Women's Reproductive Health
This topic in Chinese medicine is a biggie so please stick with me whilst I research the best resources. I will undoubtedly blog on this topic as that format grows.
This section is not just about women ( and men) trying to conceive but also about issues for women like endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome and general painful periods, and other issues of the nether regions we are loathed to talk about in public, if at all. (not sure why this is, societal conditioning?) Anyway….
It’s a complete bore when things in this area do not go to plan and sadly it's becoming a much more common occurrence in the West. The effectiveness of a cycle in any of its forms ( body clock/circadian rhythms, digestion, energetic patterns, etc) provides information about how well your body is functioning. Issues within your menstrual cycle are a sign your body is out of balance.
DG’s Story: ‘ Acupuncture for The Effective Management of Endometriosis’
This is the genuine story of my patient, DG. Her case was a complex and rather severe one-in terms of pain and adhesions. I had seen anecdotal evidence of treating other women with menstrual complications but her results were remarkable.
DG was committed to treatment and made the small adjustments to her life that I thought would enhance the healing. It was fortuitous she was under Western medical care so we could have the ‘before and after scans to verify that acupuncture had made a huge difference. ( These results were not part of a professional clinical trial).
She now sees me once every 8-12 weeks to maintain the results.
‘In 2010 (when I was in my early 30’s) I was diagnosed with Stage II endometriosis, suffering excruciatingly painful and prolonged, heavy periods (including severe lower back pain) each menstrual cycle for 18 months previously. I had successful keyhole surgery in 2011 with no recurring symptoms for five years.
Unfortunately, these symptoms returned in June 2016 but were worse than before and now included severe pain during ovulation as well as menstruation. These symptoms became debilitating and caused considerable stress and anxiety. I was then referred by my GP to an excellent NHS endometriosis clinic.
However, they were reluctant to perform another procedure (due to scar tissue from the previous surgery). They believed it could cause more damage. The other options available to manage my symptoms were very limited (and not particularly pleasant in my opinion.) I usually try to address any medical issues with complementary/alternative medicine. I had excellent results with acupuncture for other conditions in the past so I thought it an option for my endometriosis.
In September 2016 I began treatment with Cara and was immediately made to feel at ease when discussing my condition and any other areas in my life that may have been relevant. Cara has always been very professional, sensitive, and incredibly supportive throughout my treatment. In conjunction with a few tweaks in my diet, the treatment has resulted in my symptoms being fully manageable after 12 months. I no longer suffer from dreadful pain, flooding, and the associated stress of endometriosis.
When I returned for a check-up at the NHS endometriosis clinic, a comprehensive scan showed that the vast majority of the adhesions and clusters had gone and all that was left was far too small to be treated medically. They were very pleased and impressed by the results – as was I.
I now have my life back.’
The below podcast from Everyday Acupuncture is about how to look at your lifestyle when trying to conceive. It’s sound advice and fairly easy to follow. Njemile explains damp really well and many of these symptoms will be familiar to most.
Lara Briden delivers a good explanation and understanding of the female reproductive system with interesting ideas on how to naturally reset your system. She touches on PCOS and Endometriosis and the ongoing effects of the PIL.
This is the latest hormonal podcast from Everyday Acupuncture on PCOS. It explains how acupuncture works with the condition and how it is also treated in the West. It's just only 30 minutes long so easy enough to digest.
The below podcast explains how natural contraception works. It's a viable option for women who don’t want to take the pill etc. It’s an advanced way of discussing the old ‘rhythm method’ but with some really great statistics behind it. If you are looking to change your choice listen to this for an alternative viewpoint.
This Australian podcast is a relaxed but informative explanation of how acupuncture works in general terms and also, the podhost’s personal experience with acupuncture having suffered dysmenorrhea (no periods) to becoming pregnant.
The podcast covers chronic pain, fertility, and the ultimate subcategory- stress. Stress is the cause of so many conditions like gut issues, mental health, autoimmune disease, insomnia, and exhaustion. It's a good overall listen if you want to know more about how it works. Come in around 4.30 seconds.
If you are looking for a British qualified practitioner go to the British Acupuncture Council.
Deliciously Ella provides a well-rounded health podcast interviewing a lot of experts. The below link are to ‘Period Power’ and 'Perimenopause Power' by Maisie Hill who is an acupuncturist and expert in women’s health. She answers lots of questions in layman’s terms here on the importance of balance in your cycle, what period pain represents, what to expect in each phase of your cycle, and tips on how to address symptoms. She’s excellent and has a book available too.