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There are a variety of "female" issues which tend to be difficult to treat via Western methods but respond exceptionally well to Oriental Medicine including:
- menstrual cramping
- hot flashes and night sweats
- breast or uterine fibroids
- morning sickness and other pregnancy-related symptoms
Dietary changes, herbal nutritional support and acupuncture can dramatically effect the symptoms of PMS, menopause, and pregnancy. back to top
Exposure to estrogen has been named as a leading risk factor for breast cancer, and it has recently been shown that the cardiac benefits of hormone replacement therapy are less than previously believed. Hormone replacement has become a controversial treatment and doctors are encouraging women to manage their menopausal symptoms in other ways. Chinese herbs can be a natural and less risky alternative to hormone replacement therapy for women experiencing hot flashes, night sweats, migraines and other symptoms that may accompany menopause.
In fertility treatment, studies have shown that outcome of In-vitro Fertilization (IVF) can be significantly improved if acupuncture is used before, during and after the embryo transfer procedure. Oriental Medicine has been shown to balance hormones, enhance lubrication, and improve ovulation and implantation. back to top
Even in the world of "evidence based medicine", insurance companies are unable to dispute the research evidence supporting the medical benefit of acupuncture for first trimester nausea and vomiting. In obstetrics, moxibustion on a point on the little toe has been well documented to turn a breech baby. Use of certain acupuncture points during the last month of pregnancy can help to efface the cervix, descend the baby into the birth canal, turn a mal-positioned baby, and relieve pre-birth anxiety. Acupuncture and Oriental bodywork at the time of delivery can help a mother to relax between contractions leading to less fatigue, more efficient contractions, less tissue tearing, and decreased need for medical interventions. After baby is born, acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help mom to get her energy back, relieve post-partum pain, decrease post-partum depression, and even help to stimulate milk production and let-down.
Treatment starts with a complete evaluation of your history and present complaints including physical examination and review of relevant medical records. Particular attention is paid to the menstrual cycle, even if you no longer are menstruating, are on birth control pills, or are pregnant. Oriental Medicine diagnosis is made, and a treatment plan is developed which may incorporate a variety of modalities including acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and moxibustion.
Frequency and duration of treatment will vary widely from patient to patient, probably more than for most other conditions. With menstrual disorders, it usually takes several months to regulate the cycle and fine tune the treatment to have consistent results. After all, you only have a period once per month, so it takes a month to establish whether the treatment is helping. While fine tuning your treatment for back pain may take a month or two, fine tuning your treatment for menstrual cycle problems typically takes 6-8 cycles. Thus, there is need for patience when treating menstrual disorders.
Our San Diego acupuncture clinic provides a full range of services to assist women with their health care needs. back to top
Smith C, Crowther C, Beilby J. (2002) Pregnancy outcome following women's participation in a randomised controlled trial of acupuncture to treat nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy. Complement Ther Med. 10(2):78-83.