Acupuncture For Acid Reflux/Gerd? Oh What A Relief It Is! 

 April 19, 2024

By  Steve Hoffman

Wait, what? Acupuncture can relieve acid reflux?  Yup, not only that, but acupuncture can help re-set and repair your entire digestive system! How? Read on…

Weak Stomach Acid

One of the biggest misconceptions about acid reflux is that it is due to too much stomach acid. That is why medications target the reduction of stomach acid to reduce symptoms but this is counter to the way the digestive system works. Your stomach needs to have really strong acid to break down foods in to their component parts in order for you to properly digest nutrients. As we age, the strength of the stomach acid decreases, that is why pepperoni pizza is just fine when you are in your 20’s but not so much in your 50’s. So, besides nutrient absorption, what problems does weak stomach acid cause.

Well, there is a sensor at the bottom of the stomach that senses the strength of the acid and when it is exposed to strong acid, it send a signal to the cardiac or esophageal sphincter, causing it to close. When the stomach acid is too weak, this signal does not get sent and the sphincter remains open, allowing stomach acid to wash up in to the esophagus, causing symptoms, erosion and even cancer. There is also a sensor in the small intestine that senses the strength of stomach acid. When it gets hit with strong stomach acid, it sends a signal to the gallbladder to contract and pump out bile to digest fats. If this does not happen, your body does not digest fats properly. Oh, and fats make up hormones and a great deal of your nervous system…

Back To Biology 101

This may be a bit fuzzy but there is a part of the nervous system called the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). This system is broken down in to two parts. The sympathetic nervous system (fight of flight) and the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and DIGEST). Your digestive system needs strong parasympathetic input in order to function properly. The problem is that many of us are stuck in fight or flight mode, with stress and the production of stress hormones like cortisol constantly being pumped in to our systems. These stay in our system and affect our sleep as well as our entire digestive system (remember, rest and digest).

Acupuncture for Acid Reflux

Acupuncturists use specific treatments to down-regulate the sympathetic nervous system and up-regulate the parasympathetic nervous system. This FINALLY gives your body a fighting chance to not only get the rest you need but to allow the digestive system to function properly. And by functioning properly in the context of acid reflux, it encourages the production of strong stomach acid, eliminating the problem at its origin. What else can acupuncture do? By targeting the nerves that regulate the stomach (and the rest of the digestive system) as they leave the spine, the acupuncturist can regulate the function of these all important organs, restoring the bodies ability to function properly.

At Princeton Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine, we successfully treat this condition all the time. Often, it is not even the chief concern for the patient! Conditions ranging from back pain to hormonal issues to skin conditions and even auto immune disorders can have their genesis in digestive problems. By performing a thorough health history for each patient and looking at the body as a whole, we can uncover to root of problems and treat them. If you are suffering from acid reflux or one of these other conditions that may be caused by acid reflux, give us a call today to set up a consultation and we will let you know what we can do for you!

Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!

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