Women’s health has been a focus of Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Interestingly, many of the earliest Chinese medical texts discuss the diagnosis and treatment of the very same gynecological conditions that affect women today.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been shown to effectively treat many common women’s health concerns. Among them are:
- Painful Periods (Dysmenorrhea)
- No periods (Amenorrhea)
- Abnormal bleeding
- Menopausal symptoms
- Irregular Periods
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Morning Sickness
According to Traditional Chinese Medical (TCM) theory, several of the body’s acupuncture meridians govern the development and manifestation of a woman’s gynecological health. Imbalances in the energies of these meridians and in the reproductive organs they nourish can lead to many of the above-mentioned disorders.
From a Western biomedical standpoint, the endocrine system is responsible for the regulation of the reproductive cycle. Scientific studies and clinical experience have shown that both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can gently correct the hormonal imbalances that are usually at the center of most women’s health issues.
While the degree of imbalance can vary significantly from woman to woman, a gentle nudge in the right direction is often all that is needed to get hormones, energy and organ function optimized. If given the appropriate catalyst, the body will heal itself and restore balance.
At Family Acupuncture & Herbs we find women respond very well to both acupuncture and Chinese herbal treatment for these disorders; we have a high success rate of significantly ameliorating these symptoms within 2 to 3 menstrual cycles.
Prenatal Acupuncture and Labor Induction
Acupuncture is safe during pregnancy and has been shown to be extremely effective in the treatment of pregnancy-related symptoms including:
- Morning Sickness
- Breech Baby
- Emotional Changes
- Back Pain
- Hip Pain
- Minor Leg Swelling
Acupuncture also can be an effective method for inducing labor in a woman who is nearing or past her due date. The treatment provides greater body relaxation, allowing for progression of effacement and dilation. Specific points in the ears and shoulders are used to also stimulate the uterus and encourage a downward movement of energy. Most women will feel increased fetal activity during the treatment and may even experience contractions. Typically, labor can start 12-72 hours after treatment. If a woman knows ahead of time that her doctors will want to induce her by a certain date, she may consider acupuncture as much as a week in advance to allow time for the treatment to take effect or for follow-up treatment if necessary.
Moon Cycle Massage
It is estimated that eight out of ten women suffer negative emotional and physical symptoms at different times during their menstrual cycles, which can interrupt their normal everyday life. Research shows that stress worsens PMS’s negative symptoms. Research also shows that massage calms the body’s reaction to stress. Therefore, no matter the symptom, be it erratic moods or painful cramps, massage can ease them. Massage aimed at reducing muscular tension, particularly in the low-back, can often bring quick relief to even severe cramping.
It has been shown in many studies that massage can help relieve many of the negative symptoms associated with pregnancy. Along with the general benefits of massage, the specific benefits of prenatal massage are:
- It allows you the time for support and relaxation during this time of transition.
- Massage helps you learn how to relax in preparation for both your birth, as well as your transition to motherhood.
- Massage brings you into your body, helping you learn the kinesthetic awareness that will later help you participate more actively in your labor.
- Massage reduces edema (swelling) and blood pressure and relieves and helps reduce varicose vein development.
- Massage eases constipation, gas, and heartburn.
Setting aside time to nurture yourself now can have many benefits for both you and your baby.
Adjusting to life as a new mother- or if this is not your first, a mother of many – is challenging and demanding, and setting aside time for healing and renewal is important.
After labor and delivery massage can help promote structural realignment of the spine and pelvis and help reorganize your movement. Holding, feeding, and other childcare activities can cause further musculoskeletal strain. Massage can play a significant role in alleviating these new tensions and pains.
Hormonal imbalance is common after giving birth. Massage will encourage the restoration of hormonal balance, enhancing feelings of peace and happiness.