Heartburn is something that most adults will experience at some time
Heartburn, also known as acid reflex, gives a burning sensation in the chest, just behind or below the breastbone. The sensation of pain or discomfort often rises in the chest and often gets worse on lying down or bending over.
In Systematic Kinesiology we often see clients coming to us suffering from consistent and painful acid reflux and want to treat heartburn. While a painful condition, many clients first try to self treat with antacids without considering the many causes and the important role the stomach plays in our health. It’s too simple to say that acid reflux is caused by too much acid, and it’s interesting to note that the feeling of pain is the same whether there is too much acid, or indeed too little. I’ve treated many clients, drinking bottles of well known antacid remedies for a condition that is being caused by too little.
The role of stomach acid (gastric juice)
Stomach acid plays an essential role in both digestion and immunity. Stomach acid consists of pepsin (essential in the break down of proteins into amino acids – our building blocks) and hydrochloric acid which is primarily involved in digestion. Hydrochloric Acid, as well as aiding digestion, is essential in the absorption of minerals, such as calcium, and vitamins such as B12. It also kills germs, parasites and harmful bacteria such as H. pylori which is associated with ulcers. It also signals the body to produce specific enzymes needed for the food you’ve just eaten. When there is dysfunction in this mechanism, such as with too little stomach acid, or regular consumption of antacids, the risk of mal-absorption is higher.
Clients who have been diagnosed with Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, which affects up to 25% of Americans and Europeans, (according to American Family Physician) need further investigation, than simply taking over the counter antacid or stronger medications.
The need to treat heartburn is important, as left untreated, GERD can lead to injury of the lining in the lower part of your esophagus. If not addressed this can contribute to the development of esophageal cancer.
Possible causes of heartburn
It is said that acid reflux can occur when the ring of the muscle that allows food into your stomach relaxes when it shouldn’t. The result is acid from your stomach goes back up your esophagus, which then causes the sensation of acid reflux. However, this doesn’t address whether the cause is too much acid (commonly assumed), or if there are other causes. Since stomach acid has a very low pH the burning can cause long term damage, so it is an important condition to address.
Acid reflux and heartburn can be triggered by a number of factors like diet and lifestyle. What we find in Systematic Kinesiology is that food sensitivities can play a role. Chronic long term emotional stress, as well as structural causes such as a Hiatus Hernia are also amongst the many areas we consider. Some of the common causes of heartburn are as follows:
Dietary Habits –
- Eating large portions of food, ie overeating
- Eating excessive spicy and oily food
- Drinking caffeinated and carbonated drinks
- Eating late or just before bedtime
- Poor posture when eating (such as eating off a low table)
- Hiatal hernia
Lifestyle Habits –
- Being overweight
- Drinking alcohol
Change these habits to treat heartburn
What to do when you’re in pain with acid reflux
Watch this video for some natural remedies for when heartburn acid reflux is causing you pain. And then read below a simple Kinesiology balancing technique to try out.
The symptom of burning and discomfort can be relieved using rubbing the associated lymphatic reflex points to the stomach. These points will help you get feel better in the short term.
The points associated with the stomach are between the 5-6th ribs. Found on the left hand side of the body, on the front of the body, below the chest.
- Rub between the rib spaces from the centre out towards the side of the body, along the rib spaces. Don’t worry about being too specific, you can’t do the body any harm.
- Under the left breast, if you find the point tender, then it needs treatment.
- Rub for about 3 minutes, or until the pain level has reduced at least 50%.
- Also rub between the 5-6th vertebra on the back of the body, rub either side and close to the spine.
And if that helps, look to identify the root cause of this symptom, so you don’t need to suffer again.