Most of us would have experienced constipation at some point in our lives – whether it’s that uneasy feeling in the stomach yet have no bowel movements or straining to pass motion. However, for those who have chronic constipation, it can be inconvenient and cause disruption to our lives. Not only that, but we might also face certain complications that might end up requiring surgery. 

What is Constipation? 

If you do not have bowel movements everyday, don’t worry – that’s not constipation! Regular bowel movement can range from 3 times a day to 3 times a week! It depends on each individual. 

Constipation is only diagnosed when one experience 2 or fewer bowel movements in a week. Other than the regularity of bowel movements, chronic constipation can also be diagnosed by looking at other factors, such as the difficulty in passing motion, small and hard stools, and having a sense of incomplete excretion of waste after passing motion.

What are the causes? 

Some factors that contribute to constipation are: 

    • Drinking insufficient water
    • Lack of fibre intake
    • Ignoring the urge to pass motion 
    • Growth in colon
    • Medications
    • Sedentary lifestyle
    • Change in diet
    • Travel
    • 怀孕

登入会员后,点击 中医, constipation is categorized under four different types: 

    1. Heat-induced constipation. This is caused by eating fried and heaty foods, alcohol as well as extreme emotions such as anger or grief. You have dry and hard stools along with bad breath.  
    2. Cold-induced constipation. The body is weakened by the constant consumption of cold foods such as cold beverages, ice cream and sushi. You will find that you frequently experience cold hand and feet, increased frequency in urination as well as small hard stools. You might also experience pain in the waist and spine area. 
    3. Qi deficiency constipation. This is usually caused by a natural weak body constitution, ageing, childbirth or physical exertion. People with qi deficiency constipation may experience bowel movement but have difficulty in passing motion. 
    4. Blood deficiency constipation. Those who usually stay up late at night working overtime, blood loss after surgery and childbirth. They usually have pale tongue and nails, experience giddiness and heart palpitations.

TCM Treatment

Acupoint massage

There are a few places you can massage on your body to help relieve constipation. One of them is the Zhongwan Xue. Place your right palm above your belly button. Using your left palm to cover your right palm, gently massage your abdomen for a minute. Another area you can massage is locating the Tian Shu Xue. The two points are three fingers away from either side of your belly button. Massage for approximately 2 minutes. 

Chinese Herbs

Black sesame seeds are one of the Chinese herbs you can commonly see and purchase in local supermarkets. They are known for acting as a lubricant in your intestines, helping to pass motion easier, relieving constipation. 

Acupuncture Treatment

Acupuncture has been known to help with many health issues, from muscle strains migraines and acne. It should come as no surprise that acupuncture can also help in relieving constipation! Using thin needles to insert into the specific points of the body, it can help to treat constipation.