According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), constipation can be caused by these factors:
* Mental or emotional problems such as stress and anxiety;
* Aging, or physical weakness due to overstrain;
* Unhealthy lifestyle, lack of exercises, or imbalanced diets;
* Predominance of Yang, usually caused by eating too much spicy or high-fat foods, or addiction to smoking or alcohol;
* Other diseases that may cause the deficiency of the blood and qi, the dysfunction of the large intestine, as well as problems with the lung, spleen, stomach, and kidney.
Prevention methods include:
* Eating more fruits and vegetables;
* Exercise more often;
* Improving emotional health, such as through practicing Qi Gong;
* Have a more regular lifestyle;
* Massage the abdominal area and certain acupuncture points.
Acupressure and acupuncture methods have been shown effective for relieving constipation. For example, acupuncture has been found very useful for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome of the constipation type and post-stroke constipation. The methods are especially helpful for the constipated children and elderly. Certain acupuncture points (i.e., acupoints) including Guanyuan (CV 4) and Qihai (CV 6) are usually used for acupressure or acupuncture to prevent constipation.