How Does Acupuncture Help Treat a Hernia?
A hernia is a protrusion of tissue, typically muscle tissue through a weak spot in an organ. This can occur in the small or large intestine (most commonly) or at the base of the stomach. Causes of hernias can be any of the following:
- Weight lifting
- Abdominal injury
- Prior surgeries
- Abdominal wall/muscular weakness
While Western medicine sees this as a problem that can typically only be resolved with surgery, Chinese Medicine sees this as a treatable condition using Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Formulas. In Chinese Medicine, this issue is due to a prolapsed, weak organ, more commonly referred to as Spleen Qi deficiency in Chinese Diagnostics. The spleen is the organ that breaks down food and water, adding nutrients that the body can utilize. The spleen helps to make qi, or energy for the body. This energy in turn makes the organs strong, resilient, and have power to do their job effectively without weakness or prolapse. If the body is not receiving adequate nutrition, it becomes weak and organs have weak musculature, which in turn causes prolapse or herniation. Therefore, in Chinese Medicine, acupuncture practitioners look at the body in a holistic perspective where a hernia is not just an isolated incident. It could be caused by diet, poor nutrition, lack of bodily strength or abdominal strength, undernourished organs, organ malfunction due to toxicity or vitamin and mineral deficiency.
Acupuncture is used to treat a hernia where small needles are not only placed locally around the hernia, but they are placed in distal points to help treat the underlying spleen deficiency problem. Lifestyle changes are also recommended to help the patient to achieve better health goals so food can process more efficiently. Contrary to the Western diet recommendations, in Chinese Medicine, it is more beneficial to eat warm, cooked foods versus raw foods. Although there are high amounts of nutrients available in raw vegetables, the body has to work extra hard to break those foods down. However, if the same vegetables are cooked but still bright and crispy, the body has to do less work to break down the food. Therefore, it does not have to produce as many digestive enzymes and Hydrochloric acid. This gives the body a bit of a break, and in the end, the body is capable of assimilating more of those nutrients because they are more easily digestible.
When being treated for a hernia in an acupuncture clinic, not only would acupuncture be used, but the acupuncturist would put together a Chinese herbal formula which helps the spleen, strengthens the organs and helps raise the energy of the body, to offset any type of organ prolapse.
Some things you can do at home to help a hernia:
- Strengthen your core doing yoga, pilates, or stretching
- Abdominal strengthening
- Eating warm, cooked, healthy food
- Drinking warm ginger tea
If you feel like you are getting a hernia, check with your doctor to ensure this is the proper diagnosis. Do know that a hernia is certainly treatable using Acupuncture and Chinese herbs.
Acupuncturist in Franklin Tennessee-Amy L. Suplee
Amy is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Board Certified by the NCCAOM, the governing body for Acupuncturists in the United States. She received her Master’s Degree in Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine at Five Branches University in Santa Cruz, California and is a graduate of University of Colorado. Amy is the Founder and CEO of the International Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Association.
Amy specializes in Women’s Health, Fertility, Pain Management and Chronic Illness. She has been trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Classical Chinese Medicine and 5 Element Emotional Balancing and Acupuncture. She has a long history in Western Medicine so she has the ability to integrate an Eastern and Western approach.
Amy is passionate about her work and enjoys seeing results in her patients. As an Acupuncturist and resident of Nashville, she is dedicated to helping individuals achieve their health goals. She has taken on some of the most difficult cases, and treated patients who have seen multiple doctors who had not previously had relief from their ailments.