Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been widely used for centuries to treat many different issues related to women’s health. A TCM practitioner looks at the person as a whole, so instead of focusing on each specific symptom, an all encompassing diagnosis is made based on everything that is manifesting in the individual.
Therefore, treating the root of the problem is the main therapeutic goal and that is what establishes the long-lasting effects. Whether the issue is acute or chronic, many of the following syndromes discussed in this article can usually be resolved using acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
First let’s see how it can alleviate conditions associated with the menstrual cycle. A recent German study published in the February, 2008 issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology confirms that acupuncture can relieve a woman of her menstrual pain.
However, pain is not the only thing TCM can help with. PMS or Premenstrual Syndrome, which covers a broad spectrum of symptoms before a period, can be treated using acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. Symptoms may be emotional, such as depression, irritability, sadness, anxiety, or poor concentration. PMS may also involve physical symptoms, such as breast tenderness, a change in bowel habits, acne, or loss of libido.
Irregular periods or an absence of the period all together can also be a sign of imbalance that TCM can work to correct. These symptoms can vary widely in terms of severity, and may change from month to month.
Fibroids and Endometriosis are two conditions that Western medicine has no real cure for, other than a hysterectomy. Eastern medicine, however, gives them a common diagnosis, treatable and curable with TCM. They are both considered processes of inhibited, stagnated uterine blood which doesn’t flow freely.
The menstruation becomes blocked, and the normal process becomes obstructed. Women with either of these conditions often experience a usually irregular, sediment-like menstrual flow with heavy, dark brown, clotted blood which usually occurs with pain. TCM improves the flow of blood in the area and removing the stagnation, thereby decreasing the occurrence of the symptoms associated with these two common conditions.
If fertility is the issue, then TCM has the answer. Whether you are trying to get pregnant naturally or using ART (Artificial Reproductive Techniques) to help you conceive, many studies have proven that acupuncture can help that process to take place. Acupuncture seems to help some women because it improves circulation to your ovaries and to your uterus. It aids ovarian stimulation, improves the thickness of uterine lining, and therefore can help with implantation. It can improve the quality of both the egg in women and the sperm in men. It statistically improves the live birth rate and decreases the chance of an ectopic pregnancy.
Acupuncture is relaxing, which helps to lower your cortisol levels and increase progesterone output, important factors in decreasing your chance of having a miscarriage. Once conception occurs, TCM can be used to treat any symptom associated with the pregnancy from morning sickness, to heartburn, to pelvic and low back pain. It can even be used to turn a breech baby or induce labor if necessary.
Once the reproductive years have ended, a woman enters the menopausal stage. Menopause is defined as the cessation of menstruation for six to twelve months in older women. That, alone, would not be so terrible if it was not accompanied by anxiety, insomnia, headaches, irritability, fatigue and vaginal dryness, not to mention the hot flashes and night sweats, which 65-80% of American women will experience.
A woman’s body ceases to produce sufficient amounts of estrogen, one of the hormones thought to be responsible for the changes that are taking place. Therefore, the way to solve the problem, says the current medical model, is to supplement the deficiency. However, instead of supplementing with HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy), why not try acupuncture and Chinese Medicine?
Traditional Chinese Medicine has been treating hot flashes and other menopause-related symptoms safely and effectively through the use of acupuncture and herbal medicine for almost 3000 years.
When using TCM to treat women’s health conditions, be sure to find a practitioner who can also prescribe an herbal formula and give nutritional and lifestyle counseling. The combination of all these modalities will prove to effectively treat most complaints without the unwanted side effects.