What Natural Treatments Can Help Manage Your IBS Symptoms?

Posted on: 24 September 2015

If you've recently been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), you may be relieved to finally put a name to the periodic constipation, diarrhea, and other unpleasant digestive symptoms that have been plaguing you for some time. However, even with medication to help manage the underlying ailment, you may desire additional relief from your recurring symptoms without turning to even more drugs. Read on to learn more about several alternatives to help manage your condition in a natural way.


One of the main complications of IBS can be constipation. Colon massage may help you significantly by encouraging waste to move through your colon and stimulate the urge to go. There are a number of colon massages you can perform yourself, at home, but enlisting the services of a massage therapist may be the best way to see quick action. In addition to massaging your lower stomach to help move waste through your colon, a massage therapist may work on your lower back to help relax tension around the nerves that control your digestive system. 

After a few weeks of treatment, you may notice that you have more energy and are having less indigestion or other digestive upset in addition to the improvement of your constipation. Because IBS can cause stress -- but is also exacerbated by stress -- it can be difficult to relax enough to help your treatments take effect. Regularly seeking massage therapy can help you achieve the inner peace and relaxation you'll need to help gain advantage over your IBS.


Another good option to help treat a variety of digestive symptoms -- from constipation to diarrhea to heartburn -- is acupuncture. During this process, the acupuncturist will insert multiple hair-thin needles into various pressure points, helping improve circulation, relax soft tissues, and reduce inflammation. Although these needles may look intimidating, most patients report only a mild tingling, achiness, or warm sensation at the insertion sites. 

Depending upon the severity of your symptoms and your schedule, you may opt to have regular acupuncture treatments several times per week, or limit these treatments to just once or twice per month. Regardless of the frequency, most patients notice a temporary improvement in both IBS symptoms and mood after an acupuncture session. Like massage, these treatments can be very relaxing and can help reduce the stress you may feel about your condition.


One mainstay of alternative IBS treatments is chiropractic massage and treatment. Chiropractic treatment involves the manipulation of your spine and other joints (either by the chiropractor or a machine) to help release your nerves from restrictive scar tissue or other blockages and help improve circulation and nervous system communication. Many chiropractors and naturopaths believe that helping improve the pathways between the multitude of nerve fibers in your digestive tract can reduce or even eliminate most of the symptoms of your IBS. In other cases, constipation or acid reflux may actually be caused by a slight misalignment in the spine or neck that can be easily corrected with a chiropractic adjustment.

During your first appointment with a chiropractor, you'll likely spend some time discussing your specific symptoms and how long you've been experiencing them. The chiropractor may take some X-rays of your spine to determine whether there are any structural abnormalities or areas of heavy scar tissue formation that may be presenting you with particular problems. You'll then go through a series of gentle neck, spinal, and pelvic manipulations to help rearrange your spinal cord into a more comfortable position and break up any scar tissue blockages that could be impeding communication. You'll likely feel taller and more energized after each visit.