Gynecological and Reproductive Health

Acupuncture can be very effective in treating the following gynecological conditions:

* You might also consider acupuncture if you reveal signs of: Heavy, painful or irregular periods

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

In a recent scientific study, the success rate of acupuncture in treating PMS symptoms was 77.8%, vs 5.9% in a placebo group. Acupuncture rebalances and increases the body’s flow of energy, which becomes disrupted over time by stress, overwork, and poor dietary habits. Restoring the body’s balance can stabilize hormonal fluctuations, reducing anxiety, mastalgia, insomnia, headaches, and many other symptoms of PMS.

Menopause

Menopause is determined by the permanent cessation of the menstrual cycle and the end of a woman’s ability to conceive. This is a normal part of the aging process and occurs when the ovaries discontinue making hormones called estrogens. Although this can happen sooner, this usually occurs in women between the ages of 45 to 60. Hormonally, menopause is indicated when estrogen levels decline, thereby causing the pituitary gland to secrete higher levels of FSH.

Menopausal symptoms may include: joint pain, hot flashes, night sweats, restlessness, memory loss, bone loss, headaches, vaginal dryness, decreased libido, moodiness, and depression

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, menopause is primarily due to Kidney Qi Deficiency. The kidneys are responsible for growth, maturation, and aging. They are considered the source of our “essence” and our foundation, and require to be nurtured throughout our entire life. Excessive stress, overwork, poor diet, lack of sleep, are some things that can deplete the kidneys over time and may cause menopause to be more taxing.

Acupuncture has the ability to alter various biochemical conditions in order to re-balance the body and alleviate menopausal symptoms. Acupuncture for menopause is often administered in combination with herbal medicine. Additionally, we recommend dietary and lifestyle modifications to further benefit the menopausal woman.

 

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Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are benign tumors comprised of smooth uterine muscle and connective tissue. The uterus is the most common site for muscle tumors to occur. Conventional Western medicine believes that estrogen can trigger fibroids and cause them grow more quickly. At least 25% of women are affected by uterine fibroids.

Some of those with uterine fibroids may be asymptomatic, while others may suffer from: excessive menstrual bleeding, painful periods (dysmenorhea) , bleeding between periods (spotting), pelvic pain or fullness, pain during intercourse, and frequent urination.

Fibroids can also hinder fertility and are the leading cause of hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) in the United States.

The cause for uterine fibroids according to TCM may include several imbalances happening simultaneously. Very commonly there is obstructed blood movement to and from the uterus, known as blood stagnation; hence resulting in excess tissue.

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine have been used for centuries to treat uterine fibroids effectively. Fibroids can significantly shrink or disappear as a result of Chinese medicine. When the underlying cause of fibroids is treated, they are less likely to keep growing back. For many women, the fibroids disappear naturally after menopause when estrogen levels naturally decline.

 

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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS is an endocrine disorder that impacts both fertility and general health. This condition causes the ovaries to develop multiple small cysts and is triggered by elevated insulin levels that stimulate excess androgen production. It is said to affect up to 10% percent of women of reproductive age, and up to 90% percent of women with irregular menstrual cycles.

The most common symptoms of PCOS are an irregular period, lack of ovulation, Infertility, hirsutism, insulin resistance and unusual weight gain.

PCOS influences fertility by affecting ovulation. When less estrogen is produced, the more LH and testosterone are generated. If the PCOS sufferer does ovulate, the egg is usually of feeble quality due to the surroundings in which it has been developing. Healthy eggs require growth in an estrogen and progesterone (female hormones) nourished environment, not in an androgenic (male hormone) setting.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are designed to stimulate the body’s own natural production of hormones and regulate the menstrual cycle by gently correcting underlying deficiencies.

When acupuncture and Chinese Medicine are applied they can potentially:

  • Restore reproductive energy
  • Remove obstruction or constriction of blood circulation in the pelvic organs
  • Build an adequate supply of blood to sustain a normal menstrual cycle
  • Enhance egg quality with the use of Chinese herbal medicine
  • Soothe the sympathetic nervous system to calm the body
  • Reduce stress and influence healthy ovulation.

Enhancing a balanced diet and incorporating a healthy lifestyle-with exercise- can also contribute greatly to the treatment of PCOS, and is recommended. By embracing these steps, the body will host the most optimal environment for the acupuncture to work that much better. Acupuncture and herbal medicine as a holistic solution to PCOS works by improving the body’s own natural healing potential.

