Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM) is one of the oldest medical traditions , tracing its roots back more than two thousand years. Chinese Medicine treats the patient holistically, and focuses on the cause as well as the symptoms. Hence diet and nutrition are very important part of treating a patient. Therefore it is not surprising that Acupuncture has been shown to be effective at treating a wide variety of ailments, including digestive issues.
Science is proving what TCM practitioners have known for centuries, our digestive health is vital for the cells of the body to function optimally.
The gastrointestinal tract acts as a “second brain.” It has the ability to constantly transform us. The Human Microbiome Project is an ongoing study confirming microscopic bacterial colonies in our digestive tract have very important jobs to do. The bacterial colonies help keep us healthy both physically and mentally. But because of human intervention, these bacterial colonies in our guts are becoming sick, depleted and are dying.
To rejuvenate these gastrointestinal bacterial colonies, many people are turning to TCM for help. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas are great methods of reviving our gastrointestinal Qi. The Stomach and Spleen are the two main pathways TCM practitioners focus on when treating somebody who exhibits digestive Qi deficiencies. TCM can help to repair the Qi of the Spleen and Stomach meridians. But acupuncture can’t do it alone, the patient can support their treatment by making appropriate dietary changes.
This is where fermented foods come into play. Fermented foods have been around as long as Chinese Medicine. Fermentation is one of the oldest attempts to preserve food. But in today’s world, fermented foods, like sauerkraut, kimchi and yogurt are being utilized to help restore the healthy bacterial colonies found within the gastrointestinal tract. In fermentation, bacteria or yeast feed on natural sugars found in foods. This makes certain foods easier for the gut to digest and allows for the nutrients to be absorbed during digestion. People who do not ingest fermented foods can actually develop immune deficiencies which can lead to serious illness and disease. For instance, sauerkraut, which is fermented cabbage, actually has anti-carcinogenic components that can help prevent cancer. Yogurt can help prevent colorectal cancer, breast cancer and yeast infections. Kimchi has been shown to help improve symptoms of asthma and other allergic reactions, while also lowering LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels.
Incorporating fermented foods into the daily diet and getting regular acupuncture treatments that help
balance out the body’s Qi, can lead to a very healthy gastrointestinal tract. And when the gut is happy,
the body is happy.