Integrative Medicine Blog
Point of the Month: Stomach 25
Stomach 25, named Tian Shu or Heaven’s Pivot, is said to be the “single most important point for the treatment of the widest variety of intestinal disorders.”
Nutrition plays a pivotal role in how our digestion functions. Acupuncturists are keen on asking lots of detailed questions about the digestion, as the answers reveal so much about the state of a person’s health. We view digestion as central to all other systems. Many disorders and diseases can be significantly improved and sometimes even reversed by eating a healthy diet, particularly if you experience disturbances of the gut. There is not a one diet fits all when it comes to nutrition, and from a Chinese medical point of view, there are certain foods that should be avoided and included depending on the root cause of what is contributing to dysfunction. Anyone who has experienced digestive distress knows how uncomfortable and sometimes debilitating it can be. If this is you, please reach out to one of the practitioners at the Stram Center who can help make suggestions to improve your condition.
As far as how acupuncture can help, a treatment would be tailored to your individual condition, signs, symptoms, and underlying constitution. Both acupuncture and herbal medicine, as well as proper nutrition, can make big improvements and even resolve long standing issues. Four of the main organs we focus on when treating gut issues are the stomach, spleen, large intestines, and liver. There are channels or meridians that correspond with these organs that have points along them each with different actions (what they do) and indications (what they’re used for.)
Stomach 25, named Tian Shu or Heaven’s Pivot, is said to be the “single most important point for the treatment of the widest variety of intestinal disorders.” It is located level with the navel, half way from the border of the rectus abdominis muscle. It is used more for diarrhea than constipation, as it helps to resolve dampness in the body (see my post describing this from January). This point is where “the Qi (or energy) of the large intestines gathers and concentrates on the anterior surface of the body.” In other words, by accessing this point or any acupoint, we can communicate with the organs and body’s processes. We use this point for bloating, nausea & vomiting, undigested food in the stool, poor appetite, abdominal pain, and even abdominal masses such as intestinal abscess or uterine masses.
Although there is not one diet that fits all, whenever you can, try to eat food closest to its natural form, to how it came out of the earth. This is what is meant by eating whole foods. Any food that has been modified from its original form and had many ingredients added to it, is getting further from its nutritional value. Read ingredients on labels, the fewer the better, and anything you don’t recognize is a red flag for your body also not recognizing it and not knowing what to do with it, sometimes contributing to discomfort and disease. When you can, explore different recipes combining real whole foods, there are so many ways to combine ingredients that taste really good!
A Manual of Acupuncture by Peter Deadman