 

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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

The term pelvic inflammatory diseases (PID) includes all inflammatory processes occurring within the upper female genital tract: The uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, surrounding pelvic tissue, and the ovaries. These tissues become inflamed, swollen, irritated and can lead to scarring and infertility.

The most common causes for PID are from bacteria passed on from Gonnohrea and Chlamydia, both of which are sexually transmitted by an infected partner. Women who douche may have a higher risk of developing PID, as repetitive douching may alter the PH level of the internal flora of the vagina.

The most common symptoms of PID are: fever, chills, lower abdominal or pelvic pain, vaginal discharge, irregular menstrual bleeding or pain, nausea, vomiting, and pain upon urination. In some cases, the patient may be asymptomatic. A blood test and vaginal culture will confirm whether PID is indeed present. Western course of treatment would mostly include anti-biotics.

According to Chinese Medicine: PID is a condition of damp heat (infection), blood stasis, and stagnation of Qi in the liver channel and Dai Mai vessel. Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs can increase the immune system’s ability to fight the infection as well as decrease inflammation in the reproductive tract. Those with PID may experience immense and unrelenting pain. And because acupuncture can remove these blockages and soothe the associated organs, this treatment alone or alongside Western medicine may very well bring a speedier recovery.

 

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Endometriosis

Endometriosis is defined as the abnormal growth of endometrial tissue outside the endometrium, causing lesions. The presence of endometrial cells, which make up the inner lining of the uterus, are found in areas outside of the uterus in the pelvic cavity. Endometriosis commonly exists in the cervix, the vaginal-rectal space, ovary, fallopian tubes, and the colon/ bladder wall.

Symptoms may include:

  • dysmenorrhea (painful periods)
  • pathological uterine bleeding
  • severe ovulation cramping
  • lower back pain
  • painful intercourse
  • bleeding at sites other than the endometrium during menstruation

**Some women even bleed in places as distant as the nasopharynx during menstruation. (i.e. nosebleeds)

Endometriosis symptoms may range, they are classified as: mild, moderate, and severe. It’s severe endometriosis that may be responsible for mechanical obstruction, yet mild and moderate cases may also be impactful, also producing immune cells. Once these cells are activated, they may destroy other normal cells such as sperm and even live embryos, making it increasingly difficult for a woman to conceive.

Chinese medicine categorizes endometrial lesions as static blood, or blood which is not flowing as it should. The treatment protocol would require redirecting and stimulating blood movement; this intent will help maintain the maximum uterine blood flow, keeping the uterus well nourished.

Treatment with acupuncture, herbal remedies and moxibustion for endometriosis is highly effective for those who endure continuous pain and hormonal fluctuations due to this condition.

 

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Candida

Candida is an overgrowth or imbalance of the flora of the intestine including yeast, mold and fungus.

A number of conditions can lead to Candidiasis-the term used to describe overgrowth of yeast in the intestinal tract. Steroid drugs (such as cortisone), birth control pills, and the long-term use of antibiotics. Antibiotics, while effective in fighting infection, can deplete the immune system and over time may reduce the number of beneficial bacteria that normally help to keep the yeast under control.

Poor nutrition or a sluggish immune system weakens the body’s ability to fight off yeast. Since yeast thrives on SUGAR, restricting it from one’s diet –and eliminating refined carbohydrates and gluten grains– will assist one’s efforts, thereby allowing the body to restore its intestinal flora and normalize PH levels.

When yeast is in overabundance, symptoms may include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Decreased libido
  • Thrush
  • Bloating/gas/intestinal cramping
  • Rectal itching/altered bowel function
  • Bladder infections
  • Menstrual complaints
  • Depression/irritability/inability to concentrate/mood disorders
  • Allergies or food intolerances/chemical sensitivities/low immune function

According to Chinese Medicine, Candidiasis is primarily viewed as a Spleen Deficiency pattern with accompanying dampness. Treatment protocol would suggest using points that would strengthen the Spleen function and transform Dampness.

Enhancing the immune system is crucial as well as effective with acupuncture, a key protocol when treating Candidiasis. Along with dietary guidelines and appropriate anti-fungal herbal remedies, acupuncture can lead to a very successful treatment for eradicating this condition in the short and long-term.

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