One million Americans suffer from Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis causing much pain and stress in their lives. Acupuncture can help people with Crohn’s and Colitis and has been used treat these symptoms for over two thousand years. I have helped many people with IBD in my practice over the last 15 years.
Acupuncture for Crohn’s and Colitis
Acupuncture views the body as a network of interconnected organs and channels. The channels transport qi (often translated as energy) and other substances through the body. When the qi is sufficient and moves freely, there is health and wellness. Diseases occur when there is an imbalance in the body. The acupuncture and diet correct the specific imbalance and help the body heal.
For Crohn’s and colitis, toxic heat, qi vacuity, dampness, and heat are the most common causes. Qi is most often described as a the body’s energy or life force.
Each patient receives an personalized acupuncture prescription depending on their particular symptoms. Acupuncture can help to stop pain, diarrhea, and bleeding as well as to reduce inflammation and promote appetite.
Moxibustion, the burning of an herb close to the skin to warm specific acupuncture points, may be used to augment the acupuncture. Generally, a treatment course consists of five to ten acupuncture treatments once or twice a week.
Research Study on Acupuncture for Treatment of Crohn’s disease
The modern research suggests that traditional acupuncture for Crohn’s disease is a safe and effective complement to standard care. One study shows acupuncture treatment can raise quality of life, improve disease state and general well being (1). In addition, intestinal enzymes decreased in the active acupuncture group.
Many people with Crohn’s and Colitis have benefited from anti-inflammtory diets. One in particular which my patients have found helpful is the Specific Carbohydrate Diet which reduces inflammation and allows the gut to heal.
1. Joos, S., Brinkhaus, B., Maluche, C., Maupai, N., Kohnen, R., Kraehmer, N., et.al. (2004). Acupuncture and Moxibustion in the Treatment of Active Crohn’s Disease: A Randomized Controlled Study. Digestion, 69, 131-139.