Stress and Digestion

Dr. Erin West is a Holistic Doctor in Gilbert, AZ who helps people relieve and manage stress as well as achieve healthy digestion. At Mend Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine, we want you to live your healthiest, happiest life.


Stress is something we are all familiar with in some way – after all, the body is designed to recognize and respond to stress. It has been built into our bodies and was originally used as a survival mechanism to help keep us alive. In short bursts, stress can be positive, such as when it helps you avoid danger or meet a deadline. Unfortunately, our modern culture is causing us to be overly stimulated and stressed, keeping us in the “fight or flight” sympathetic nervous system state. The problem is, we do not heal while the sympathetic nervous system is activated. At Mend Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine, our holistic doctor is here to help you achieve natural stress relief as well as stress management, and break out of the constant “fight or flight” state.

What Causes Stress?

Though the causes of stress are different for each person, there are now more stressors than ever in our modern culture. Some common causes of stress include:

  • Starting a new job
  • Getting laid off
  • The death of a loved one
  • Getting married or divorced
  • Having a baby
  • Work problems
  • Money problems
  • Moving
  • Certain relationships
Business woman holding her head in front of her laptop

Stress Symptoms to Look Out For

Stress can come from good challenges and bad challenges, but the effects are usually the same, manifesting as both emotional and physical problems. Some common stress symptoms include:

  • Feeling worried or tense
  • Feeling like your thoughts can’t turn off
  • Sleep problems
  • Indigestion
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Muscle aches and headaches
  • Effects to the immune system
  • Effects to hormones

When stress symptoms manifest, you know it’s time to take action. But quitting our jobs and meditating 8 hours a day is not a feasible solution to combating stress. However, we do need to take active steps to create some balance in our lives to mitigate the damage of stress. This is particularly true for people who are inflamed, in pain, or trying to get pregnant.

Ways to Relieve Stress

Meditation, yoga, and even getting a massage can trigger that wonderful state of relaxation you and your body need. That relaxed and heavy state is the parasympathetic nervous system state – a state when our body can rest, digest, heal, and repair. It is really important that we activate this step as often as we can to combat the stress of our lifestyle, habits, circumstances, health, etc.

While those are great at helping you achieve that wonderful state of relaxation, acupuncture is another natural and effective tool. When you work with our integrative doctor at Mend, we will not only help give you the proper guidance on things you can do to combat stress in your life, but also treat you with acupuncture to assist with natural stress relief.


Aside from joint and muscle pain, digestive health issues are the most common complaint we treat in our clinic. Many people ignore that their digestion is not functioning well and do not realize how much this can affect many other areas of their lives. Let us help you get back to balance and digestive health wellness.

middle aged woman holding her stomach in pain

What Are Signs of Digestive Imbalance?

When you ignore your gut health, you can suffer from digestive imbalance.

Common signs include:

  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Indigestion
  • Burping
  • Excess gas
  • Pain
  • Lack of appetite

But that’s not all. Long-standing digestive weaknesses or inflammation can have a negative effect on other areas of the body. This can include brain fog or difficulty concentrating, low energy, weight loss or weight gain, weakened immune system, and even headaches.

How We Can Help Improve Gut Health

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), acupuncture has been shown in clinical research to improve digestion and reduce inflammatory disorders of the gut. Herbal medicine, food therapy, and proper supplementation support are also great additions to acupuncture therapy. We are highly trained in determining what additional herbal medicine and support you could benefit from and will be discussed at your first appointment at our clinic.

Let Us Help with Your Stress and Digestive Issues

Whether you need stress relief help or are looking to improve gut health, Mend Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine and our holistic doctor is here for you. We are located in Gilbert, AZ, and are here to get you healthy and happy through our natural and effective methods. Contact us at (480) 788-1757 or schedule your appointment online today.

  • Irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, and depression: What are the links? Lydiard RB. J Clin Psychiatry. 2001;62 Suppl 8:38-45; discussion 46-7
  • Effect of Acupuncture on Dyspepsia with Sleep Disorders. Liaoning Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Zeng LF, Tuo L. (2017). 2017,44(2): 359-361.
  • Analysis of therapeutic effect of acupuncture and moxibustion on functional dyspepsia. Wu ZL. (2017). Asia-Pacific Traditional Medicine. 2017,13(2): 112-113.
  • The Rome Ⅲ criteria for the diagnosis of functional dyspepsia in secondary care are not superior to previous definitions. Ford AC, Bercik P, Morgan DG, et al. (2014). Gastroenterology. 2014,146(4): 932-940.
  • Ultrasonography analysis of gallbladder motility in patients with functional dyspepsia. European journal of internal medicine.Milini N, Filipovic B, Luki T, et al. (2014). 2014,25(2): 156-159.
  • Visceral and somatic sensory function in functional dyspepsia. Neurogastroenterology and motility. Li X, Cao Y, Wong RKM, et al. (2013). 2013, 25(3): 246-253.
  • Treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with Chinese herbal medicine: a randomized controlled trial. Bensoussan et al. JAMA. 1998 Nov 11;280(18):1585-9.
  • Electroacupuncture accelerates solid gastric emptying and improves dyspeptic symptoms in patients with functional dyspepsia. Xu, et al. Dig Dis Sci. 2006 Dec;51(12):2154-9.
  • Acupuncture for functional gastrointestinal disorders. Takahashi, T. J Gastroenterol. 2006 May;41(5):408-17.

Patient Reviews

Start Your Journey

For new patients, we schedule a comprehensive examination to go over your concerns, eating and sleeping patterns, day-to-day activity, diet, and anything else that may be contributing to your medical concern. We are your trusted integrative doctor in Gilbert.