Diet is important with a hiatus hernia, which is due to a weakening of the tissue around the opening of the diaphragm. The stomach then protrudes up through the diaphragm, pressing on the valve between it and the oesophagus. Pressure prevents the valve from functioning properly, allowing acid from the stomach to well up into the oesophagus, causing heartburn and sometimes pain in the neck and arms, which can be mistaken for angina.
If the hernia is mild, no treatment is needed, but if it causes discomfort, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can soothe the stomach and help digestion, relaxing the muscles. A Chinese Medicine practitioner will prescribe Magnolia bark, orange peel and ginger.
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