Bowel Movements

BM's and Chinese Medical Diagnosis

digestion cupping self-care remedyIf you've ever visited an acupuncturist before, you may have thought to yourself that she was overly interested in your bowel movements. The reason for the prying questions is that bowel movements can give a great deal of insights into your overall health and help to lend clues to which pattern(s) of imbalance may be causing your health condition or pain syndrome. 

A newly popular modality for self-care wellness is self-cupping. For digestive disorders apply our Regulate Cupping Solution to the lower abdomen and adhere suction cups. For best outcomes using self-care, combine associated Aroma Acu-Sticks® to acu-points, topical remedies, and good lifestyle practices.

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essential oils for acupressureAcupressure Points for Healthy Bowel Movements

Learn How to Apply Acupressure Linked Here!

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Emotions and Irregular Bowel Movements

aromatherapy acupressure for stressA long-held theory in traditional Chinese medicine is that emotional health influences physical health, including digestion. Western medicine is catching up to this ancient understanding with recent research into the enteric nervous system suggesting that digestive-system activity may affect cognition, and that emotions may impact digestion. In Chinese medicine, stress impacts the Liver, lack of peaceful sleep harms the Heart, worry damages the Spleen Qi, and so on according to Five Element Theory.

Lifestyle Habits and BM's

Food Therapy is an independent advanced study in Chinese medicine and its' understanding is pivotal in maintaining wellness. Western medicine is presently delving into research of the gut-immune-brain axis and importance of a whole foods diet. An example: The consumption of leafy greens, legumes, fresh vegetables, and other fiber-rich foods have been found to be prebiotics that promote intestinal flora health. 

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Color and Smell of BM

A normal bowel movement would be solid, shaped like a hot dog, have slight odor, and would be light brown according to Chinese medicine. One would use abnormal variations to help form a pattern of Deficiency or Excess to create a self-care protocol.

  • Light color with faint odor would indicate Deficiency or Cold
  • Dark colored BM with strong odor could indicate Heat or Excess

Caution: White, chalky color could indicate Liver failure, and very dark BM's could indicate blood in the stool and should be reported to your local healthcare provider.

Earth Element Imbalances and BM's

It is curious that one of the major points for the Large Intestine is actually on the Stomach Channel (Acu-point Stomach 37). This is, until the connection between the Spleen and Stomach is understood as they are the paired energetic organs of the Earth Element in Chinese medicine

The Spleen is the organ in charge of the transportation and transformation of foods and fluids; so, the entire digestive process. Spleen Qi Deficiency bowel problems may present with:

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Metal Element Imbalances and BM's

The Large Intestine is part of the Metal Element of Chinese medicine. However, few acu-points on the Large Intestine Channel impact bowel movements other than acu-point Large Intestine 4 that has a downward bearing influence.

  • Not experiencing a full BM in the morning after the Horary Large Intestine energy time from 5 AM-7AM
  • Emotional inability to "let go" of negative emotions or memories
  • Large Intestine Qi Deficiency with slow transit, or defecatory disorders

Liver Imbalances and Bowel Movement Problems

The smooth flow of Qi anywhere in the body is influenced by the smooth flow of Liver Qi. Qi Stagnation will possibly present with the following symptoms:

Kidney Imbalances and BM's

  • Yang Deficiency and early morning diarrhea, Coldness in limbs, lower back pain or weakness
  • Yin Deficiency and dry stools with thirst, afternoon fever, night sweats, and or tinnitus

Internal Heat and BM Problems

Internal heat in the body would be indicated by BM's that are hard and dry and looks like small pellets. Causes of Internal Heat:

Damp Heat and Explosive BM's

Typically caused by external bacterial pathogens from eating spoiled food or infections such as dysentery. Self-care includes the use of charcoal tablets and probiotics.

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Yi P, Tong J, Chen Y. Chen. (Herb lotion combined with acupoint massage on the clinical efficacy of neonatal jaundice. Shenzhen J Integ Tradit Chin West Med. 2016;26:38–39.

Wong WK, Chien WT, Lee WM. Self-administered acupressure for treating adult psychiatric patients with constipation: a randomized controlled trial. Chin Med. 2015 Nov 3;10:32.

Yildirim D, Kocatepe V, Talu GK. The efficacy of acupressure in managing opioid-induced constipation: A single-blind randomized controlled trial. Support Care Canc. 2022 Jun;30(6):5201-5210. 

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.