Food Poisoning Can Be Alleviated With Acupuncture

Acupuncture can treat ongoing conditions like chronic pain and anxiety as well as sudden ailments. Food poisoning is a perfect example of a temporary and unpredictable discomfort that acupuncture is successful in treating. Food poisoning can last for hours or days, and while it can be a fairly harmless (if awful) way to spend a few days, it can also (rarely) be a serious and even deadly condition.


While it can result from different viruses or parasites as well, most food poisoning is caused by the ingestion of harmful bacteria that can lead to gastrointestinal disease.  Oriental medicine and acupuncture provide relief from the pain of food poisoning, and can also lessen nausea, increase energy, and help to prevent future incidents. Along with stomach pains, food poisoning usually includes a fever, diarrhea, cramping, and vomiting. Even if the bout of illness clears up on its own after a few days, the digestive track is weakened and the body is exhausted.

The first and most basic treatment for food poisoning is hydration and rest. Vomiting and diarrhea can severely dehydrate the body, and a consistent consumption of fluids will help lessen symptoms. Acupuncture can be used to reduce nausea (and in fact, is often used by pregnant women with morning sickness). By aligning one’s qi (the life force each individual possesses), acupuncture can also strengthen the immune system and digestive tract, paving the way for a faster recovery. Also, by reinforcing the digestive system, a second episode of food poisoning becomes less likely.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspective on Food Poisoning

In traditional Chinese medicine terms, food poisoning is recognized as Dampness and Heat in the stomach and intestines. In Oriental medicine, body conditions like Damp and Heat are usually associated with specific seasons. It is interesting to note that Damp Heat conditions are connected with the summer season in Oriental medicine, and that most reported cases of food poisoning occur in the later summer months through October.

For more information on food poisoning and how traditional Chinese medicine can help, please contact Pacific College of Oriental Medicine at (800) 729-0941, or visit

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