Research Update – Acupuncture and Our Gallbladder

Researchers at Xining Haihu Hospital studied the effects of combining acupuncture with the prescription drug cefodizime in the treatment of chronic cholecystitis or inflammation of the gallbladder. They found the participants who received both drug therapy and acupuncture had better outcomes than those who were only taking the prescription medication.  The study followed 100 patients that were divided into two groups. The control group received the prescription and the treatment group received the medication plus acupuncture. The participants were evaluated before and after the course of treatment. Those in the treatment group reported their symptoms decreased and this was visible on the blood tests that were performed. This research shows that acupuncture is an effective addition to treatments in the alleviation of chronic inflammation.

Our gallbladders are an organ small in comparison to many other organs in the human body, measuring only four inches in length. It can be found under the liver in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen. Our gallbladders stores bile. Bile is a combination of fat, fluids and cholesterol that helps break down fat from the food we eat. The bile is then secreted into the small intestine allowing fat-soluble vitamins to be more easily absorbed by the body. Even though the gallbladder has a very specific function, it is not vital for life, as the liver actually produces bile. 

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the gallbladder has several other functions too. The gallbladder governs our decision making and planning. It affects dreams also controls the sinews of the body.  The gallbladder is responsible for passion, action and assertiveness. 

In modern times, many people have issues with their gallbladders. This is usually caused by one of two main conditions, poor diet or excessive stress. A person who experiences severe chronic stress and couples that with poor eating habits, can easily become sick. Fast, greasy, rich or spicy foods and added stress associated with a very demanding job can all lead to inflammation in the gallbladder, as well as stagnation that can contribute to the formation of gallstones. 

Our emotions are less of a culprit when it comes to gallbladder problems, but they can definitely be involved. The gallbladder is very closely associated with the liver in Chinese Medicine and the emotion associated with these two systems is anger. When the gallbladder becomes impaired because of excess stress or poor dietary choices, then anger may start to be more prevalent. 

Aside from eating a clean diet and working to eliminate stress, acupuncture can offer some help in dealing with gallbladder issues. Acupuncture can help decrease inflammation and increase motility in the digestive tract. Regular acupuncture treatments can also decrease stress and help a person deal with pent-up anger. Acupuncture can help a person relax and even sleep better, which allows the gallbladder to function properly.

If you or somebody you know is suffering from any of the aforementioned issues, why not consider acupuncture?