A person is considered to experience constipation when he or she has less than three bowel movements per week. When a bowel movement does occur, it is often with difficulty and small in size. Constipation can be attributed to poor diet (especially lack of fiber), inactivity, dehydration, certain medications and other factors.
Below you will find alternative and natural treatment options including those from a Chinese Medicine perspective for Constipation.
The Chinese Medicine treatment of constipation generally involves arriving at the appropriate TCM diagnosis or pattern. This pattern within the individual is what treatment is based on not the general condition (see treating the cause and not the symptoms).
The following patterns may represent the underlying contributing factors for the development of constipation:
The treatment of conditions with acupuncture can be a complicated endeavor that should only be undertaken by individuals with a deep understanding of the underlying Chinese Medicine theory (and/or whatever system being used for treatment). There are many approaches, but generally speaking few viable approaches are involved on a point to condition basis. Rather using proper diagnostic procedures the patients diagnostic pattern is ascertained and that is what is treated. The protocols listed here exemplify some of these clinical approaches.
The following Acupuncture Treatment Protocols May Be Used With Constipation
Tong Ren Therapy is the energy healing/medical qi gong aspect of the Tam Healing System. The areas of focus for constipation that we would use in Tong Ren techniques form the basis for our acupuncture treatments as well. Generally you would mix these primary points with points specific to the patients underlying TCM pattern and then our tuina (medical massage) would be largely focused on these points as well.
The following Tam Healing/Tong Ren Therapy Protocols May Be Used With Constipation
The following herbal formulas are potentially useful in the process of treating constipation. For a complete list from our store with more details see our constipation formula section.
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Generally treatment would be based on the TCM patterns listed above instead of selecting points by function alone, (see general points selection rules.)
The following (12) chinese herbs may be useful for constipation. In most cases, however, treatment with Chinese Herbal Medicine is done with herbal formulas based on the TCM patterns listed above instead of selecting herbs by function alone. When available, relevant formulas will appear below and/or in the store listings above.
For spleen qi deficiency with damp heat accumulation in the lower. The spleen system is effectively the western version of the digestive system. The spleen is responsible for extracting the energy from the food and properly breaking the food down. When the spleen is weak the overall energy tends to drop, the appetite may be poor, and the mood may also be on the down side. Furthermore, the weakness of the spleen results in the accumulation of byproducts (damp) which tend to accumulate in the lower.
Symptoms may include diarrhea, constipation, excessive gas, and abdominal distension. This formula is used to treat belching, acid reflux, poor appetite, abdominal distension, flatulence, constipation, and abdominal cramping and discomfort.
Tongue: puffy, sticky or greasy coat
Pulse: slippery, weak
Contraindicated during pregnancy
Signs of damp-heat with interior clumping which may settle into the abdominal region and/or rise upward to the head. Fever, irritability, red eyes, constipation, dark urine, flushed face - middle warmer issues - jaundice, dysentery, tongue/mouth ulcers.
Pulse will be be wiry and rapid and the Tongue will be red, swollen with a yellow greasy tongue coating.