Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine For Women's Health
Chinese medicine is the world's oldest continuously practiced form of medicine, dating back several thousand years. Many people associate it only with treating body pain. Did you know that acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can also be used to treat many women's health issues? Acupuncturists treat patients with menstrual problems (irregular/painful/heavy/missed periods and PMS), fertility challenges, menopausal symptoms (hot flashes/insomnia/irritability/night sweats), and uterine fibroids.
Chinese medicine is a self-contained system of medicine with its own anatomy and physiology to diagnose and treat these problems. Even if you have a Western medical diagnosis of “unexplained infertility,” for example, acupuncturists can still derive a diagnosis within the Chinese medical system and treat you according to that diagnosis. The diagnosis is based on the condition of your Qi (vital energy) and Blood (in Chinese medicine, the Blood is both the substance flowing through your veins and arteries as well as a special substance linked to our emotions and memories), Yin and Yang. Because this is a holistic way of looking at you, acupuncturists take into account not just the symptoms manifesting in your body but also your emotional and spiritual life.
In Chinese medicine, there is a direct connection between the Heart and the Uterus. Sometimes when someone experiences an emotionally traumatic event, her periods will either stop or become irregular. This is because the Heart has been shocked by the emotional trauma and the connection to the Uterus has become blocked. Acupuncturists can treat this condition with needles placed in acupuncture points to restore the connection, and the periods will resume or become regular again.
When acupuncturists see patients with uterine fibroids an all too common occurrence they have many non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical options for treatment. If the fibroids are causing heavy periods, acupuncturists first treat the symptom by stopping the bleeding. This can be accomplished using acupuncture and/or a course of herbal medicine. While treating the symptom, they will also be treating the underlying cause of the problem, usually a form of Qi or Blood stagnation in the Uterus. Depending on the age of the patient and her plans for having children (or not) we can often manage the fibroids so that she will not need invasive surgical procedures or hormonal therapy in order to regain a normal, manageable menstrual cycle.