Women’s Gynecological Health
10 Key Ways Acupuncture Supports Women’s Health
Every woman’s life is a beautiful complete cycle made-up of a sequence of intertwining life stages. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can support women’s well-being through the phases of life. From the beginning of menarche through the reproductive years, and into menopause and the years to help us embrace the aging process. Increasingly more Americans are turning to Chinese medicine to find symptomatic relief and long-term healing.
According to TCM, the liver, kidneys and spleen are the most important organs in women’s health. Together they build blood, generate qi and regulate hormones. In order for these organs to work optimally, they must have support from the other organ systems of the body as a whole. The purpose of treatment is to restore the balance of qi, xue (blood), yin and yang, and to harmonize the function of the organs.
Western medical facilities are incorporating these therapies at unprecedented rates. The contribution of traditional Chinese medicine to sustainable development help reduce the burden on health services while giving women more control over what is done to their bodies.
Whether you are struggling with painful or irregular menstrual periods, morning sickness and needing prenatal support, or experiencing insomnia and night sweats during menopause, acupuncture and herbal medicine can relieve the discomfort of these transitions and nurture and build your inner resources to help you move forward with more grace and fluidity.
Let’s take a look at 10 key ways acupuncture helps women live balanced and empowered lives.
1) Menstrual issues
Acupuncture encourages the blood to flow more freely, helping to regulate cycles and alleviate the cramps, headaches, and other pains often associated with menstruation.
2) Menopause and perimenopause
Traditional Chinese Medicine is very effective for treating menopausal symptoms including hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, heart palpitations, anxiety, and insomnia. Along with Chinese herbs, acupuncture offers a safe and natural solution to the hormonal fluctuations all women experience.
The heavy bleeding, backache, severe cramping, and abdominal pain and swelling that often accompany endometriosis are very receptive to acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture restores flow to the blood and the Qi, relieving the stagnation.
Endometriosis and an irregular menstrual cycle are both key factors in female infertility. Acupuncture treatments by a skilled Chinese medicine practitioner direct blood flow to the reproductive organs and help regulate menstrual cycles.
5) Pregnancy and postpartum support
Acupuncture can relieve the lower back and pelvic discomfort associated with pregnancy, as well as the morning sickness. After delivery, many women find acupuncture treatments essential for rebuilding their Qi and blood, increasing milk supply, and dealing with postpartum depression.
6) Depression and anxiety
Research proves what practitioners of acupuncture and Chinese medicine already know: Acupuncture can be just as effective as antidepressants, without any of the side effects. For the 12 million women in the U.S. with depression, this, too, is good news. Treatments help with stress management, lower blood pressure, and tamp down anxiety-based panic attacks.
7) Addiction recovery
Addiction treatment programs increasingly use a combination of conventional medicine and acupuncture. Recovery from drug, alcohol, and smoking addictions can be made easier when acupuncture helps to quell the stress, anxiety, and depression women often encounter while trying to let go of addictive habits and behaviors.
8) Skin rejuvenation
Acupuncture generates blood flow to the face, reducing puffiness and diminishing fine lines and wrinkles. The anti-aging effects of a circulatory-system-stimulating session can do wonders for a woman’s appearance and mood.
What the research says:
• Acupuncture and women’s health: an overview of the role of acupuncture and its clinical management in women’s reproductive health
There is preliminary data indicating acupuncture may improve menstrual health and coping for women experiencing delays falling pregnant. There is experimental data showing that acupuncture can influence female reproductive functioning, although the actual mechanisms involved are not yet clarified. Further well-conducted clinical research would benefit our understanding of the usefulness of acupuncture to women’s health.
• The efficacy and safety of acupuncture in women with primary dysmenorrhea
The results of this study suggest that acupuncture might reduce menstrual pain and associated symptoms more effectively compared to no treatment or NSAIDs, and the efficacy could be maintained during a short-term follow-up period. Despite limitations due to the low quality and methodological restrictions of the included studies, acupuncture might be used as an effective and safe treatment for females with primary dysmenorrhea.
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