The following alternative treatments may help to lessen or prevent abdominal bloating:
Herbal therapies. Several herbs have been shown to promote healthy digestion and decrease the severity of abdominal bloating. According to Brigham and Women’s Hospital, these include:
- Peppermint tea
- Chamomile tea
Bulking agents such as psyllium husk and alfalfa can improve abdominal bloating if the cause is digestive irregularity, but can worsen bloating if the cause is constipation. Be sure to drink plenty of water while taking a bulking agent to prevent constipation.
Acupuncture, a form of traditional Chinese medicine in which thin needles are inserted at points around the body to restore the bodily flow of energy. Acupuncture has been proven to decrease stress and anxiety, and can also help to restore proper digestion.
Yoga. Yoga is a form of mind and body exercise that has potential to decrease stress and prevent many gastrointestinal diseases. For the best effect, yoga should be practiced for at least 20 minutes a day, every day. The breathing exercises associated with yoga, known as pranayama, can be especially helpful in reducing the severity of gastrointestinal disruptions as they work to strengthen the diaphragm/chest muscles and also reduce stress/anxiety.
Meditation/guided imagery, which can be effective means of stress reduction and management. Meditation can be conducted independently or in a group setting. Guided imagery typically is conducted in a group setting or one on one with a therapist, though pre-recorded audio files of guided imagery are available.