Gynaecological issues typically affect impact the female reproductive system.
Gynaecological issues can cause symptoms such as pelvic pain, itching, discharge, bleeding, and breast discomfort. It seems that today, painful periods, PMS, heavy periods, irregular periods, PCOS, mood swings, menopausal hot flushes, and mood changes are now just considered an everyday occurrence and to be the normal state. Did you know that it is not normal to have a painful period? That we should just wake up and have had it begun without any pain, any breast tenderness or changes to our mood? Many of the above symptoms occur according to Chinese Medicine because our body is not functioning correctly or at its true potential.
We view the body as being out of balance and from the state of imbalance, we have the chance to rebalance both the hormones of our body, our body’s brain chemistry and to correct the flow and function of the body’s energetic system (QI) and move blood circulation. By addressing these issues, we rebalance, restore and encourage hormonal balance within the body. Hormones have a profound effect on our bodies’ mental, physical and emotional health.
WHAT CAUSES HORMONES TO BECOME UNBALANCED? Hormonal imbalances occur when there is too much or too little of a hormone in the bloodstream. Due to their essential role in our bodies’ major processes, even a small hormonal imbalance can have a profound effect on how our body functions, affecting our sleep, weight, appetite, moods, concentration, reproductive function, our libido, and our digestion. Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance can include: Heavy, irregular and painful periods Osteoporosis Endometriosis / PCOS Hot flushes, night sweats, weight gain, and mood swings Vaginal Dryness Breast tenderness Weight gain / Trouble losing weight Indigestion Constipation and diarrhea Acne before and after menstruation Low libido – both men and women Loss of erections / erectile dysfunction Loss of interest in sex
SO HOW DO WE REBALANCE HORMONES? From a Chinese medicine perspective – we don’t just balance hormones to bring the body back into balance. We focus on what is out of balance within the body – we do this from your intake form, asking about your history, sleep, stress levels, digestion, energy and much more. We also use our tongue and pulse diagnosis to form a specific and individualised diagnosis for you. Based on these findings, we then use a combination of treatment to help you rebalance your hormones. This may include Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Diet and exercise therapy and much more. Acupuncture may assist hormone balancing by its action on the brain.
Studies have shown, that when a needle is placed into an acupuncture point, certain areas of the brain light up on scans. Acupuncture acts upon the brain by working on the neurotransmitters of the brain and by enabling the brain to release neurochemicals and other neurotransmitters, which then act on certain organs and glands of our body. The brain also releases feel-good hormones – called serotonin. The ability for acupuncture to affect the brain enables the acupuncturist to assist with rebalancing the chemical messages between the endocrine system and the body – working on the HPO axis. Acupuncture reinforces the body’s own healing ability; we use acupuncture as a tool to tell your body where it needs to focus. Our Herbal medicine is used in conjunction with acupuncture to reinforce the action of the acupuncture and assist with rebalancing the organs that are out of balance within the body. We also address any blockages in blood flow and Qi flow within the body, which enables hormones to flow freely to their required area.
Some of the most common gynaelogical issues that we can help you with include:
Endometriosis Endometriosis is a condition in which cells like those that line the uterus – the endometrium – grow in locations outside the uterus. The endometrium normally responds to the sex hormones oestrogen and progesterone. In women with endometriosis, these endometrium-like cells growing outside the uterus also respond to these hormones. During ovulation, the endometrium and the endometrium-like cells thicken. Unlike the endometrium, the misplaced endometrium-like cells cannot leave the body via menstruation. They bleed, cause inflammation and pain, and then heal. Over time, this process can create scar tissue. Fibrous scar tissue can form on the lining inside the abdomen (the peritoneum), causing the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes and bowel to stick to each other. Endometriosis may cause very painful periods and may reduce fertility, but there are several treatment options.
Symptoms of endometriosis The pain of endometriosis can be so bad that it stops you from going to work or school. Usually, it causes pain around the time of your period, but for some women, the pain is almost constant. If you need treatment, you may need emotional as well as physical support. The symptoms of endometriosis include: painful periods pain with sex pelvic pain ovulation pain pain in the lower back and thighs bowel symptoms – pain using your bowel bladder symptoms – pain when passing urine reduced fertility nausea and lethargy premenstrual symptoms. Many women think that painful periods are normal. If you have bad period pain, see your doctor. Or your local health care practitioner and please also read our Blog on menstruation and periods.
