Food Stagnation Acupuncture Case Study

Food Stagnation

“Bill” was a 42 year-old male in an executive leadership position at his company, with a lot of job stress.  He used acupuncture regularly to re-center himself and mitigate any health issues that came up for him such as insomnia, headaches, and anxiety.

On this visit he mentioned that his digestion felt really inefficient.  As if his food was just stuck, sitting like a brick in his ribcage.  Also he had a bitter/sour taste in his mouth.

“Food Stagnation” is exactly what it sounds like.  Food accumulates in the digestive tract and doesn’t move through as it should.  The reasons for this sluggishness can be many, but usually involves overindulgence in greasy, spicy, or heavy foods.

Why is it so important to keep food moving through the body?  Think about food storage.

We keep a lot of foods in the fridge.  Cool and dry.  That discourages bacteria from growing on them.  Keeps them fresh longer.

Now imagine you’ve got a heap of moist, chewed up food, sitting in a humid 100 degree container.  How long before it goes bad?

Humid and 100 degrees.  That’s what it’s like inside your body.  Keep it moving!

I asked what he ate the night before and he replied “Steak and Vodka.”

Nothing else?  Nope just steak and vodka.  A lot of steak.  And a lot of vodka.

Turns out he was at a business function and that’s what they were serving.

We used acupuncture on strategic points of the body that encourage the digestive tract to move (peristalsis).  Additionally I modified his normal herbal prescription to include some of the herbs that are famous within Chinese medicine for alleviating this condition of food stagnation.

After the first acupuncture session he already felt less pressure in his body, as if the food was moving through again.  It’s good that he took the herbs every day as well to continue to train the body and assist it in handling the heavy foods he would no doubt continue to be exposed to.

We talked a bit about the perils of business lunches, and how he would always wind up at some restaurant with a ton of heavy options on the menu (steaks, burgers, etc) and there would be one healthy choice: a salmon salad.

He didn’t want to stick out from the crowd by ordering the obviously healthy choice.  A lot of business people I’ve worked with seem to have this hang up.  They see sticking out as some sort of weakness.

We discussed the inherent strength and leadership traits that are displayed when you make a choice that goes against the herd but is clearly in your best interest.  With a little mental reprogramming, he wasn’t feeling so trapped in restaurants, and severely stepped up his leadership game.