When your GI tract is filled with air or gas bloating occurs in your abdomen. When this happens, your stomach may feel full or tight, and it may appear larger. Symptoms of bloating can result in a range of slight to severe discomfort.
In Westen medicine, causes of bloating include:
Eating foods that produce more gas, or trigger sensitivities e.g. lactose intolerance
- Swallowing air
- Reflux (GERD)
- Weight gain
In Eastern medicine, bloating is caused by an imbalance of Qi (energy), and an excess of Yin or coldness within your body, specifically in your stomach and spleen. From this perspective, the stomach and spleen are the main components of your digestive system. They are also responsible for absorbing food, creating blood and Qi, and distributing nutrients to the rest of your body. When these organs do not function properly, stagnant Qi, food, and fluids can build up. In addition, digestive problems and diet can cause Yin within the stomach to build up as well. When your body’s Qi, and Yin and Yang energy are not balanced in homeostasis, bloating can occur.
Here are 2 ways you can combat bloating with Eastern medicine!
Similar to acupuncture, acupressure utilizes pressure points on your body to trigger a physiological response. In other words, by massaging specific points on your body, you will be able to encourage a healthy flow of Qi. For example, a simple self-acupressure massage you can do is rub your stomach in a clockwise motion while lying on your back. This helps your stomach and spleen Qi flow, therefore reducing symptoms of bloating.
In Eastern medicine, the stomach needs to maintain a warm internal temperature to digest food, which is why an excess of Yin or coldness, can also cause bloating. To counteract this you can incorporate foods and herbs that have Yang energy or warmth, into your diet. Most meats, garlic, and ginger, are some examples of “warm foods.” By ingesting warm foods and offsetting the excess of Yin and coldness in your body, you can bring your body back to homeostasis and treat bloating symptoms.
Bringing your body back to homeostasis is a key principle of Eastern medicine and it can be done in many ways, these are just two methods you can try on your own. If you are experiencing symptoms of bloating we encourage you to visit our clinic so we can examine your symptoms and provide you with a customized treatment plan.