Traditional Chinese Medicine for all stages of women’s health
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been used for thousands of years to support women with their health, from puberty to pregnancy to menopause and beyond.
Chinese Medicine as an ancient practice
The earliest records of medical texts on gynaecology date right back to 1500-1000 BC. One of the most famous texts on Traditional Chinese Medicine, Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen – The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, references women’s physiology and anatomy specifically, and details the diagnosis of many menstrual and gynaecological conditions.
Treating women is much more complicated than men because of the richness and complexity of women’s menstrual cycles. Women’s health conditions such as infertility, painful periods and menopausal symptoms were discussed historically in Chinese classical medical texts with specific reference to their signs and symptoms and diagnosis and treatment with acupuncture and/or Chinese herbal medicines.
Symptoms of unbalanced hormones
Many women today may consider gynaecological conditions, such as PMS, mood swings, bloating, breast tenderness or painful periods, as a normal part of being a woman. In Chinese Medicine, if your body is in balance and everything is flowing smoothly, your period will come and go without concern. Traditionally, it was known as ‘heavenly water’, and was an event to be celebrated!
Fortunately, acupuncture, along with diet and exercise, aid in restoring hormonal and emotional balance and vitality during all of stages of life. It does this by influencing the body’s hormonal/nervous system and self-regulating mechanisms, therefore promoting physical and emotional well-being.
There is a broad body of research confirming acupunctures ability to regulate these systems, detailed below.
Some research suggests that women experiencing period pain may find that Chinese herbal medicine used as an adjunct to conventional medication is more effective than conventional medication alone. TCM, specifically Chinese herbal medicine, may help by bringing your body’s rhythm back in line by treating the root of the imbalance.
In recent years a growing number of studies have shown that acupuncture can assist conception by increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs. It may also balance reproductive hormones, such as oestrogen, progesterone and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), and some fertility clinics are increasingly recommending acupuncture for their IVF patients to help lower overall stress levels.
Acupuncture may increase the rate at which women conceive when undergoing IVF, and a recent study has shown that 3 or more acupuncture treatments before and after an IVF transfer produced more pregnancies compared to no acupuncture.
Women transitioning through menopause may also find Chinese Medicine helpful. Research suggests that acupuncture may be beneficial for women suffering from hot flushes, menopause-related symptoms and associated reduction in quality of life during menopause. Additionally, research has also found that Chinese herbal medicine may be effective for reducing menopausal symptoms.
With its rich history and holistic approach, TCM is quickly becoming the go-to for women’s health. It is gentle, effective and personalised for you as an individual so you can enjoy life more.
Common gynaecological complaints that Chinese medicine practitioners can treat:
- Menstrual irregularities: painful, irregular, heavy, scanty or absent menstrual cycles
- Abdominal masses and/or fibroids
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- PMS and other hormonally-based complaints
- Menopausal symptoms
The beauty about Chinese Medicine is that it individualises its treatments according to the patient’s presenting symptoms and you are therefore receiving personalised care. Please contact one of our Acupuncturists to find out how TCM could help you. Your health can improve.
Until 12th February, Health Space is offering a complimentary initial acupuncture consult to any new clients only. To redeem, call any Health Space clinic on 8354 1534, and enjoy the benefits of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine!
Isabella Buirski is a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner that operates out of the Bondi Junction and Coogee clinics. With a special interest in menstrual health, fertility, pregnancy, labour and post-natal care, emotional wellbeing, anxiety, depression, stress and digestive complaints, you can reach her on 9389 0890 at Bondi Junction or 8866 3696 at the Coogee clinic.
This article is part of a 2019 Chinese New Year series showing the research behind acupuncture, as well as the longevity of it as a therapeutic practice. To read more articles in this series, click here.
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