The AcuMedic Digestive Health Clinic provides specialist acupuncture treatment and powerful Chinese herbal medicine specifically tailored to treat a wide variety of digestive conditions.
This is a natural and effective treatment for acute to chronic conditions.
Treatment is performed by a fully qualified CMIR-registered doctor with extensive Western medical training.
Treatment at our Digestive Health Clinic includes:
- A full Chinese Medical diagnosis with personalised lifestyle advice
- A session of authentic syndrome acupuncture tailored to your needs
- An individualised herbal prescription from our doctors tailored to your needs and digestive issues. If you wish to take the prescription then the herbs are charged separately. We do not put any pressure on our valued clients to buy prescriptions but the doctor will always be trying to maximise your health (that is their job) and this may involve herbs. For prices of our herbal prescriptions please look at our prices on the right of this page.
The AcuMedic Digestive Health Clinic offers Chinese Medical treatment for conditions such as:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Bloating (Abdominal Distension)
- Gas (Flatulence)
- Stomach Cramps
- Abdominal Pain
- Acid Indigestion (Dyspepsia)
- Nausea; Food Sensitivity
- Inflammation (Gastritis)
- Stomach Ulcer (Gastric/Duodenal Ulcer)
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
- Crohn’s Disease
- Acid Reflux (Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease GORD, also a cause of Heartburn)
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Excessive Mucus
If your condition is not on this list, just ask for Free Health Advice and our Doctors will let you know if, and how, they can help. You can also visit our centre and one of our doctors will speak to you for free as a walk-in service.
+ About the Acupuncture at AcuMedic
Acupuncture treatment is available all over the world but not all acupuncturists are the same. Many acupuncturists in the West are only trained in a small modality of acupuncture such as trigger point acupuncture or perhaps 5 Element acupuncture. AcuMedicin London treats with syndrome acupuncture which is based on the complete system of theories in Chinese Medicine (including trigger point and 5 Element). This is authentic acupuncture treatment as practised in China and is based on Syndrome Differentiation diagnosis.
+How we can help
Using Chinese Medicine, the AcuMedic Digestive Health Clinic in London has a high success rate in treating digestive problems, and aims not only to relieve the symptoms but also to deal with the root problem.
Almost every facet of your health starts with a good digestion. Your energy levels, immune resistance, sexual health, mood and appearance are directly linked to your digestive health.
Your digestion is probably the most important biological process for determining your general health. The ability of your body to digest, absorb and excrete your food will dramatically affect the quality of your life.
+ How it works
Digestive disorders in Chinese Medicine are generally regarded as a result of imbalances in Stomach and Spleen, the two main organs responsible for digesting, absorbing, transporting, and transforming food into Qi (the body’s essential energy) and blood which nourish the body and support all other bodily functions. The Stomach governs the acceptance, digestion and passage of food and its normal movements downwards. If the Stomach energy moves the wrong way (upwards), symptoms will occur such as fullness, pain, nausea and vomiting.
The Spleen’s main functions are to transform food into energy and transport it to all parts of the body. The Spleen also shares with the Kidney the function of processing water and body liquids. A weakness of the Spleen, therefore, can lead to water retention as well as fatigue and lack of energy.
Imbalance in other organs can also affect the digestive process, for example, the Stagnation of Liver energy as seen in long-term stress and anxiety will lead to digestive problems, such as poor appetite, indigestion, abdominal pain and distension (bloating).
Chinese Medicine does not treat just the digestive condition but its root causes, which often lie away from the stomach and can be found in the person’s mental state and their environment. For example, in the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) acupuncture and Chinese herbs are selected to tonify the Liver. The Liver is targeted because its essential energy (the Liver-Qi) stagnates and consequently unsettles the Spleen, which in turn leads to IBS symptoms. However, the treatment for this condition should be more holistic and treat not just your stomach but other related aspects of your health, such as your levels of stress and anxiety, which directly influence your digestive system.
