Acupuncture May Be Helpful for Treating IBS Symptoms
I love my home country. Living abroad made me fall in love even more with beautiful Italia. We have everything: the sun, stunning beaches, glorious mountains, tasty wines, AMAZING food, history, art... you name it, we have it.
But there is one thing that makes me want to keep living abroad: The mentality.
Most Italians are so stubborn and are sure of what they know that it's incredibly hard to introduce any possible substitute or new idea. One of the major concepts that are not accepted in Italy is alternative medicine.
It is a relatively new notion to me too. I got to know a little bit more after moving to Australia, but mostly now in the Netherlands, where I literally have 10 acupuncturists in the range of half a mile from our apartment.
Seeing all these practitioners while biking around the land of tulips, made me wonder if it can be of any help to us, IBS pals.
Research on acupuncture and IBS
I then started my research. Apparently, there's a whole world behind Eastern medicine and acupuncture. In Italy, we were always taught that we had to take some kind of pill to cure the symptom, but I want to see if there's a way to complement regular western medicine, with something less invasive.
For those who are new to this world, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines acupuncture as: "an originally Chinese practice of inserting fine needles through the skin at specific points especially to cure disease or relieve pain (as in surgery)."
Fact-checking my findings
It sounds interesting, but I'm naturally a very skeptical person, so I wanted to be sure by searching about the topic on the World Health Organization (WHO) and other official scientific studies.
The WHO recognizes acupuncture as a valid treatment for certain conditions, including IBS. Both the National Library of Medicine (an official website of the US government), and Johns Hopkins Medicine (Johns Hopkins University), claim that acupuncture MAY BE an effective help for those who suffer from IBS or their symptoms.
Exploring my options for IBS
Of course, the first step is always to consult with a board-certified physician, before thinking about adding any kind of treatment. But just knowing that there is an alternative, looks like a good start to me. I already booked my first appointment with a certified acupuncturist that has amazing feedback and really helped a friend of mine with her tummy flare-ups.
The point is that there are many options that might help us with IBS, maybe combined, maybe by themselves. Unusual treatments such as acupuncture, cupping, and massages, might be really helpful. Especially if there are no contraindications, we should feel free to ask our practitioner if it might be a valuable option for us.
Accepting modern medicine
Our bodies and minds are incredible machines and modern medicine is improving day by day. When possible, it is our duty to find an always up-to-date doctor that has the knowledge and wisdom to advise us with the latest and best options that are available where we live.
I realized that it wasn't a possibility for me back in Italy. Unfortunately, acupuncture and alternative medicine are not recognized as official treatment methods, so I would have never dared to ask to try those from people that do it as a passion.
It is essential to treat our body and health with respect and only trusts certified doctors.
Do you have a good understanding of what triggers your flares?