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Acupuncture More Effective for IBS Than Western Medication

Updated: Jan 27

20% of the population lives with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), an uncomfortable disorder that affects the large intestine (colon). Symptoms of IBS include, but are not limited to:

  • Cramping

  • Abdominal pain

  • Bloating

  • Gas

  • Diarrhea

  • Constipation

With IBS, contractions in the muscles that move food through the colon are stronger or weaker than normal, causing variations of these uncomfortable symptoms.

Acupuncture for IBS

Acupuncture has a relaxing effect on muscles, including the muscles involved in digestion, to regulate gut contractions and return the body's rhythm back to normal. Increased healthy blood flow to the digestive tract helps reduce inflammation associated with IBS, relieving bloating as well as pain.

In one study, patients with IBS received abdominal acupuncture 3 times a week for 4 weeks. Acupuncture was effective in treating IBS in 86.7% of patients, where Western medication (pinaverium bromide) only had a 64.3% effective rate for treating IBS.

Chinese Herbal Medicine for IBS

Chinese herbs will work to regulate the gut, decrease inflammation and bloating, and relieve cramping and abdominal pain. Each formula is custom blended based on the individual and their diagnosis, and should be prescribed by a licensed Chinese medicine practitioner.

According to a 2017 study, Chinese herbal medicine alone had a 79.1% effective rate in treating IBS, compared to a 90.7% effective rate for acupuncture in the same study. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can be combined for the speediest and most effective natural recovery.

Diet and IBS

People suffering from IBS should avoid trigger foods that can make symptoms worse. A gluten-free diet is easiest on the stomach and won't trigger symptoms like bloating or abdominal pain.

Some gluten-free foods include:

  • rice

  • potatoes

  • vegetables

  • fruit

  • eggs

  • fish

  • lean protein (chicken, turkey)

We have several delicious gluten-free, paleo-friendly recipes on our blog.

Treatment Plans for IBS

For long-term relief from IBS, abdominal acupuncture alleviates abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, poor stool output, and stool abnormality. A minimum of 12 treatments over the course of 4 weeks is required for the best results. Dietary changes must also be made to receive the greatest benefit. Depending on the individual diagnosis, Chinese herbal medicine may also be added to the treatment plan to speed healing and recovery.

If you have IBS, start working towards recovery with us today! Call us at (321) 972-2940 to schedule your initial health consultation.


HealthCMI. "Acupuncture Found Effective for IBS-D." (February 26, 2018). Retrieved from

Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. "Clinical effect of abdominal acupuncture for diarrhea irritable bowel syndrome." (December 12, 2017). Retrieved from

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