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Last updated October 26, 2008 4:27 p.m. PT

Improving digestion with Traditional Chinese Medicine

Improving digestion with Traditional Chinese Medicine

Healthy food choices and good digestion are the building blocks to good health and well-being. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believes that food is a form of medicine. Daily meals are an opportunity to nourish, build and heal our bodies. To benefit from wholesome food choices, however, the body has to digest those foods properly. Fatigue, gas, bloating, constipation and loose stools are signs that your body is out of balance and unable to acquire the full benefits of your diet.

The proper amount and flow of qi, or life energy, constitute the foundation of health, according to TCM. Digestive complaints are signs of imbalance, commonly due to either insufficient qi or a compromised flow of qi. Poor diet or working too much can lead to too little qi, while stress is a common cause of improperly flowing qi.

Acupuncture is a technique used in TCM that utilizes hair-thin needles inserted at precise locations to manipulate the body's qi and remove blockages, allowing it to flow more freely. Clinically, acupuncture successfully alleviates many digestive complaints by increasing your body's digestive energy.

If you experience digestive complaints, now is a great time to find an acupuncturist and start working on improving your health and well-being. A trained and licensed acupuncturist (LAc) can work with you to use acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine to alleviate symptoms and improve overall health.

-- Christine Kaiser, M.S., LAc,

resident at Bastyr Center for Natural Health

Nonprofit, accredited Bastyr University ( offers multiple degrees in the natural health sciences, and clinical training at Bastyr Center for Natural Health (, the region's largest natural medicine clinic.

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