Gallstones and Acupuncture

By James Whittle M.S., L.Ac.

Gallstones can be incredibly painful and problematic. However in many cases, people don’t even know that they have gallstones in their gallbladder. It is only when a person develops intense pain, usually in their upper right quadrant of the abdomen, that they seek medical attention and get the condition diagnosed.

If you have intense pain in your upper right quadrant, make an appointment with your medical doctor to get the condition diagnosed. After that diagnosis, you might want to seek out natural therapies, dietary therapies and alternative treatments like acupuncture to improve your health and prevent gallstones from forming in the first place.

Gallstones form when the balance of substances that make up bile, a digestive fluid produced by the liver, is disrupted. Bile contains cholesterol, bilirubin, and other compounds, and an imbalance in these components can lead to the formation of solid particles that gradually grow into gallstones. High levels of cholesterol, for example, can crystallize and accumulate in the gallbladder, forming stones over time.

Other factors contributing to gallstone formation include obesity, rapid weight loss, and conditions that affect the gallbladder’s ability to empty properly. Additionally, genetics, age, and certain medical conditions may predispose individuals to gallstone development. Understanding and addressing these factors through lifestyle changes and holistic therapies can be essential in preventing the formation of gallstones.

Treating Gallstones with Acupuncture

To treat gallstones naturally, simply call our clinic to find out how acupuncture can help. In many cases a detoxification or purification program is necessary to balance the organs of digestion and help stop the body from forming gall stones. When the liver is producing bile normally and the gall bladder is storing the bile effectively, and when food choices are easy to digest, gallstones will be prevented.

Most people would prefer to try acupuncture for gallstones rather than having surgery. In some cases, we have been able to use acupuncture to help a person release a gallstone.

More About Gallstones and Acupuncture

Acupuncture is very helpful for gallstones and helps the gall bladder and liver to regain a natural balance. Chinese medicine and Chinese herbal medicine have been used effectively for thousands of years to treat gallstones.

Don’t try these methods at home without seeking out a competent Acupuncturist and Herbalist to guide you through the treatments. In the following recommendations list, Chinese medicine expert Subhuti Dharmananda (1) outlines a protocol for helping to alleviate gallstones:

  1. A diet and exercise program that emphasizes a low fat, high fiber diet and regular daily exercise. For obese patients, a carefully monitored diet with appropriate caloric controls should have a goal of gradual weight loss of not more than 2 pounds per week on average. A digestive enzyme preparation that includes ox bile and lipase may be used to help treat symptoms of poor fat digestion.
  2. A regular meal schedule that encourages the gallbladder to fill completely between meals. This means minimizing snacking (which is an approach contrary to some dietary recommendations for managing eating disorders and some other health problems).
  3. Daily consumption of stone dissolving substances, including the “three golds” and, if possible, bile salts.
  4. Consumption of moderate amounts of coffee (with or without caffeine) and/or other herbs that promote bile flow (mainly herbs that treat qi stagnation and damp-heat).
  5. Acupuncture therapy to regulate circulation of qi, purge the gallbladder, and alleviate pain in the gallbladder region.
  6. A gallstone purging therapy to eliminate stones that have a diameter of less than 1 cm, to be taken over a period of several days. This therapy would include rhubarb and mirabilitum.

To learn more about acupuncture and gall stones, and acupuncture and gallbladder health, call 828-254-4405.



Reach James Whittle M.S. L.Ac. Acupuncture in Asheville

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