TCM Acid Reflux (GERD)

What is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)?

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a digestive disorder in which gastric juices or food contents in the stomach reflux back up through the loosening of the lower sphincter muscle into the esophagus and TCM has been shown to be effective in treating acid reflux or GERD.   

Common discomfort GERD symptoms include:

  • Upper abdominal pain  
  • Abdomen bloating which is usually worsened after meals 
  • Sourish gastric acid reflux sensation at the throat (acid regurgitation) 
  • Burning sensation in the chest (heartburn) 
  • Frequent burps accompanied with bad breath 
  • Constant irritated throat sensation, having the urge to clear your throat frequently 
  • Excessive phlegm stuck at your throat 

A Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) explanation on GERD/acid reflux

A healthy gut relies on a healthy Stomach and Spleen function for effective digestion to occur. A harmonious relationship between the Stomach and Liver is also important as Liver regulates Qi circulation in the body while Spleen and Stomach are actively involved in the digestion process to transform food sources into nutrients for the body. 

GERD patients usually experience disharmony and imbalance in the Liver, Spleen and Stomach Qi circulation which results in the symptoms mentioned above. In recurrent and chronic prolonged GERD cases, energy flow is stagnated. The stagnated Liver Qi energy accompanied with weak Spleen Qi energy impairs and impedes its ability to transform and transport nutrients. Moreover, the defying Stomach Qi energy disturbs its natural down-bearing Qi ability. In short, the regular ascending-descending energy circulation becomes haywire, which explains the worsening discomforts GERD patients experience.

How does TCM manage GERD/acid reflux?

Studies have shown that TCM acupuncture successfully strengthens lower sphincter muscle (LES) [1], and thereby increase resistance to acid reflux and has an inhibitory effect on gastric acid secretion with enhanced gastric peristalsis to accelerate gastric emptying [2] 

Acupuncture works mainly to rebalance energy flow mainly in the Liver, Spleen and Stomach, to remove stagnated energy and dispel dampness for digestive organs to work effectively and therefore to improve overall Qi and Blood circulation. 

Through having regular acupuncture and customized herbs prescription TCM treatments, we aim to heal and restore your digestive system in order for organs to work efficiently and effectively. 

We also encourage individuals to have a healthy diets and good lifestyle routines as this impacts our energy circulation and nutrients uptake directly. Similarly, a prolonged unhealthy diet and lifestyle habits will eventually take a toll in our energy circulation and prevents main digestive organs to function efficiently, causing gut related discomforts to surface ultimately. TCM

If you have been diagnosed with GERD and would like to book a consultation with our Physician, please bring the following(s) with you on your first visit:

1. Endoscopy report (if any)
2. Blood test report (if any)
3. Current medications (during acute phase)

Your treatment plan will involve:

1. TCM herbal prescription
2. Acupuncture
3. Moxibustion (for suitable constitution)
4. Dietary and lifestyle advice to adhere that will help to reduce GERD attacks

Our TCM Physicians

Principal Physician
Edmund Pang

Senior TCM Physician
Jasmine Xie

TCM Physician
Lau Ee Wen


  1. Lin H, Sun J, Yuan YZ & Tang YM. (2014). Effects of acupuncture on esophageal motility of patients with refractory gastroesophageal reflux disease. Chinese Journal of Digestion. Year 2014, Issue 10, Page 662-665
  2. Hui Li, Tian He, Qian Xu, Zhe Li, Yan Liu, Fang Li, Bo-Feng Yang, and Cun-Zhi Liu. Acupuncture and regulation of gastrointestinal function. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2015 Jul 21; 21(27): 8304–8313.