Stomach Function: Central to Healing
As a practitioner of Eastern medicine, I look for the root cause of disease in the dysfunction of the internal organs. If I were to choose the one organ that comes up the most consistently as the root of dysfunction, it would be the stomach.
Looking to the Stomach
In Eastern medicine, the stomach is hailed as a vital organ. It is central to digestion and nutrient transformation, forming the bedrock of overall health. Thus, it is thought that all disease can originate in the stomach because it forms the central hub of interconnectedness of the body’s organ systems. And yet, it is generally overlooked as the cause of disease, discomfort, pain, anxiety, and even depression.
Eastern Medicine’s Take on the Stomach
1. Digestive Function and Qi Flow: Emphasizing proper digestion, Eastern medicine sees the stomach as responsible for distributing nourishment throughout the body as Qi and blood.
2. Stomach as the Center: In Eastern medicine, disruptions in the stomach’s functions can profoundly impact other organs, making it susceptible to imbalances leading to various diseases.
3. Emotional and Physical Connection: Recognizing the link between emotions and physical health, Eastern medicine notes how emotional stress can directly impact the stomach, potentially leading to diseases.
4. Stomach’s Role in Transformation: Eastern medicine stresses the stomach’s vital role in transforming food into energy for overall balance. Compromised transformation can accumulate pathogenic factors contributing to diseases.
Gastritis Unveiled: A Closer Look
Inflammation of the stomach, or gastritis, is marked by chronic inflammation of the lining of the stomach, the gastric mucosa or atrophic lesions in the stomach, is the most common clinical disease of the digestive system. This condition arises from repeated damage to the lining, the gastric epithelium, causing structural changes in the mucosa.
Understanding the Roots: Etiology and Pathology
Chronic gastritis is often linked to long-term exposure to physical, chemical, and biological elements that makes the body susceptible, leading to a decline in stomach activity and persistent conditions.
- Physical Factors: Prolonged exposure to coffee, alcohol, nicotine, and raw foods can contribute to gastric mucosal injury.
- Chemical Factors: Extended use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen disrupts the mucosal barrier.
- Biological Factors: Bacterial infections, notably Helicobacter pylori, are closely associated with chronic gastritis.
- Soft Tissue Injury: Injuries to the thoracic soft tissues, often from falls, can contribute to gastritis.
- Stomach Strain: Intensive cardio sports like Nordic skiing, cycling, and running can impact gastric microcirculation and tissue contracture.
Deciphering Symptoms of Chronic Gastritis
Chronic gastritis lacks specific symptoms, and severity may not align with mucosal damage. Many patients are asymptomatic or experience indigestion, while others may exhibit symptoms like abdominal pain, fullness, acid regurgitation, back pain, chest pain, belching, chronic low B-12, anemia, weight loss, and diarrhea. Some patients may experience anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, headaches, and depression.
Holistic Perspectives in Eastern Medicine:
Let’s unravel the complexities of gastritis and explore its ties to Eastern medicine and discovering how Eastern medicine principles guide us in maintaining stomach health.
Taking Preventive Measures: A Holistic Approach
Eastern medicine practitioners highlight the importance of a healthy digestive system to prevent diseases. Dietary recommendations, lifestyle adjustments, and acupuncture are commonly employed to support stomach functions and restore body energy balance.
Acupuncture Treatment for Gastritis: A Traditional Approach
Chinese medicine offers acupuncture as a treatment, selecting points based on the patient’s condition. Targeting the abdomen and lower extremities connected to the stomach effectively alleviates stomach cramps, providing immediate relief. In my clinical experience, long-term acupuncture treatment is often recommended for lasting results.
Eastern and Western Medicine: An Integration
As we explore effective treatments for chronic gastritis, the spotlight is turning towards Eastern Medicine. The integration of Eastern and Western medicine has gained attention for its notable effectiveness in treating this condition.
Due to the complex pathogenesis and mechanisms of chronic gastritis, most Western medicines only play a partial role in relieving symptoms, and the symptoms of chronic gastritis are prone to relapse.
Eastern medicine stands out with its stable efficacy, high safety, low drug resistance, and cost-effectiveness. It alleviates symptoms and significantly improves gastric mucosal injury while minimizing adverse reactions from modern comprehensive treatments.
Understanding the intricate relationship between your stomach and Eastern medicine provides a holistic health and disease prevention perspective. By addressing imbalances in the stomach and digestive system, practitioners aim to promote overall well-being and harmony within the body’s intricate network of organs and energetic pathways.
Here’s to your stomach health!