compress (with these pads) to the problem area three to four times each day. You can find liquid witch hazel at your local drug store. You can also use a few witch hazel-soaked cotton balls as a compress.
– Avoid eating improper foods that include hot and pungent food, cold food, raw food, and fatty food. Stop drinking too much alcohol as it can irritate your stomach.
– Include in your daily diet psyllium husks to facilitate bowel movements. You can also use wheat bran.
– Steam or external wash with Huang Bai, Pu Gong Ying, Ku Shen, or Fu Feng Jing Hsi Ji or with sea salt water.
– Apply to the affected region for 10 minutes an herbal compress of Wu Bei Hsi San, Jiu Hua Gao, or Pu Gong Ying (Dandelion) four times a day.
– Applying virgin olive oil or vitamin E oil can relieve the pain of passage of the stools.
– Use a cold compress over the area for 10 minutes, four times a day.
– To lessen moisture in the affected region, Wear loose fitting clothes and cotton underwear.
– Take warm baths. They cleanse and soothe the rectal region especially after you have a bowel movement. Try not to bathe too often as it may exacerbate pruritis ani or anal itching.
Treating Hemorrhoids with Western Herbs
– Sweet Clover: wrap in linen a bunch sweet clover flowers, soak thoroughly in hot water, and apply it on the problem area three to four times a day.
– Poplar: create a topical application out of five grams of the dried buds each day. Use daily.
– Peru Balsam: a 5% to 20% preparation can be used daily. It is advised to keep the solution under 10% if it’s being used over large parts of the body.
– Camphor: a 0.1% to 3% Camphor solution can be topically applied (compress or wash) three to four times a day.
– Butcher’s Broom: create a decoction and topically apply (compress or wash) to quell burning and itching.
– Bovine Cartilage: use as an anal suppository to soften stools. Administer 2.2 grams in a 2% suppository at least thrice a day.
DeJongh Acupuncture Clinic
2929 SW 3rd Ave #610
Miami, FL 33129