Do you suffer from Constipation?
Constipation is described as a difficulty in passing stools or the infrequent passing of hard, dry stools. For some people this happens occasionally but for others it is a part of everyday life. Daily evacuation of the bowel is the ideal as it rids the body of toxins, but some people go as little as every three days, but are still not considered to be constipated. Severe constipation may be associated with faecal impaction which may result in diarrhoea, ulceration of the colon or intestinal obstruction, so it’s really important to resolve this condition.
Symptoms of Constipation :
- Infrequent passage of stools
- Hard dry stools
- Abdominal fullness and pain
- Constipation can give rise to bad breath and body odour
- Coated tongue
- Gas and indigestion
- Hernia and Haemorrhoids
- Ulceration of the colon and intestinal obstruction
Nutritional Treatment :
- Increase fluids to a minimum of 2 litres daily
- On rising have a cup of warm water with half a freshly squeezed lemon
- Eat a high fibre diet – complex carbohydrates, fruit, vegetables and whole grains
- Reduce animal protein
- Eliminate processed foods – especially white bread, sugar etc
- Consider a juice fast
- Psyllium seed husks
- Castor oil poultices (soak cloth in castor oil) placed on the lower abdomen overnight and cover with a crepe bandage to keep in place while sleeping.
Lifestyle Advice :
Take a brisk walk for 30 minutes every morning to stimulate peristaltic action of the bowel and tone abdominal muscles. Remember to eat your meals in a relaxed, mindful manner without reading or watching television. Don’t drink with your meals! It’s best to drink between meals or only drink a little if you’re thirsty before a meal. Drinking lots of fluids at mealtimes dilutes digestive enzymes and makes it more difficult for the digestive system to function properly. Your naturopath can advise you on hydrotherapy, colonic irrigation and coffee enemas as well as suggest supplements that would be helpful for your condition.
How Acupuncture can help :
Acute constipation is easy to treat and will generally resolve within a few days. Chronic constipation is more difficult though and usually needs prolonged treatment to successfully resolve the problem. Your acupuncturist will take a detailed consultation in order to find the root cause of your constipation. A tongue and pulse diagnosis will be followed by the insertion of very fine disposable needles, placed at various acupuncture points on the body. This will encourage the stagnation to move and help the body back to balance. By treating the underlying cause as well as the symptoms of constipation, there is greater potential for healing.