Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine for Endometriosis
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine are safe and effective treatments for endometriosis and associated symptoms like painful periods and nausea.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis affects up to 10 million American women, usually between the age of 25 and 45. Endometriosis can be a common source of infertility for females. There are several strategies to treat endometriosis. This article will focus on acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatment of this painful condition.
Endometriosis develops in the body when abnormal endometrial cellular material and tissue from the uterus grows outside of the uterus, normally near the pelvic region, but often expanding to various other areas of the body. The out of place cells enlarge and also bleed with the menstrual period in the same way as normal uterine tissue. This causes a variety symptoms including pain.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
The swelling and bleeding of the uterine tissue can cause symptoms like
- feeling sick and queasy
- heavy menstruation
- painful sex
Medical diagnosis is often times challenging because the signs and symptoms mimic various other female illnesses including fibroids.
The specific cause of this type of condition has not been identified. Many theories exist but it is challenging to determine the exact cause of why the cells spread throughout the body. Chinese medicine has a diagnostic system that allows us to understand the specific physiological malfunctions that are contributing to the disease. Acupuncture and herbal medicine are used to treat and cure the underlying malfunctions.
Risk Factors for Endometriosis
- alcohol consumption
- coffee and caffeinated drinks consumption
- hormonal issues and imbalances
- abnormal estrogen levels
- progesterone insufficiency
- blood sugar imbalances and hypoglycaemia
- mineral imbalances and deficiencies
- dioxin exposure (feminine hygiene products like tampons)
- PCB exposure
How does acupuncture and Chinese medicine treat endometriosis?
Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture have been shown to be beneficial for managing, treating and curing endometriosis and reducing painful menstruation.
Chinese herbal medicine is used to balance hormonal levels and acupuncture is used to help the flow of blood and energy and to reduce symptoms like painful periods. Acupuncture and herbal treatments usually take 3 months to balance hormones and can continue for up to a year to cure dysmenorrheal and endometriosis. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can usually successfully treat endometriosis. Dietary support and stress management practices are also important for successful treatment. Endometrioses takes time to cure and acupuncture treatments should be ongoing obtain best results.
Chinese Medicine Patterns
Chinese medicine considers endometriosis to be related to a condition called blood stasis. In blood stasis conditions, blood flows to areas where it should not be. The body has a hard time resolving the abnormal blood flow situation and a variety of symptoms occur. Other causes in Chinese medicine include:
- Energy (Qi) stagnation
- Organ system deficiencies (pancreas, adrenals, kidneys)
- Blood deficiency
- other mixed hot and cold patterns
The causes of endometriosis in Chinese medicine are very individual and the personal history of stress, surgery, diet and disease are considered in a treatment plan. Acupuncture and herbal medicine are almost always recommended in a treatment plan.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Treatment of Endometriosis
In Chinese medicine endometriosis is caused by stagnant uterine blood that is not moving freely. Herbal and acupuncture treatments are designed to treat the pattern causing the stagnant blood.
Needles are placed in various areas of the body and left in for 20 to 45 minutes. The treatments are relaxing and not painful.
To increase the effectiveness of acupuncture and herbal medicine treatments, self care and home acupressure on the following acupuncture points can help:
Stomach 36 and Spleen 6 and 9
Large Intestine 11 and Liver 3
Abdominal massage around the belly button and lower abdomen
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Acupuncture is only one part of a treatment plan. Chinese herbal medicine and dietary therapy are effective at balancing hormonal levels. There are many Chinese herbs that are used to treat endometriosis and painful periods. The herbs are usually part of a formula. Some of the herbs used to treat endometriosis and painful periods include bupleurum, angelica, dong quai, peony, notoginseng and poria. There are specific herbal formulas for complications like pain and excessive bleeding.
How effective is acupuncture and Chinese medicine for Endometriosis?
Research from Chinese medical journals shows that acupuncture Chinese medicinal herbs can cure endometriosis and dysmenorrheal.
Studies from Chinese medicine journals include:
Over 90% of women treated for endometriosis using herbal medicines successfully. Dr. He Shu-Ying: SichaunAcupuncture and TCM Journal.
Over 85% of a group of 76 women were treated successfully for menstrual pain using acupuncture. Drs. Zhong Ua and Zhang Shou-qun – Zhejiang Journal of Acupuncture and TCM.
Over 90% of women were treated successfully for endometriosis using acupuncture. Drs. Zhong Ua and Zhang Shou-qun – Shanghai Journal of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
There are hundreds of studies on acupuncture and herbal medicine from China that show similar results. Endometriosis and painful periods can be cured with acupuncture and Chinese medicine.
Can Western Medicine and Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine be use together for endometriosis?
Western medicine uses different pharmaceutical medications like hormone therapies and birth control pills to treat painful periods and endometriosis. Surgical intervention for serious cases is also used. These treatments can have serious side effects and often only resolve minor symptoms. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are safe, effective and have no side effects. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are the best choices to deal with endometriosis. If Chinese medicine cannot cure it then Western medicine options can be considered.
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