Constipation is a common disorder affecting many people. For many of us, it is a once awhile issue, but for others, it is a severe and persistent condition. It is described as difficulty in emptying the bowels. This can occur for several reasons :

  1. Slow or impaired movement of bowels
  2. Dryness of bowels
  3. Obstruction of bowels

These may occur by themselves or in combination. It may seem simple, but there are many causes for constipation’s pathomechanisms (mechanisms behind how a disease develops). In traditional Chinese medicine schools, providers are taught many of these. Since the body is a multifaceted and complex system, we will discuss only some of the common pathological patterns

1. Slow or impaired movement of bowels

Constipation due to slow movement (intestinal ileus) is usually a result from poor circulation due to insufficient movement. It can also be caused by coldness in the abdomen due to excessive exposure to cold weather or generally lower temperature of the body. We can treat this with moving and warming. 

How to treat  : 

  • Do some weightless squats or lunges to bring energy downward and then some abdominal stretches, such as the
  • Make a downward motion massage of the abdomen for about 5 minutes.
  • Drink warm Bitter Orange tea. Bitter orange

2. Dryness of Bowels

Constipation due to dried intestines is usually caused by insufficient fluid intake. In this case, the best solution for constipation would be to drink some water. However, it can also be caused by reduced fluid metabolism. This means that the body isn’t processing the fluid that you do consume, resulting in improper moistening of the intestines. This can be caused by many different mechanisms, which gets more complex and most likely requires intervention with the advice with a qualified Chinese medicine provider.

How to treat :

  • Make circular motion massage of the abdomen for about 5 minutes
  • Drink room temperature water
  • Eat a ripe peach or apricot with handful of walnuts

3. Obstruction of the bowels

Obstruction is usually caused by stools accumulation into a blockage. This tends to be a result of the prior 2 reasons of constipation. Dryness and slow movement can cause stools to accumulate into a blockage. 

How to treat :

If at this point the problem has not resolved, the problem has become severe and requires the use of stronger medicinal substances and/or procedures. Proper consultation and direction by a qualified Chinese medicine provider is highly recommended in these cases.