Acupuncture For Endometriosis
In Traditional Chinese Medicine the uterus, liver, kidneys and the spleen relationships/organs all play a role in menstruation and their pathways run through the pelvic region. When these channels become blocked or deficient in some way, pain and menstrual symptoms may occur. Combination patterns are often present. Endometriosis has many contributing factors. In TCM some of those factors may include:
Accumulation of Cold or Dampness
Emotions such as Anger, Fear and Anxiety
Painful, Killer Cramps are NOT Normal! Don’t Ignore What Your Body Is Telling You.
Symptoms with menstrual periods have become so common that they tend to be brushed off. You might even be told that they are normal. When menstrual health is optimal and functioning properly, the menses should be pain free and only minimal symptoms are present before and after, if at all. Menstrual blood should be clot free, bright red in color and have sufficient flow/volume. If you are having symptoms, your body is trying to tell you something. Listen to the wisdom of your body.
There is an outrageous stigma around reproductive health issues at home, at work and in the world. Many people don’t seek help, endure and suffer through the pain, and deal with other complications from not addressing it. Any pelvic pain can be difficult to discuss because it is private pain. The idea of admitting to yourself or someone else that something might be wrong may cause anxiety and it is always scary to think that something might be wrong.
The most important thing is for you to be mindful of your own health and the signals your body is giving you and Traditional Chinese Medicine can help you manage the pain and bring back balance.
What is Endometriosis? What are Symptoms of Endometriosis?
Basically, the tissue that lines your uterus (called the endometrium) grows where it’s not supposed to grow. This can be very, very painful.
This occurrence can involve your ovaries (cysts may form in more severe conditions), colon/bowel and lining of your pelvis. It’s rare, but tissue may also spread outside the pelvic region.
Endometriosis can be difficult for a doctor to diagnose and this is frustrating when you’re suffering with pain, fatigue and digestive issues. Symptoms can make it difficult to get through the day and do normal activities. Symptoms can vary widely and are experienced differently but generally they relate to your menstrual cycle. Be aware of:
Menses accompanied by pain. This pain and cramping includes the pelvic region, abdomen and lower back
Pain when you move your bowels or urinate
Diarrhea or Constipation
Pain during sex
Spotting between periods and excess blood during period
Irregular periods in timing and blood flow/color
Nausea and bloating
What Does TCM and Acupuncture for Endometriosis Address?
First and foremost, identifying the patterns that are effecting your body and causing the symptoms are key. If you have a deficient pattern vs a stagnant pattern, your treatments and recommendations will be different. We will review your diet, lifestyle and environment in addition to your physical health and symptoms to individualize a plan and make recommendations for what your body and mind need.
Acupuncture will be used in directing, moving and nourishing qi in the associated organs and channels. Chinese herbs will accompany this effort as well. What you eat plays a big role and food has a different impact on the body and energy in ways you don’t realize. We provide nutritional counseling and monitoring. Food in Chinese Medicine is classified by its energetic effects and things like flavor classification (sweet, sour, salty…) nature (hot, cold, damp…) and context (raw or cooked) can influence responses. What you eat, when you eat, how you eat are significant. Using acupuncture, herbs and addressing lifestyle/environment for stress/emotional factors will also assist in balancing the body and bringing back free flow of energy.
Why is Garden Acupuncture Qualified To Help With Endometriosis?
Our team has over 50+ years of combined clinical experience specifically in reproductive system health. Some of this collective experience includes proficiency in Japanese and Chinese styles of acupuncture, studying with masters in our field, completing a medical residency in GYN and infertility and routinely and successfully managing and treating these conditions in our daily practice. In addition to the success we see clinically, there are also studies to support acupuncture for endometriosis. For example, in a journal feature in The New England Journal of Medicine on Endometriosis, Dr. L.C. Giudice, MD, PHd cited this randomized, sham-controlled acupuncture study that demonstrated significant reduction in endometriosis related pain.