As a woman, it’s especially important to actively care for your health through all the phases of life. Not only is nurturing your well-being a part of living in harmony with nature’s cycles, but it can also improve your quality of life.
Most women face a wide variety of health concerns as they age, from PMS, fertility and childbirth issues, to menopause and beyond. Whatever your concern, acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offer a safe natural and effective way to support your health, physically and emotionally.
A whole-body approach to healing
Acupuncture and TCM take a holistic or whole-body approach to health. According to these theories, Qi (pronounced “chee”) is the vital energy that animates the body and flows through pathways called meridians to nourish all of the body’s organs. When there is an imbalance or blockage in the flow of Qi, the cells, tissues, muscles and organs will receive an inadequate amount of your bodies vital energies. When this occurs physical symptoms relating to various medical concerns may result.
TCM tells us that specific meridian and organ systems. In this case the kidney, spleen and liver, are related to gynaecological health. When one or more of these systems are affected, you may experience uncomfortable symptoms before or during your period. Fertility issues can also related to these organs. Your practitioner will work to find the underlying imbalances and devise a treatment plan that will help your body regain its natural balance.
Your period can provide a great deal of information about your overall health. Unfortunately, many women suffer from a wide variety of symptoms every month. Premenstrual syndrome, knowns as PMS, can cause cramps, bloating, fatigue, breast pain, mood swings and changes in appetite during the onset of menstruation. But you shouldn’t have to dread your period every month. Acupuncture, along with herbal medicine, dietary changes, and exercise, can help you regain hormonal balance and achieve symptomatic relief.
Fibroids and Endometriosis
Changes in your period can have a number of causes, some of them are serious. If you start to experience intense pain or heavy bleeding, talk to your health care provider.
Uterine fibroids are one of the more common causes of menstrual problems for women in their 30s and 40s. Fibroids are non-cancerous lumps that can grow on the uterus and in some cases cause long, heavy periods, pain during sex, and a feeling of fullness or pressure in the stomach.
Endometriosis also affects many women in their 30s and 40s. It occurs when uterine cells start to grow outside the uterus, and can cause low back pain during menstruation, pain during sex, nausea and vomiting, and fatigue. Western treatments for both these conditions often include medications or surgery. While more research in needed, several studies have shown that acupuncture can significantly relieve the painful periods often associated with these and other conditions.
Fertility, Pregnancy, and Childbirth
Facing fertility issues can be very stressful for the body, mind, and spirit. But there is hope. Many couples who seek fertility treatments are able to conceive. Incorporating acupuncture and TCM into your overall treatment plan can help. Acupuncture has been shown to increase the chance of getting pregnant when used in conjunction with invitro fertilization, and TCM can be very effective in addressing the emotional aspects of infertility as well as the underlying causes. Pregnancy comes with its own unique challenges. Since so much is demanded of your body at this time, caring for your health is key for the will-being of both you and your child.
Acupuncture and TCM have been shown to be safe and effective for many of the symptoms that often accompany pregnancy, including:
- Anxiety and stress
- Back pain and sciatica
- Morning Sickness
Recent studies have shown that the use of acupuncture during labor may actually reduce the need for pain medications and help the mother stay more relaxed. After childbirth, acupuncture and TCM can help new moms take much needed time to recover, rebalance, and rejuvenate.