Acupuncture for Menstrual Regulation

Acupuncture for Menstrual Regulation: A Natural Path to Balance

Understanding and managing menstrual cycles is vital to the pursuit of holistic wellness and balanced health.

Irregular menstrual cycles can be a source of frustration and concern, impacting overall well-being and fertility.

While conventional medicine often leans towards medications such as birth control to manage irregularities, this approach typically masks symptoms rather than addressing the root cause.

Acupuncture for menstrual regulation, a practice rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), offers a natural path to not only managing but truly supporting menstrual health.

Understanding Irregular Menstrual Cycles

An irregular menstrual cycle deviates from the typical 28-day cycle, though anywhere between 21 and 35 days is considered normal if consistent. Variations can manifest as too-long or too-short cycles, irregular intervals, missed periods, or abnormal bleeding patterns.

Regular cycles are not just about predictability; they signify balanced hormone levels and a healthy reproductive system. Disruptions in this cycle can signal underlying health issues that can potentially impact fertility.

Several factors can contribute to an irregular menstrual cycle:

  1. Hormonal Imbalance: Fluctuations in hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, can disrupt the normal cycle, leading to irregularities.

  2. Stress: High-stress levels can affect hormone production, potentially causing changes in the menstrual cycle.

  3. Poor Diet: Nutritional deficiencies or extreme weight loss/gain can impact the regularity of menstrual cycles.

  4. Medical Conditions: Conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), thyroid disorders, or reproductive issues can cause irregular periods.

  5. Medications: Certain medications, like contraceptives or antipsychotics, may influence menstrual regularity as a side effect.

  6. Excessive Exercise: Intense physical activity can alter hormone levels, affecting the menstrual cycle.

  7. Perimenopause: As women approach menopause, hormonal shifts can lead to irregular periods.

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Menstrual Health

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers a holistic understanding of health, focusing on the balance and flow of Qi (energy) within the body. TCM describes the menstrual cycle as comprising four phases governed by specific Yin, Yang, Qi, and blood dynamics.

Utilizing TCM techniques such as acupuncture for menstrual regulation and herbal medicine can support these phases, promoting hormone regulation and cycle regularity.

The Follicular Phase

The follicular phase starts on the first day of menstruation and ends with ovulation. TCM aims to support Yin and blood, nourishing the body as it prepares for ovulation. Acupuncture and specific herbs can enhance follicle development and regulate estrogen levels, setting the stage for a healthy ovulation.

Spleen 6 (SP6) Acupuncture Point

This is a commonly used acupuncture point to support regulation during the follicular phase of the Menstrual cycle, which focuses on preparing the body for ovulation.

  • Location: SP6 is located on the inner side of the lower leg, about four fingers’ width above the ankle bone. It is found in a depression behind the shinbone.

  • Function: This point is believed to regulate the menstrual cycle, alleviate cramps, and balance hormone levels by promoting blood circulation in the pelvic area.

  • Benefits: Stimulating SP6 can help address irregular periods, promote ovulation, reduce menstrual pain, and improve overall reproductive health during the follicular phase.

Ovulation

Ovulation is the climax of the menstrual cycle, where a mature egg is released and ready for fertilization. TCM focuses on ensuring the smooth flow of Qi and blood during this phase, facilitating the egg’s release. Acupuncture points are selected to support the liver Qi, which is essential for successful ovulation.

Liver 3 (LV3) Acupuncture Point

Liver 3 (LV3) serves as a valuable acupoint during the ovulation phase of the menstrual cycle due to its potential benefits in promoting reproductive health and hormonal balance.

  • Location: LV3, also known as “Taichong,” is situated on the dorsum of the foot, between the first and second metatarsal bones.

  • Function: Stimulating LV3 is believed to regulate Qi flow, harmonize the Liver meridian, and promote a sense of balance within the body.

  • Benefits: Using LV3 during ovulation can potentially support hormonal balance, enhance reproductive health, reduce stress levels, and foster emotional well-being, contributing to a holistic approach toward optimal fertility.