Therefore, the Chinese medical doctors at our Digestive Health Clinic will modify the treatment according to your individual health needs to help you to relax and to better control your stress, anxiety and improve the digestive system, thus helping you to keep the IBS and its triggers under control.
To find out more read our brief Introduction to Chinese Medicine.
+What to Expect
During your appointment at the Digestive Health Clinic, an AcuMedic doctor will carry out a full Chinese Medical diagnosis (including tongue- and pulse-diagnoses to check internal health) and will talk to you to learn a bit about your digestive issues.
A Digestive Health Clinic appointment usually lasts between 25-40 minutes. This includes consultation, diagnosis and acupuncture treatment. If you are prescribed raw Chinese herbs then this can take up to half an hour to prepare after your appointment.
+ Diagnosis and Consultation
There are four main diagnostic methods in Chinese Medicine which are observing, pulse diagnosis, questioning and listening. Each method has a unique function in the process of collecting different clinical information and understanding the root cause of your digestive problems. Therefore all four diagnostic methods must be used to make an accurate diagnosis of your overall health and individualise the treatment so that your digestive health can be improved.
Observing involves looking at all the outward manifestations of your digestive system. This is done by observing your general vitality, complexion, figure and skin. One of the most well known parts of observing is tongue diagnosis. The tongue is like a mirror showing the state of your internal organs. The AcuMedic doctor will be able to judge the condition of your essential energy (Qi), identify the location of the affected parts inside your body, determine what is exactly is wrong and identify how your digestive condition might progress just from looking at your tongue.
There are over 50 different pulse types and the AcuMedic doctor will take your pulse on both wrists to determine which pulse type you have. Your pulse is identified in terms of depth, speed, strength, shape and rhythm. Your pulse is an indicator of how Qi and blood are moving around your body, therefore how well your internal organs are functioning. From your pulse the doctor can determine a great deal about your physical and emotional condition and the root cause of your digestive issues. This information is very important for determining the right treatment for you.
The doctor will ask you a huge variety of questions to learn about your general lifestyle and digestive health, for example eating habits and toilet patterns. It may seem like some of these questions are odd, but it all goes towards building a complete picture of you and your health. No matter how trivial something might seem to you, tell your doctor. No symptom that you have is unrelated or unimportant to the health of your stomach and diagnosis. It is also very useful for your doctor to see the results of any medical tests you have had so make sure you bring them along to your first consultation and whenever you get new results through.
Once the doctor has finished diagnosing you, they will tell you about your particular Chinese Medical syndrome. These syndromes often have funny sounding names, like Liver Qi Stagnation or Kidney Yin Deficiency, but do not let that put you off. They will accurately explain why you have the symptoms you have and therefore what treatment you need to alleviate your digestive issues.
The doctor will then suggest an acupuncture treatment plan based on the diagnosis to return you to good health, thereby easing all of the different symptoms at the same time while tackling the stomach condition at its root.
If the doctor feels that you should take some Chinese herbal medicines in addition to acupuncture then a prescription will be written for you. This is charged separately to your treatment. The prescription may be in the form of raw Chinese herbs or herbal extract capsules which are assembled and dispensed by our expert dispensary on our premises.
After consultation for digestive health treatment, you will be asked to lie on the bed and remove some clothing to receive acupuncture. The doctor will provide you with a blanket to cover yourself. Micro-fine needles will be inserted and you will be left alone to relax for about 20-40 minutes.
Please be aware that this is crucial treatment time for the acupuncture to have a therapeutic effect and you have not been forgotten. Just relax and enjoy the sensation of the acupuncture treatment (many patients will fall asleep). If you need to call the Clinic reception then there is a bell to alert us to come and talk with you.
Usually, the acupuncture needles do not hurt when they are inserted, although if a lot of blocked energy has built up at one area of your body, you may feel a pricking and pulling sensation as the Qi begins to flow again in there. Most people find acupuncture incredibly relaxing.
AcuMedic doctors only use sterile disposable acupuncture needles. AcuMedic actually invented the disposable acupuncture needle.
