Acupuncture has been practiced empirically in China for several millennia, and is being increasingly accepted by practitioners and patients worldwide. Functional gastrointestinal disorders are common in clinical gastroenterology. The prevalence of one or more functional gastrointestinal disorders is estimated to be as high as 70% in general population using Rome diagnostic criteria. Since functional gastrointestinal disorders are diagnosed based on symptoms and the exact aetiologies for most of functional gastrointestinal disorders are not completely known, it is not unusual that the treatment for these disorders is unsatisfactory and alternative therapies are attractive to both patients and practitioners. During the latest decades, a considerable number of studies have been performed on acupuncture for the treatment of functional gastrointestinal disorders and underlying mechanisms. In this article, we reviewed available data in the literature on the applications and mechanisms of acupuncture for the treatment of functional gastrointestinal disorders, including functional oesophageal disorders, nausea and vomiting, functional dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, etc. A summary is provided based on the quality and quantity of published studies regarding the efficacy of acupuncture in treating these various disorders. In addition, the methodology of acupuncture is also introduced.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)