TCM Gastrointestinal Management

Gastrointestinal Disorders & TCM

Everyone experiences digestive upset at some time, but many unfortunately, experience it regularly. Have you ever eaten something and within a few hours your stomach is so bloated you can’t button up your pants? Maybe your normal day is filled with bouts of constipation and stomach cramps or have already been given a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) but never a solution to correct it. Each is a sign of intestinal inflammation and often attributed to a gut infection. Although many people commonly have these symptoms, they are anything but “normal”.

Conditions We Treat

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is also known as Spastic Colon or Mucus Colitis.  It is a motility disorder (involving abnormal movement) of the small and large intestines. Symptoms of IBS include abdominal pain, constipation and/or diarrhea, often in alternating episodes. IBS may also be accompanied by other gastrointestinal problems, such as flatulence, bloating, and nausea.  Symptoms tend to be aggravated by eating, and are frequently relieved after a bowel movement. 

In EMW Physiotherapy & TCM, we may use acupuncture, Chinese herbs, dietary therapy and lifestyle changes to facilitate healing of this condition. This helps by regulating bowel movements and reducing abdominal pains or cramps associated with the condition.

Symptoms can vary from a burning pain in the chest to a sour taste in the mouth as stomach acid and/or regurgitated food flows upward through the esophagus into the oral cavity.

It is estimated that more than 20 percent of the general population is affected by acid reflux. While other groups are impacted, at least half of all asthmatic children experience symptoms, and pregnant women tend to suffer more than the average population, with half reporting severe symptoms during their second and third trimesters.

While it’s true for some people that symptoms can be mild or pass quickly, others go on to experience more severe ones. Sometimes, symptoms of acid reflux can mimic the symptoms of a heart attack. This includes severe chest pain and a crushing sensation in the chest. Also of concern is the presence of black, tarry stools or black material in vomit. These are signs of bleeding in the stomach, a serious medical concern.

We use acupuncture and TCM herbal medications to treat patients with acid reflux and address any nutritional deficiencies that may be present. Diet is also very important in helping to calm symptoms.

The Gut-Brain Connection

Chinese medicine has been screaming from the mountain tops for thousands of years about the profound relevance of the gut to overall health, including mental health. The recent, ongoing discoveries regarding the gut-brain axis are well described in Chinese medicine, albeit using very different concepts and language.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the right food is critical to good health. Not just because the western nutritional model has reduced food to vitamins and minerals, but also for the complex interactions and communication these foods have with the trillions of microbes and cells in our bodies. In Chinese medicine, this is referred to as the ‘energetics of food’. It represents the wisdom of listening and understanding the interplay between the microbiome, gut, brain and immune system.

Conditions that we mentioned above are not exhaustive of what we treat. Every individual is unique and treatment approach varies. A good way to start TCM treatment is to make an appointment with us and we will assess the condition in-depth to provide a customised treatment approach for you.

Our TCM Physicians

Principal Physician
Edmund Pang

Senior TCM Physician
Jasmine Xie

TCM Physician
Lau Ee Wen