For people who are afraid of acupuncture needles, please speak to your doctor who may recommend a different treatment based on electro-acupuncture instead of needles. Electro-acupuncture works in the same way as conventional acupuncture, but instead of using needles, an electronic pointer is used to stimulate the acupuncture points on the body.
+After the Treatment
After the treatment, you should notice an improvement in your symptoms and you should also notice that you are feeling better after meals. Your overall health should benefit from treatment, too. For example, you should find yourself having more energy during the day, less stress and better sleep at night. You should also notice an improvement in the appearance of your skin.
To find out more about the Chinese medical approach to digestive health please take a look at our guide Regulate Your Digestion.
+ Other Questions?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends acupuncture for digestive health treatment
Clinical trials have demonstrated its use for various symptoms and conditions of digestive disorders.
Clinical trials have shown acupuncture to be effective for:
- Diarrhoea (Dysentery – acute bacillary)
- Nausea and vomiting; Gall stones (Biliary colic)
- Epigastralgia (acute, in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
- Gastrointestinal spasm
- Renal colic.*
Clinical trials have shown acupuncture to have a therapeutic effect on:
- Ulcerative colitis (chronic)
- Pain due to endoscopic examination
- Gastrokinetic disturbance.*
WHO recommends acupuncture for irritable colon syndrome (Irritable Bowel Syndrome – IBS). This is because treatment by conventional and other therapies is difficult. For this condition, clinical trials have reported acupuncture producing some therapeutic effects*.
+ *CLINICAL TRIALS
DIARRHOEA (DYSENTERY – ACUTE BACILLARY)
Li KR. [Analysis on the effect of acupuncture treatment in 1383 adults with bacillary dysentery.] Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion, 1990, 10(4):113-114 [in Chinese].
Qiu ML et al. [A clinical study on acupuncture treatment of acute bacillary dysentery.] In: Zhang XT, ed. [Researches on acupuncture-moxibustion and acupuncture-anaesthesia.] Beijing, Science Press, 1986: 567-572 [in Chinese].
Yu SZ et al. Clinical observation of 162 cases of acute bacillary dysentery treated by acupuncture. World Journal of Acupuncture-Moxibustion, 1992, 2(3):13-14.
NAUSEA and VOMITING
Dundee JW et al. Traditional Chinese acupuncture: a potentially useful antiemetic? British Medical Journal, 1986, 293:383-384.
Dundee JW et al. Acupuncture to prevent cisplatin-associated vomiting. Lancet, 1987, 1:1083.
Ghaly RG et al. A comparison of manual needling with electrical stimulation and commonly used antiemetics. Anaesthesia, 1987, 45:1108-1110.
Weightman WM et al. Traditional Chinese acupuncture as an antiemetic. British Medical Journal, 1987, 295(6610):1379-1380.
Dundee JW et al. Acupuncture prophylaxis of cancer chemotherapy-induced sickness. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 1989, 82:268-271.
Barsoum G et al. Postoperative nausea is relieved by acupressure. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 1990, 83(2):86-89.
Ho RT et al. Electro-acupuncture and postoperative emesis. Anaesthesia, 1990, 45:327-329.
Ho CM et al. Effect of PC 6 acupressure on prevention of nausea and vomiting after epidural morphine for post-cesarean section pain relief. Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica, 1996, 40(3):372-375.
Andrzejowski J et al. Semi-permanent acupuncture needles in the prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting. Acupuncture-Medicine, 1996, 14(2):68-70.
McConaghy P et al. Acupuncture in the management of postoperative nausea and vomiting in patients receiving morphine via a patient-controlled analgesia system. Acupuncture-Medicine, 1996, 14(1):2-5.
Schwager KL et al. Acupuncture and postoperative vomiting in day-stay paediatric patients. Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, 1996, 24(6):674-677.
Liu SX et al. Magnetotherapy of neiguan in preventing vomiting induced by cisplatin. International Journal of Clinical Acupuncture, 1997, 8(1):39-41.
Al-Sadi M et al. Acupuncture in the prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting. Anaesthesia, 1997, 52(7):658-661.
