By Winston Lee, L.Ac, Ph.D., KMD
Pain control is probably the most common reason why patients visit our clinics. And indigestion is the next common reason for visiting. According to recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), 14.8M of the US population has gastritis, and 5.9% of adults already have it. Usually, if you have stomach pain or discomfort, it is common for most people to go to the nearest pharmacy and purchase an over-the-counter antacid. What is the best treatment for the symptom?
I want to introduce a routine method that I use. Since I got my license as an Asian medicine doctor in Korea, I worked in Korea for 4 years, then came to California and worked full-time for another 9 years. Personally, 70% of the patients who come to see me are pain patients, but more than half of the remaining patients are patients with digestive disorders such as gastritis. Acupuncture is the first treatment for this. Both LI 4 and ST 36 relieve pain significantly. All points from CV 10 to CV 13, which are the acupoints in the abdomen, are added.
Also, ST25 is used at the same time. If the needle is accurately inserted to the appropriate depth and simultaneously twirling and thrusting is done properly, it will be very effective. Then, the patient is asked to lie down on the stomach, and then cupping with moderate strength is done on both sides of BL 17, 18, and 19 of the thoracic vertebrae. People who have a stomachache due to gastritis or stomach cramps often complain of pain at the spot when BL 17, 18, or 19 are pressed with the practitioner’s fingers. After the acupuncture and cupping treatment, 3 days’ supply of herbal medicine is given, although it varies depending on the patient’s symptoms, but in general, Ping Wei San, which contains Cang Zhu, Chen Pi, etc., is given.
When the stomach pain comes, the previous eating habits should not be left as it is. If the stomach is rested, it will heal itself. The best way to rest the stomach, eat like a baby. You should not eat hard or raw foods and only eat well-cooked and shredded and ground foods like baby food. Of course, you should not eat too salty and spicy foods that are irritating to the stomach.
When the above treatment is performed, the effect is usually seen from the same day or the next day, and most of them show sufficient improvement in up to a week.
Many patients take antacids, but the medicine will not meet the expectations. Antacids neutralize stomach acid, but most indigestion patients also have problems with the gastrointestinal movement itself. The acupuncture and herbal medicine treatments promote the movement of the stomach and duodenum and quickly lowers the food stagnant there.