Our periods should not be painful. TCM may assist with the symptoms of endometriosis by moving stuck blood and energy, removing cold from the uterus and treating the root cause. In TCM we may use a variety of treatments, including moxabustion, acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and massage. We work together with your healthcare team to assist you in the best way possible.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a complex hormonal condition. PCOS can be associated with problems such as irregular menstrual cycles, excessive facial and body hair growth, acne, obesity, reduced fertility and increased risk of diabetes. PCOS can be diagnosed by taking a medical history, examination, blood tests and an ultrasound.
Treatment for PCOS includes a healthy lifestyle, weight loss if overweight, and targeted therapy such as hormones and medication. TCM looks at the individual pattern of each person and not just the diagnosis. From A TCM viewpoint, we assist with PCOS by regulating the menstrual cycle – therefore assisting you to ovulate, regulating hormones, giving lifestyle advice assisting with weight loss / management and improving your overall health. MENOPAUSE: Menopause, also known as ‘the change of life’, is the end of menstruation (having periods) in a woman’s life. It is a natural occurrence at the end of the reproductive years, just as the first period during puberty was the start. Menopause from a TCM perspective usually begins around the age of 49 – 7×7 cycle of a female but can occur from 45-55 years. Hormone levels fluctuate leading to menopause As you approach menopause, the production of ‘female’ hormones (oestrogen and progesterone) by the ovaries starts to slow down. Hormone levels tend to fluctuate, and you may notice changes in your menstrual cycle such as: period cycles may become longer, shorter or totally irregular bleeding may become lighter bleeding may become unpredictable and heavy (get advice from your doctor).
Eventually, your hormone levels will fall to a point where your ovaries stop releasing eggs, your periods stop, and menopause is reached. Menopause symptoms Some of the symptom’s women may have include: hot flushes night sweats aches and pains crawling or itching sensations under the skin forgetfulness headaches irritability lack of self-esteem reduced sex drive (libido) tiredness difficulty sleeping – wakefulness or waking hot and sweaty urinary frequency vaginal dryness discomfort with sexual intercourse. TCM may assist with Menopausal hot flushes, mood changes, vaginal dryness and much more – by balancing the body back to its new state of “normal”. This is achieved through a variety of treatments; however, acupuncture and Chinese Herbal medicine are used together to obtain a faster result. We also advise on Chinese Dietary therapy and will design a treatment plan specifically for each woman to assist with rebalancing their body as it moves into its next phase.
It seems that today, painful periods, PMS, heavy periods, irregular periods, PCOS, mood swings, menopausal hot flushes, and mood changes are now just considered an everyday occurrence and to be the normal state. Did you know that it is not normal to have a painful period? That we should just wake up and have had it begun without any pain, any breast tenderness or changes to our mood? Many of the above symptoms occur according to Chinese Medicine because our body is not functioning correctly or at its true potential.
We view the body as being out of balance and from the state of imbalance, we have the chance to rebalance both the hormones of our body, our body’s brain chemistry and to correct the flow and function of the body’s energetic system (QI) and move blood circulation. By addressing these issues, we rebalance, restore and encourage hormonal balance within the body. Hormones have a profound effect on our bodies’ mental, physical and emotional health PMS Pre-menstrual Syndrome PMS affects approximately 70% of women aged between 20-40 years of age. PMS is the emotional and physical symptoms which may occur 1-2 week prior to a female having her period. Symptoms can include ache, bloating and irritability, breast tenderness, upset stomach or bowel movements, clumsiness, lowered moods or depression, anxiety, confusion and may also affect sleep, cause fluid retention and weight gain. PMS is caused due to a female being hypertensive to her own cyclic hormones – progesterone and oestrogen, however, progesterone is the main hormone which causes PMS and increases after ovulation.
TCM will always treat the individual and treat the root cause of the PMS. From a TCM viewpoint this will mainly use acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine alongside breathing techniques. These will enable the energy to flow freely, we use Acupuncture to assist with balancing hormones and herbs to assist mood, depression, breast tenderness, stress, anger and irritability. Irregular periods Irregular periods can be caused by many issues. Mainly it is due to a hormone imbalance. We aim to regulate the cycle, while also asking for other investigations such as hormone panel tests and we will also ask you to Basal Body Temperature chart (BBT) so that we can see how your body is functioning. From the BBT chart – through temperature and length we can tell a lot about what is occurring within your body. To regulate the cycle we incorporate Acupuncture, body massage, Chinese Herbal Medicine and Chinese Dietary Therapy to assist your body to achieve a “normal” cycle.