The Luteal Phase

Following ovulation, the luteal phase begins, characterized by progesterone production to prepare the uterine lining for potential pregnancy. TCM practices aim to support Yang and Qi, ensuring adequate progesterone levels and a stable uterine environment. This phase’s imbalance can lead to symptoms like PMS and cycle irregularities.

Kidney 3 (KI3) Acupuncture Point

This is an essential acupuncture point commonly used to support a regular cycle during the post-ovulation phase of the menstrual cycle.

  • Location: KI3, also known as “Taixi,” is located on the inner side of the ankle, in a depression between the ankle bone and Achilles tendon.

  • Function: Stimulating KI3 aims to nourish the Kidney’s, Yin and Yang, regulate hormone levels, and enhance overall reproductive health post-ovulation.

  • Benefits: Using KI3 post-ovulation can help in balancing the menstrual cycle, promoting emotional well-being, supporting fertility, and ensuring a harmonious transition to the next phase of the cycle.

Menstruation

Menstruation is the body’s natural way of shedding the uterine lining when pregnancy does not occur. TCM aims to support the smooth flow of Qi and blood to minimize discomfort and ensure a complete menstrual release. Acupuncture and herbs can be particularly effective in addressing stagnation, leading to painful or irregular periods.

Spleen 10 (SP10) Acupuncture Point

A powerful acupuncture point used during menstruation.

  • Location: SP10, also known as “Xuehai,” is located on the inner thigh, approximately three thumb-widths above the superior border of the patella.

  • Function: Stimulating SP10 aims to invigorate blood circulation, regulate menstruation, and address issues related to blood stasis and menstrual irregularities.

  • Benefits: Using SP10 during active menstruation can help alleviate menstrual pain, promote healthy blood flow, support uterine health, and contribute to a smoother menstrual cycle experience overall. It’s a valuable acupuncture point for menstrual health support.

The Importance of Menstrual Regulation

Regular menstrual cycles signify reproductive health and vital energy balance within the body.

For women trying to conceive, a regular cycle increases the predictability of ovulation, enhancing fertility opportunities. Beyond fertility, menstrual regulation indicates hormonal balance, which affects various aspects of health, including mood, bone density, and cardiovascular health.

Incorporating acupuncture and TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) into your wellness routine offers a natural and effective approach to supporting menstrual health, including menstrual regulation.

Acupuncture for menstrual regulation is particularly beneficial as it addresses the body as a whole and focuses on the underlying imbalances leading to irregular cycles. This approach provides a pathway to not just symptom management but true health and balance, making acupuncture an excellent choice for those seeking to improve their menstrual health.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation or learn more about our services.

Lokahi Acupuncture
408.279.9001
Follow us on Instagram
Make an Appointment

Regulate Your Hormones After Birth Control

5 Tips to Regulate Your Hormones After Birth Control from an Acupuncturist

Navigating the post-birth control landscape of hormone regulation can feel like an overwhelming quest.

Countless women turn to birth control for varied reasons—from managing specific health conditions to preventing pregnancy. But what happens when you decide it’s time to stop? How can you regulate your hormones after birth control?

Fear not, as you’re not alone on this path to natural hormone balance.

Understanding that the journey of rebalancing hormones is deeply personal and can require patience, we present a guide infused with wisdom from Traditional Chinese Medicine to help you find your equilibrium.

Tip 1 – Know Your Health History

It is crucial to explore the initial reason for starting birth control. Was it to prevent pregnancy, control cycle-related symptoms, or perhaps to manage a condition like endometriosis? This foundational knowledge holds the key to better understand and anticipate the changes you might experience upon cessation.

Remember, your reason for using birth control is the map that points to what lies ahead in your hormone regulation trek.

Understanding the original purposes behind your birth control use isn’t just a trip down memory lane; it’s your first step to preparedness. Was it simply a contraceptive choice or an intervention for menstrual irregularities? Cracking this code offers a significant insight into what symptoms might reemerge and arms you with the information you need to discuss with your healthcare provider for an informed post-pill strategy.

Tip 2 – Mindful Awareness of the Regulation Journey

The trek to hormonally balanced shores often varies from one person to another and may last from weeks to months (or longer!). It’s essential to acknowledge that regulation may not happen overnight.

