Research has proven that acupuncture is effective for alleviating gastroesophageal reflex disease.
Gerd is a digestive disease in which stomach acid or bile irritates the esophagus and is commonly referred to as heartburn. The symptoms are generally presented as a burning pain the chest that usually occurs after eating and can be aggravated when lying down.
Research conducted at the Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine (Lin et al.) was done with two groups of patients- an acupuncture group and a control group to treat the digestive tract of GERD patients. The patients who received acupuncture experienced significant improvement from the acupuncture, while those who did not receive acupuncture experienced no change.
The use of three pressure points “Neiguan” PC6, “Gongsun” Sp4, “Zusanli” St36, (a total of 6 acupuncture needle insertions) were retained for 30 minutes with manipulation techniques used to stimulate the acupressure points throughout the treatment. These points were chosen for their specific relationships with one another (based on the channels that they lay on) and how they affect the internal organs of the body:
“Gongsun” Sp4, and “Neuguan” Pc 6 are indicated for the treatment of the heart, chest, and stomach ailments in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
“Zusanli” St 36 is a commonly used acupuncture point that is selected when treating multiple illnesses, and is a classic point when stomach issues are indicated.
The research concluded that acupuncture improves lower esophageal sphincter (LES) pressure and effective length which increased the resistance to reflux. It also increased peristalsis and the strength of the esophagus which reduces the exposure to the acidic environment of the digestive system.
The results of the study showed that acupuncture increased LES pressure, raised esophageal peristaltic pressure and integrity, and improved swallowing.
The results were confirmed with high-resolution esophageal impedance manometry, a test that measures the function of the lower esophageal sphincter and esophageal muscles. The test was conducted before the acupuncture treatments and afterward.
To read more about the study click here
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