What is celiac disease? It is a condition also known as celiac sprue, in which the first line of treatment is eliminating gluten from the diet. However, it is very difficult to avoid gluten completely as most packaged foods have some forms of gluten. Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition and merely avoiding gluten will not address the underlying autoimmune issues which led to the condition.
It’s not entirely clear what the celiac disease causes are. In fact, most researchers believe there are various factors that lead to this condition, including your genes, your environment, and the foods you eat. A combination of all these factors leads to the development of celiac disease.
What is gluten sensitivity? Gluten is a type of protein that you will find in grains such as wheat, barley, spelt and rye. Celiac disease is a disorder in which eating gluten stimulates an immune system response in the body, leading to inflammation and damage to the small intestine.
Celiac disease is a serious condition and can lead to negative symptoms such as digestive issues and nutritional deficiencies. Watch out for some of the most common signs of gluten sensitivity:
- Weight Loss
- Iron deficiency
- Itchy rash
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has a different take on how the body responds to gluten. So can you explore other options to manage the symptoms?
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine for Celiac Disease
Acupuncture and TCM can help with celiac disease in different ways. If you suffer from celiac disease, your body responds to gluten by causing inflammation in your intestines.
According to TCM, inflammation causes a blockage in the free flow of qi and blood. This blockage leads to abdominal pain and other symptoms of celiac disease. Just by stimulating the circulation of qi and blood, acupuncture can not only reduce the inflammation but also relieve these symptoms as they occur. Acupuncture can help influence your nervous system and trigger the release of endorphins, the happy hormones that also act as your body’s natural painkillers.
Apart from this, acupuncture can also help with the Spleen, improve digestive function and get rid of any dampness or phlegm. However, some of the herbs commonly used in TCM to improve digestion may contain gluten. Some of these include medicated leaven, germinated barley, and maltose. This is why it is important to go into full consultation with a qualified acupuncturist before trying out any herbal medicines.
Acupuncture and TCM can help you to manage some of the symptoms of celiac disease, but they are not that miracle cure you are looking for. If you want to get rid of the symptoms, well then you have to get rid of gluten from your diet. However, if you have just been diagnosed with celiac disease, your body will take time to adjust. Acupuncture can help you deal with the uncomfortable process and also help you cope if you suddenly end up eating something containing gluten.
In addition to that, acupuncture has a key role to play in improving digestion in general, giving you a sense of better overall health and well-being.
Acupuncture for Celiac – Celiac Disease Treatment
If you are looking for a natural treatment for gluten-related disorders, then you must give Acupuncture a try.
1. STOMACH 36:
The acupoint known as Stomach 36 (ST-36) is also known as Zu San Li, which means “leg three miles”. The name refers to the ability of this point to strengthen energy so that a person can walk more, say another three miles, even when highly exhausted.
To locate this point, bend your leg and place four fingers right below the kneecap. Begin with the index finger and slowly inch closer to the base of the kneecap. This the point where the little finger rests, on the outside aspect of the hard shinbone. Feel around for the tender spot.
This acupoint helps boost the immune system, and it strengthens overall energy. It is used to strengthen weak digestion and helps improve digestive disorders that range from constipation to diarrhea, gas, vomiting, bloating, and nausea.
2. REN 12:
Ren is a channel and the receptacle of yin fluids. Ren 12, also known as the Zhong Wan or “middle cavity”. It is specifically where the energy of the stomach collects. In Chinese medicine, the stomach is known as the “sea of water and grain”. One of its key functions is to transform water and grain into more assimilable nutrients.
Locate this point on the belly button where your ribs come together, where there you will find a soft indentation. If you draw a line from the point where your ribs meet your belly button, Ren 12 is in the center of this line. In the chakra system, this point also connects to the solar plexus.
This acupoint is particularly effective in treating appetite and indigestion problems. Excess emotion while eating, especially anger, can damage stomach functions. This acupoint relieves stomach upsets related to emotions. It can also alleviate fullness from celiac disease symptoms like bloating, gas and acid regurgitation.
3. STOMACH 25:
Even though this acupoint is located on the stomach meridian, it is where all the energy of the large intestine gathers together and concentrates. The name for Stomach 25 (ST-25) or Tian Shu, which also means “heaven’s pivot”. This acupoint is where the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract comes together and relates.
Place three fingers parallel and alongside the center of the belly button. The point is at the edge of the last finger, three fingers away from the center of the belly button.
Stomach 25 is a great point in alleviating constipation, diarrhea, and any other kind of intestinal disorder. Stimulating ST-25 helps move abdominal blood and treat menstrual irregularities.
Begin from the ST-25 on the right side. Massage in small circles up and work your way towards the Ren 12. Continue to massage in small circles and gradually move toward the ST 25 on your left. As you massage in circles you can stop just a couple of inches below the belly button. Complete the mini circles till you reach the ST-25 on the right side. Repeat this several times and continue to breathe deeply.
Getting treatment for the disease and incorporating lifestyle habits and acupuncture such as following a gluten-free diet, can help prevent long-term complications.