With Christmas and New Year’s just around the corner, ‘tis the season for parties, overeating and drinking. This time of year is notorious for overindulgence, and all the food and merriment can be a bit of a strain on the digestive system.

Eating a large meal, or one that is high in fats—which is often the case at celebration time—can lead to indigestion. Symptoms include a feeling of fullness, discomfort, belching, abdominal pain and bloating. Add to this a hefty dose of alcohol, and multiply over a number of occasions throughout the season, and our digestive systems are left crying for help.

According to traditional Chinese medicine, the cause of indigestion is food stagnation, but it may be accompanied by a spleen deficiency. It can also be a result of stress, an emotion that many experience during the pre-Christmas rush of buying presents and preparing for parties.

Research has shown that acupuncture can be effective in the treatment and prevention of indigestion and overindulgence, as it encourages energy towards the liver, gall bladder, stomach and spleen—the primary channels for digestion. It increases gastrointestinal muscle contraction, and helps to restore the balance of Qi (body energy) in the intestines, enabling the body to better transport food and absorb its nutrients. As well as this, the general sense of relaxation that the practice offers can relieve stress, which is beneficial.

Acupuncture treatment can be complemented by Chinese herbal medicines, which also do wonders in helping you get through the gluttony of the silly season. There are a range of acupuncture and herbal treatments available at Meridian Medical Centre. Give us a call on 03 9886 9938 or email us for more information.

About Dr. Tsai