Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatment for Constipation
There are many factors that can cause constipation such as low-fiber diet, changes in life, lack of exercise, irritable bowel syndrome, abuse of laxatives and medications. Constipation is a side effect of many drugs including high calcium antacids, antispasmodics, antidepressants, sedatives, bismuth salts, iron supplements, diuretics, anticholinergics, calcium-channel blockers and anticonvulsants. Generally speaking, you may be constipated if you have fewer than three bowel movements a week, passing hard and dry stools, pain during bowel movements.
Traditional Chinese Medicine suggests that constipation can be caused by reduction in the flow of qi, an excess of cold or heat in the body. Long term persistent constipation must be examined by doctor to ensure that there is no underlying disease or disorder that is the cause. Once other factors have been eliminated, patient can pursue Traditional Chinese Medicine as an alternative treatment.
Chinese Herbs for Constipation
1) Che Qian Zi Ke (Psyllium Husk) is used in the treatment of constipation in both Chinese and Western medicine. Doctors often recommend taking 5 grams of psyllium husk, mixed with water or juice, one to two times per day.
Where to buy: Psyllium Husk
How to use: Che Qian Zi Ke can be used in the forms of powder and capsules.
2) Xiao Cheng Qi Tang is a Chinese herbal formula which helps bowel movements to alleviate abdominal distention and constipation
Where to buy: Xiao Cheng Qi Tang
How to use: Xiao Cheng Qi Tang can be used in the forms of powder and capsules.
3) Black sesame seeds also known as Hei Zhi Ma, is recorded in the Chinese Materia Medica for moistening and moving the bowels and relieving constipation.
Where to buy: Roasted Black Sesame Seeds
Acupuncture Treatment for Constipation
Many studies suggest that acupuncture for constipation is effective. Acupuncture can relieve chronic constipation and produce long lasting result than drugs. There are meridian lines for each major organ system in the body including the large intestine. On this large intestine meridian, there are acupuncture points which can be used for constipation. Other organ systems such as the stomach and liver also have specific acupuncture points that have been used for centuries to treat constipation. TCM practitioners may offer electro acupuncture treatment, which uses thin needles inserted beneath the skin that are attached to a device that sends electric pulses into the body.
In Western medicine, it is known that stress can influence the bowels and contribute to constipation. In TCM, this is why sometimes liver acupuncture points are used to help the bowels because treating the liver can help reduce stress.
If you are a do-it-yourself type, you can also try stimulating acupressure points for constipation on your own.