Many women, at some point in their life will experience some type of issue regarding their reproductive health or menstrual cycle. Some of which, can impede a woman’s quality of life and restrict them in some ways. This may be due to pain, irregularity and unpredictability of cycles or even to the extent of impeded ability to conceive.
By mainly focusing on women’s health in my practice, I have challenged myself to pursue a high level of education and hands on training to be knowledgeable, confident and skilled in all things related to a woman’s health.
Although PMS is common among women, that doesn’t mean that it is normal. Women of all different reproductive ages will experience PMS at some point in their lifetime. These symptoms are due to hormonal imbalances and abnormal flow or energy in the body (Qi).
If you experience any of the following symptoms leading up to, during or after menstruation, you must contact us. It is completely possible to have an easy menstrual cycle that doesn’t negatively impact your life.
Along with acupuncture treatments to correct these imbalances, the use of Chinese herbs and natural supplements may be suggested. Gradually incorporating a few lifestyle suggestions, we can treat the body as a whole unit and get down to the fundamental reason why PMS exists in your body. In doing this we will treat the root of the problem and prevent these symptoms from coming back all together, in turn you will become a happier and healthier you in all aspects.
A painful period is one of the most common and debilitating symptoms associated with the menstrual cycle. Pain can be felt in the pelvis, lower back, groin, vagina and hips. Associated symptoms can be fatigue, nausea and dizziness, usually due to severe pain.
Acupuncture has shown to be effective in blocking the pain cycle which acts as a natural analgesic.
A normal menstrual cycle typically lasts 21-35 days. Anything outside of those parameters is considered irregular. If you experience, early, late or missed periods, those are also considered irregular. Of course pregnancy always needs to be ruled out. A regular menstrual cycle is based on an intricate interaction between our brain, adrenal glands, pituitary gland, thyroid and several hormones. Even the slightest disruption of this interaction can interfere with a woman’s menstrual cycles.
Having irregular cycles will strongly interfere with a woman’s ability to conceive due to unpredictable ovulation. Long cycles will result in a lesser amount of opportunities to conceive as some women will only have 9 cycles per year as oppose to 12. This means a 25% less chance of conceiving as opposed to a women who has 12 cycles per year.
Some causes of irregular menstruation are:
An acupuncture treatment will consist of identifying specifically what is going on in a woman’s body that is causing these irregularities. This will consist of completing an intricate health history and reproductive health history as well as Chinese Medicine Diagnostic techniques. Once we identify what the potential cause is, we can discuss lifestyle and supplementation suggestions to get your body back on track.
Amenorrhea is described as absent periods for a minimum of 3 months (pregnancy must first be ruled out). Absent menstruation has several causes. The best course of action will to first consult with your western doctor to rule our chromosomal and anatomical abnormalities or other hereditary conditions. A basic workup will establish if there is a hormonal imbalance or disrupted function of the endocrine glands (thyroid, pituitary, hypothalamus, ovaries etc…) Once the cause is determined, we can then construct a treatment plan. This is usually a combination of Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, diet and lifestyle.
As I stated before, “a regular menstrual cycle is based on an intricate interaction between our brain, adrenal glands, pituitary gland, thyroid and several hormones. Even the slightest disruption of this interaction can interfere with a woman’s menstrual cycles.” Some factors that disrupt this delicate process are: stress, anxiety, medications, diet, lifestyle, oral contraceptive pills, to name a few).
Endometriosis is a benign disease defined by the presence of endometrial glands and stroma outside of the uterus and is associated with both pelvic pain and infertility.
Western medicine has laparoscopic surgeries that can diagnose and remove the endometrial adhesions that have developed. This is typically only done if the patient has extreme pain or is considering trying to conceive within the next few months. This surgery may provide temporary relief of symptoms and enhance fertility for a short window of time (months).
Traditional Chinese Medicine views this disease as an obstruction of energy and blood flow in the pelvic region leading to congealed blood that your body has difficulty absorbing and expelling. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine has been proven to decrease the symptoms associated with endometriosis, enhance to circulation of blood to remove and prevent more adhesions and improve fertility in patients diagnosed with endometriosis.
Cystic ovaries are a symptom of Insulin Resistance. Western medicine has recognized and announced that diet and lifestyle changes are single handedly the most effective way of improving your PCOS. Cyst removal through surgery is a treatment option but only is a means of symptom control and doesn’t treat the actual cause of the cysts.
Symptoms of PCOS are: abnormal body hair growth, polycystic ovaries, insulin resistance, weight gain, irregular menstrual cycles and anovulation (absent ovulation).
Consuming a high protein and low carbohydrate diet is the most effective way at reducing insulin resistance, also known as the Keto diet. By consuming a diet high in protein, fat and vegetables and low carbohydrates (breads, muffins, pasta, pastries etc..) you facilitate the process of Ketosis. This is when your body realizes there isn’t enough glucose in the blood to use for energy so it burns up stored body fat instead. This is what will promote weight loss, which is the only way to improve PCOS.
Research has shown that weight loss of only 3% dramatically improved the condition of PCOS and improved fertility.
Acupuncture and herbal medicine has been shown to improve PCOS symptoms by promoting circulation in the pelvic region, this will help induce ovulation.
Menopause is a natural process that all women will go through in their lifetime. Some women experience minimal symptoms during this time while some have extreme symptoms like erratic menstrual cycles, heavy bleeding, extreme anxiety and depression, panic attacks, insomnia, frequent night sweats and hot flashes. Although all of these symptoms are considered “normal”, we can still do something to improve the symptoms.
Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal medicine has been a tried and true method of treating ALL of these symptoms associated with Menopause and Perimenopause. Results can be observed in just a few weeks.
Acupuncture is a useful tool to facilitating natural fertility and improving IVF (invetro fertilizaion) and IUI (Intrauterine insemination) outcomes. By using acupuncture, we can facilitate optimal blood flow and tissue oxygenation to the uterus and ovaries which ensures essential nutrient delivery to the reproductive organs. Pre and Post IVF or IUI acupuncture treatments will ease uterine cramping to promote a successful implantation. Weekly post transfer acupuncture sessions will help maintain progesterone levels and prevent miscarriage during the first trimester.
See the “Patient Resource” page for more information.
Sperm and follicles take 90-120 days to develop (spermatogenesis and oogenesis respectively). When we are treating a couple who is seeking assistance with fertility, we treat them according to their natural physiology. If we are focusing on improving sperm quality parameter or follicular health, we need at-least 100 days in order to observe a change. Religious weekly acupuncture sessions combined with slight nutrition and lifestyle adjustments will all equal improved fertility parameters and outcomes.
To put things in perspective, the egg and sperm that a woman and man respectively ovulate and ejaculate TODAY, had physiologically started developing 90-120 days ago. This means, if a couple wants to improve their sperm and follicular heath, the changes and treatments that are done today will reflect an outcome 90-120 days from NOW. Nutrition, lifestyle and Acupuncture!
See the “Patient Resource” page for more information.