Women’s Health with Acupuncture
Traditional Chinese Medicine’s (TCM) view
on gynecology is different from western medicine. Generally, male and female organs, meridians, blood, and Qi (vital energy) have similar activities but females have special physiological structures, like the uterus, that affect menstruation, pregnancy, child birth, and lactation.
The basic principle is to regulate the thoroughfare vessel (Chong) and the conception vessel (Ren), the two main energy vessels that govern female health, to reinforce the kidneys, nourish the liver, and strengthen the spleen and stomach functions, which will regulate the blood and Qi, sending enough energy and blood to the uterine organ.
TCM has significant advantages in treating genealogical disorders with natural remedies and without side effects. Chinese medicine and acupuncture usually lead to satisfactory results in treating the following disorders:
4. Abnormal uterine bleeding
5. Premenstrual syndrome
6. Menopausal syndrome
7. Uterine fibroids
8. Chronic pelvic inflammation
9. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
10. Cervicitis and vaginitis
Menopause and PMS
Menopause and PMS affect each woman differently. Some common treatable issues include:
- Hot flashes and night sweats (sometimes followed by chills)
- Pattern changes in menstrual cycle – shorter/longer, lighter/heavier, and more or less time between periods
- Trouble sleeping
- Vaginal dryness
- Mood swings, irritability, crying spells
- Trouble concentrating, feeling foggy or confused
- Menstrual cramps
- Hair loss or thinning, hair growth on
If you have experienced any of those symptoms, receiving acupuncture and herbal treatment can improve your conditions immediately, sometimes in as little as 2-3 days. Chronic symptoms usually require more treatment time (2-3 months) to balance your body.
There are two types of dysmenorrhea: primary and secondary. Primary dysmenorrhea usually begins 1-2 years after a woman starts menstruation, occurs shortly before or during the period cycle, and can last 1-3 days. The pain usually becomes less as a woman ages and may stop entirely after the woman has her first baby.
Secondary dysmenorrhea is pain that is caused by a disorder in the woman’s reproductive organs, such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, or infection. Pain from secondary dysmenorrhea usually begins earlier in the menstrual cycle and lasts longer than common menstrual cramps.
Acupuncture and herbal medicine can relieve the cramps of primary dysmenorrhea in 1-3 months and secondary dysmenorrhea in 3-6 months.
Uterine fibroids are benign tumors in the uterus with a feeling of pain, swelling, or fullness, and with bleeding in severe cases. Current modern conventional treatment is surgical removal. Some side effects include not having a period for 6 months or more and short-term allergic reactions such as rashes.
The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine recorded this disease in 200 BCE. All traditional Chinese medicine gynecology books address this condition in great detail as it has been treated by various schools of medicine over the last two thousand years.
Acupuncture and herbal medicine can reduce the uterine fibroids in size or make it disappear. The treatment usually takes 2-3 months to complete and has no side effects.
Morning sickness is not a disease but nausea during pregnancy, therefore, modern medicine can do little or nothing for it. However, it can still be harmful to a woman’s health. In some cases, severe and frequent vomiting can lead to the nutritional deficiency of the pregnant woman and delayed development of the baby. Many western doctors send morning sickness patients to TCM practitioners because acupuncture can effectively calm the upset stomach. 99% of our patients show improvement in 3 consecutive days and can eat normally without further problems after 1 week.
Columbia Acupuncture PC provides acupuncture and herbal therapy for women seeking a natural pregnancy or planning to use reproductive techniques such as IUI and IVF.
Today, many high-tech reproductive specialists are turning to TCM to help patients for whom western medicine alone is not quite enough. Acupuncture is quickly becoming an accepted fertility protocol.
How it works:
- By placing needles at key energy meridians linked to the reproductive organs, it moves the flow of Qi (vital energy) to areas that are deficient, empowers local organs, and encourages fertility
- Places the body in a calm and restorative state that increases a sense of well-being helps the body to accept the creation of life.
- Balances elevated follicle stimulating hormones (FSH) and regulates the menstrual cycle.
- Regulates neuro-endocrinological function and improves local blood circulation of the uterus and ovaries. Acupuncture can reduce uterine contractions and assist in embryo implantations. It has also been proven to alleviate anxiety, stress, and depression
Usually, patients need at least 3 months of consistent regular treatment. The more extensive the treatment, the better the results are. In the first 3 months or 3 menstrual cycles, the body starts to regulate the hormonal system, and the couple must expect to devote 6-9 months of consistent treatment before evaluation.
Based on the body’s constitution, doctors will prescribe herbal pills or tea to supplement the treatment.
Preparation for IVF or IUI
We highly recommend beginning acupuncture and herbal medical treatment 2 or 3 months prior to the IVF procedure, if planning to use this reproductive technique. This makes the body more susceptible to the treatment and increases the chance to succeed.
Many patients may require several months to 1 year of treatment before receiving IVF. The recommended treatment schedule varies for each individual and is based on a variety of factors. It is recommended to come once or twice per week until egg retrieval and embryo transfer.
Facts about Infertility
About 15% of the total population experience difficulties with conceiving a child.
About 20% of cases of infertility are due to a problem in the man.
About 40% to 50% of cases of infertility are due to a problem in the woman.
About 30% to 40% of cases of infertility are due to problems in both the man and the woman.
Common Causes of Infertility
Pelvic organ abnormalities
Problems in the immune system
TCM can treat some but not all causes of infertility. For example, infertility caused by blockage of uterine tubes can only be treated with removal of the blockage.
For more information on infertility treatment and other health concerns, please contact our office. We accept most insurance and will work to set you an appointment as soon as possible.
Sue Cabary, MS EdM
Menopause & Lower Back Pain
Director of Infancy and Early Childhood Special Education Programs
Bank Street College
“I started to see Dr. Liu after my husband went to see him. I had been having terrible lower back pain. It was happening day and night, quite debilitating. Dr. Liu talked me through an extensive interview and gave me my first treatment. In three treatments I was much, much better. After that, I went regularly to sustain my good health. I also started taking some Chinese herbs. I became pain-free and very grateful. A year passed (pain-free) and I started to have uncomfortable symptoms of menopause. I went back to Dr. Liu and I continue to do so. The very first treatment for symptoms gave great relief, continued treatments have helped me balance my system. The herbs I take for menopause have really helped me. I sleep much better and I have more enthusiasm for my daily life.
I am deeply appreciative of Dr. Liu’s expertise and caring manner.
Alyssa Snow, Irregular Menstruation
After traveling internationally, my menstrual cycle became out of balance. My normal 30-day cycle became a 15-day cycle for two months. After one month of acupuncture and herbal treatment, my cycle was adjusted to its normal length and rhythm. Not only does acupuncture bring the body into balance (quickly!) it is very relaxing and restorative. A true gift!
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