November 13, 2018
Acupuncture for Constipation
Wellness Tip

Acupuncture for Constipation

by Berkeley Wellness  

If you have chronic constipation, electroacupuncture “might be a valuable and promising new therapeutic option,” a Chinese study in the Annals of Internal Medicine concluded. More than 1,000 people with functional constipation (meaning there is no known medical cause), who had two or fewer bowel movements a week at baseline, received 28 sessions of either real or sham electroacupuncture over eight weeks.

This type of acupuncture involves inserting needles at certain spots (acupoints) on the body and then passing a weak electrical current through them. For the treatment group, the needles were inserted at three acupoints in the abdomen; for the sham (control) group, they were placed shallowly into non-acupoints, with no electrical current.

Those in the electroacupuncture group had a greater increase in bowel movements (almost two more a week over baseline) than those in the sham group (less than one), as well as greater improvement in stool consistency and less straining, with the effects persisting 12 weeks after the end of treatment.

Also see Constipated? Try This Self-Help Technique.