“Feminine wisdom is the intelligence at the heart of creation.” Deepak Chopra, M.D.
Female bodies have long been associated with cycles and subject to the ebb and flow of natural rhythms. The menstrual cycle is the most basic, earthy cycle we women have. The macrocosmic cycles of nature, such as the waxing and waning of the moon and tides and the changing of the seasons, are reflected on a smaller scale in the menstrual cycle of the individual female body. The monthly ripening of the egg and subsequent pregnancy or release of menstrual blood mirrors these natural processes, and imbues life with creation.
Women face a wide variety of health concerns related to imbalances in their cycles, from vaginitis, PMS, fibrocystic breasts, menstrual cramps, menopause symptoms, bladder infections, migraines and more. Traditional Asian medicine offers many safe and effective tools to gently address these common female imbalances. For example, PMS is very prevalent in modern society and can occur with a huge variety of uncomfortable symptoms such as acne, allergies, anxiety, appetite changes, backache, bloating, breast tenderness and swelling, constipation and/or diarrhea, cramps, depression, edema, headaches/migraines, irritability/anger/mood swings, nausea/vomiting, cravings, cold sores, etc. Western medicine recommends diet and lifestyle changes coupled with medications that manipulate the levels of progesterone and estrogen (i.e. birth control pills), tranquilizers and/or antidepressants. Although prescription medications can sometimes bring immediate relief, they unfortunately do not address the underlying cause of PMS, and they can cause unwanted side effects that may even mimic PMS symptoms. The role of an acupuncturist, on the other hand, is to investigate the underlying causes leading to PMS, then treat according to each individual patient’s imbalances and concerns using safe, effective and natural therapeutic tools.
In 1997, the National Institute of Health (NIH) issued a consensus report that suggested acupuncture is effective in the treatment of menstrual cramps, and other symptoms associated with PMS. You shouldn’t have to dread your period every month!
Menopause is another commonly difficult time for many women with underlying imbalances. Eastern medicine recognizes menopause as a natural transition that marks the end of a woman’s reproductive period. While this is a time of change, it shouldn’t be a burden. As the female body tries to adapt to decreasing amounts of estrogen, symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, fatigue, mood swings, memory loss, vaginal dryness, headaches, joint pain and weight gain come about in varying degrees. Acupuncturists understand that these symptoms and signs are merely indications of an imbalance deep within the body. This 5,000 year-old healing art focuses on correcting underlying imbalances that have occurred over the years. These imbalances, if left unchecked, will result in a variety of symptoms and signs normally associated with a Western diagnosis of menopause. You practitioner can help develop a unique treatment plan that works either alone or together with Western therapies depending on the severity and nature of the imbalances to help you make the most of this time of life.