Stein DJ et al. Acupressure versus intravenous metoclopramide to prevent nausea and vomiting during spinal anesthesia for cesarean section. Anesthesia and Analgesia, 1997, 84(2):342-345.
Schlager A et al. Laser stimulation of acupuncture point P6 reduces postoperative vomiting in children undergoing strabismus surgery. British Journal of Anaesthesia, 1998, 8(4):529-532.
Chu YC et al. Effect of BL10 (tianzhu), BL11 (dazhu) and GB34 (yanglingquan) acuplaster for prevention of vomiting after strabismus surgery in children. Acta Anaesthesiologica Sinica, 1998, 36(1):11-16.
Alkaissi A et al. Effect and placebo effect of acupressure (P6) on nausea and vomiting after outpatient gynaecological surgery. Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica, 1999, 43(3):270-274.
Shenkman Z et al. Acupressure-acupuncture antiemetic prophylaxis in children undergoing tonsillectomy. Anesthesiology, 1999, 90(5):1311-1316.
GALL STONES (BILIARY COLIC)
Mo TW. [Observation of 70 cases of biliary ascariasis treated by acupuncture.] Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion, 1987, 7(5):237-238 [in Chinese].
Yang TG et al. [Clinical report of electro-acupuncture analgesia in the treatment of abdominal colics.] Jiangsu Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1990, 11(12):31 [in Chinese].
Wu XL et al. Observation of acupuncture treatment of biliary colic in 142 cases. Journal of Acupuncture-Moxibustion, 1992, 8(6):8.
Epigastralgia (acute, in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
Xu PC et al. Clinical observation of treatment of acute epigastralgia by puncturing liangqiu and weishu acupoints. International Journal of Clinical Acupuncture, 1991, 2(2):127-130.
Yu YM. [Therapeutic effect and mechanism of needling ST36 in the treatment of epigastric pain.] Shanghai Journal of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, 1997, 16(3):10-11 [in Chinese].
Shi XL et al. [Acupuncture treatment of gastrointestinal spasm.] Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion, 1995, 15(4):192 [in Chinese].
Lee YH et al. Acupuncture in the treatment of renal colic. Journal of Urology, 1992, 147:16-18.
Zhang WR et al. [Clinical observation of acupuncture in treating kidney and ureter stones.] Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion, 1992, 12(3):5-6 [in Chinese].
Li JX et al. [Observation of the therapeutic effect of acupuncture treatment of renal colic.] Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion, 1993, 13(2):65-66 [in Chinese].
ABDOMINAL PAIN (in ACUTE GASTROENTERITIS or due to GASTROINTESTINAL SPASM)
Shu X, et al. [Observation of acupuncture treatment of abdominal pain in acute gastroenteritis.] Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion, 1997, 17(11):653-654 [in Chinese].
ULCERATIVE COLITIS (Chronic)
Wu HG et al. [Therapeutic effect of herbal partition-moxibustion for chronic diarrhoea and its immunological mechanism.] Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1995, 36(1):25-27 [in Chinese].
Ma S et al. [Observation of combined acupuncture and moxibustion treatment of 60 cases of ulcerative colitis.] Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion, 1997, 17(5):275-276 [in Chinese].
PAIN due to ENDOSCOPIC EXAMINATION
Wang HH et al. A study in the effectiveness of acupuncture analgesia for colonoscopic examination compared with conventional premedication. American Journal of Acupuncture, 1992, 20:217-221.
Wang HH et al. A clinical study on physiological response in electroacupuncture analgesia and meperidine analgesia for colonoscopy. American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 1997, 25(1):13-20.
Zhang AL et al. Clinical effect of acupuncture in the treatment of gastrokinetic disturbance. World Journal of Acupuncture-Moxibustion, 1996, 6(1):3-8.
IRRITABLE COLON SYNDROME (IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME – IBS)
Wu HG et al. Preliminary study on therapeutic effects and immunologic mechanisms of herbal-moxibustion treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion, 1996, 16(2):43-45 [in Chinese].