• Greenstone Acupuncture

Acupuncture and Your Digestion

Yang Sheng which refers to “nourishing life” is a vital concept in Chinese medicine. The way we nourish our body, mind and spirit is often achieved through living in harmony with the seasons via lifestyle and diet therapy. A healthy digestive system is a crucial component for overall health. It can be frustrating living with poor digestion and can be challenging to know the cause of your symptoms with so many variables that can factor the way we digest food. Fortunately, acupuncture can support the digestive system.

How does Chinese Medicine view digestion and diet?

According to Chinese Medicine theory, the stomach and spleen are two organs which govern our digestive processes within the body. The spleen is said to be responsible for ‘transforming’ and ‘transporting’ the food we eat into nutrients which are the source of qi and blood within the body. The stomach on the other hand is responsible for the fermentation or ‘rotting and ripening’ of food so that it can be refined by the spleen or sent down to the small intestine for further separation and absorption.


It does not come to a surprise that the types of food we consume are also important for digestion. Foods that are unprocessed, organically and locally grown are best for our digestive health. Other factors that are important to consider when trying to optimize digestion are snacking habits, eating when not hungry, portion sizes, how you feel emotionally, and activities accompanied when eating.



How can acupuncture help to resolve digestive problems?

When examining the body, the health of your skin, nails, and hair can reveal information about your digestive function. Additionally, according to Chinese medicine, the stomach manifests to the tongue so by investigating its shape, size, colour, and coating we can identify what may be occurring on the inside of the body. Physical signs that reveal poor digestion can include:

  • Diarrhea/loose stools

  • Constipation

  • Bloating

  • Fullness in the abdomen

  • Abdominal pain

  • Fatigue

  • Gas

  • Cramping

  • Stomach aches

How can you help your digestion in everyday life ?

Some ways in which you are address your digestive symptoms can include:

  • Eating according to the season i.e. more raw foods in summer, warmer foods in winter

  • Addressing emotional stress

  • Eliminating highly processed foods that may be aggravating

  • Avoid ice cold drinks as these may weaken “digestive fire”

  • Aim for 8 hours of sleep at night

  • Managing alcohol intake

  • Chinese herbal medicine

At Greenstone we know that there is never a one-size-fits-all approach to our treatments. Our team will form a customized plan to your needs. If you are struggling with aspects of your digestive health, please get in touch with us as we are happy to help on your health journey.