Traditional Chinese Medicine and Women’s Health
Women’s health has been its own specialty within Chinese medicine for centuries. The most ancient gynecological text, Fu Qing Zhu Nu Ke (Fu Qing-zhu’s Gynecology), dates back to the early Qing Dynasty. The text outlines the etiology, pathology, and herbal treatment for a wide range of women’s health issues including menstrual irregularities, pregnancy, and post-partum care.
In spite of all the advances in western medicine, women’s health is still a popular specialty in the field of Chinese medicine. Traditional chinese medicine offers an in depth approach addressing the root cause of the problem rather than treating a symptom. Where as Western medicine doesn’t address the root cause of the imbalance and in many cases, women are left with the options of birth control or surgeries just to manage their symptoms.
Unlike Western medicine, Chinese medicine takes a much more natural, holistic approach when working with gynecological disorders. In Chinese Medicine, gynecological disorders can be due to blood deficiency, blood stagnation, or imbalance in organ systems. By focusing on the root of the problem, Chinese medicine can not only address symptoms but also bring natural whole-body healing.
Chinese medicine treats the vast majority of gynecological and reproductive issues in women. Here are a few common, treatable conditions:
- Irregular cycles, amenorrhea, heavy bleeding, painful periods, PCOS, anovulatory cycles, endometriosis, fibroids, cysts, vaginal dryness, UTI’s, migraines, PMS, mood disorders, irregular discharge, bloating, fatigue, weakness and weight gain.
- Infertility, recurrent miscarriages, miscarriage-prevention, nausea and vomiting, sciatica Low back pain, Gestational diabetes, swelling, carpal tunnel syndrome, insomnia, heartburn.
- Insufficient milk supply, swelling, pain, clogged milk ducts, painful breasts, depression, anxiety, fatigue, weakness, insomnia, weight gain.
- Hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, anxiety, irritability, weight gain, depression, dryness, painful intercourse, facial rejuvenation.
Chinese Medicine and Post-Partum Health
Taking good care of yourself after delivery is just as important as maintaining good health during your pregnancy. However, with all the life changes that come with having a new baby, many women neglect their self-care during this exciting, yet testing time.
Labor and delivery (as well as the previous nine months of major change) can take a toll on even the healthiest moms. As per Chinese medicine, childbirth depletes a woman’s vital substances of yin and blood, two nourishing aspects needed for organ function, energy, and rejuvenation. This depletion can cause issues with emotional balance, milk supply, energy, sleep, and more.
In China, the tradition of “sitting the month” came along as a way for a woman to focus on restoring her body post-partum. This tradition involves eating wholesome nourishing foods and spending most days in a restful state. “Sitting the month” might not be possible for you, but taking care of yourself is possible. Chinese medicine and acupuncture helps to balance hormones, build blood, and enhance the healing process. It is very effective for post-partum depression and anxiety.
Chinese Medicine and Menopausal/Post-Menopausal Health
As we age, our bodies change. This change demands for different kinds of support. Most women experience a decrease in yin and blood during their menopausal and post-menopausal transition. With less nourishing substance in the body, dryness, heat, and friction can become health concerns. Classic symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats are common, as well as other accompanying issues like anxiety, irritability, weight changes, vaginal dryness or pain, dry skin, headaches, or low libido.
Acupuncture and herbs can help moderate or prevent these fluctuations. By boosting the yin and fluids, supplementing healthy blood, and encouraging a healthy flow of qi, acupuncture and herbal medicine keeps the body in healthy balance through this transition. Menopause does not have to be a time of struggle or frustration. In fact, when embraced with holistic medicine and an open mind, this can be a beautiful and empowering phase for women.
Facial Rejuvenation or “Cosmetic” Acupuncture is a great natural anti-aging therapy. Acupuncture is a safe and natural way to improve skin tone, elasticity, reduce the appearance of fine lines and improve complexion. Facial acupuncture involves the insertion of fine, hair-like needles which increases blood flow to the face, and boost collagen production.
How Acupuncture Can Help
Acupuncture is well-known in the world of pain-relief, but it is also wonderful to address women’s health and internal medicine. Millions of women suffer day-to-day with gynecological concerns that are untouched by pills or invasive surgeries.
Thankfully, Traditional Chinese Medicine offers great options to alleviate the symptoms related to women’s health such as regulating menses, enjoying healthier pregnancy, and aging gracefully through menopause.
Acupuncture works by stimulating the flow of energy (qi) through the body. This alone helps to reduce pain and increase blood flow. Additionally, acupuncture settles the mind, calms the emotions, and regulates hormones. These benefits lead to more regular, painless cycles and a better chance of conception.
In the post-partum phase, acupuncture and herbs help to rejuvenate the body and encourage a healthy start to motherhood. During the menopause transition, acupuncture helps women to regain balance.