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I have always had a problem when it comes to my gag reflex. As a kid I even had a problem wearing a mouth piece and going to the dentist. but it still has not gone away, even today if i go to the dentist it is very hard for me to allow anything in my mouth without gagging and eventually vomiting. I also have a problem when shirts are tight around my neck. Is there any hope in acupuncture? ?

I have always had a problem when it comes to my gag reflex. As a kid I even had a problem wearing a mouth piece and going to the dentist. but it still has not gone away, even today if i go to the dentist it is very hard for me to allow anything in my mouth without gagging and eventually vomiting. I also have a problem when shirts are tight around my neck. Is there any hope in acupuncture? ?

There are some very simple acupuncture points that have been proven to calm down the gag reflex.

Acupuncture point: Ren 24

The first point is Ren 24, which is located midline between the lower lip and the chin.

A blind, controlled study published in the December 2003 issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine showed that using single-needle acupuncture on Ren 24 (also called CV24 or chengjiang) alleviated the gag reflex during transesophageal echocardiography.

In the study, the acupuncture group experienced significantly less gagging than the sham group

Acupuncture of Ren 24 is an easy to apply and effective method to reduce gag reflex. If you wanted to try this out yourself, purchase some acupuncture magnets or beads. The acupuncture magnets come on an adhesive and you can leave it on the point for up to a week.

Ear Acupuncture Points to control Gag Reflex

Another very interesting study was published in the June 2001 issue of the British Dental Journal this study used two points located on the ear and found that acupuncture was able to prevent gagging during dental treatment on people with a moderate to severely exaggerated gag reflex.

"Ear acupuncture was successful in controlling the gag reflex," said Fisk. "It is a safe, quick, inexpensive, and relatively noninvasive technique."

The anti-gagging point is a little harder to find. It is between the triangular fossa and the concha of the ear and is located where the vagus nerve innervated the ear. If you can find the triangular shaped hollow in the top portion of the ear (triangular fossa), the point is directly below the hollow.

You may want to have an acupuncturist help you find the point on yourself.  You can also purchase tiny adhesive acupuncture magnets or pellets to place over the point.

Sources:

Rösler A1, Otto B, Schreiber-Dietrich D, Steinmetz H, Kessler KR. Single-needle acupuncture alleviates gag reflex during transesophageal echocardiography: a blinded, randomized, controlled pilot trial. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 2003 Dec;9(6):847-9. PMID: 14736356 DOI: 10.1089/107555303771952190

Fiske J1, Dickinson C. The role of acupuncture in controlling the gagging reflex using a review of ten cases. British Dental Journal 2001 Jun 9;190(11):611-3.  PMID: 11441900 DOI: 10.1038/sj.bdj.4801053

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