By understanding your body’s timeline—which could be influenced by factors like your previous health status or how long you’ve been on birth control—you armor yourself against undue stress. Mindfulness here acts as a beacon of light, guiding you calmly through the process of recalibration.

Tip 3 – Seek Acupuncture for Hormone Regulation

Imagine a therapeutic ally that nudges your body’s natural rhythms back into a harmonious dance. Acupuncture—a jewel of TCM—does just that. It’s like a conductor encouraging the reestablishment of the body’s intrinsic communication lines, specifically nudging the HPA and HPG axes towards a symphony of balance.

Whether it’s rejuvenating the conversation between your brain and ovaries or soothing the entire hormonal chorus, acupuncture could very well be your rhythm restorer.

Tip 4 – TCM Herbal Formulas Custom Tailored to You

In contrast to the one-size-fits-all approach of birth control, TCM presents a palette of herbal remedies, each artfully blended to address your unique TCM diagnosis. What’s recommended for PCOS-related amenorrhea, for example, is very different from what is recommended for endometriosis. And within each of those Western diagnoses are even more specific and intricate TCM diagnoses.

These formulations are carefully selected based on your TCM diagnosis, health history, and symptoms ensuring that the support you receive is as individual as your fingerprint. A TCM practitioner can concoct the perfect herbal mix to guide your body gently back to its natural state of hormonal flow.

Tip 5 – Nutritional Support Tailored to Your Journey

Goodbye birth control, hello nutritional recalibration! It’s often underestimated how dietary and supplementary choices can ease the transition off the pill. From increasing nutrients depleted by birth control usage—like B vitamins and folate—to integrating supplements that assist with emerging symptoms (like acne – ugh!), your plate becomes a foundational tool in your hormonal rebalance toolkit. Guidance from a TCM perspective can bring into relief the specific nutritional strategies that align with your body’s current needs.

In Conclusion:

Think of TCM as your trusted travel companion through the terrain of post-birth control hormonal rebalancing.

Grounded in an approach that respects your body’s history and current state, it employs acupuncture, herbal medicine, and nutrition as supportive guides. Your transitional voyage may have its swift currents and sluggish waters, but TCM offers holistic sustenance for the full duration.

Remember, every step is progress, and every individual’s experience is valid.

Be gentle with yourself as you carve out your path to balance, and trust in the traditional wisdom that has illuminated the way for countless before you. Your body possesses a remarkable ability to find harmony, and the TCM approach can be a powerful ally in fostering that innate equilibrium.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation or learn more about our services.

Lokahi Acupuncture
408.279.9001
Follow us on Instagram
Make an Appointment

Understanding Menopause & Menopause Symptoms

Understanding Menopause & Menopause Symptoms

Understanding Menopause Symptoms, Management, and Effective Coping Strategies

Menopause, often accompanied by symptoms like hot flashes and mood changes, is the natural end of menstrual periods. Occurring mostly between ages 45 and 55, it signals a shift in hormone levels and body functions. This article breaks down what to expect during menopause and offers practical strategies for managing its symptoms effectively.

Key Takeaways

  • Menopause is the end of menstrual cycles, typically occurring between 45-55 years, with symptoms varying widely in intensity and duration, requiring a blend of history, symptoms, and tests for diagnosis.
  • Menopausal transition ushers in a multitude of physical and emotional changes such as hot flashes, mood swings, and menstrual irregularity, which can be managed through lifestyle adjustments, hormone therapy, and non-hormonal treatments.
  • Post-menopausal women face health risks like cardiovascular diseases and osteoporosis, and maintaining well-being includes diet, exercise, sexual health considerations, and exploring traditional treatments like TCM and individualized hormone therapy plans.

Decoding Menopause and Its Onset

Menopause, defined as the permanent cessation of menstrual cycles, signals the end of a woman’s reproductive phase. It’s diagnosed after 12 months without a menstrual period, typically occurring between the ages of 45 and 55. In the United States, the average age for a woman to reach menopause is 51. However, various factors, including lifestyle, smoking, and race/ethnicity, can influence both the timing and duration of perimenopause.

There are different instances of menopause, including:

  • Early menopause, occurring before age 45, affecting approximately 5% of women
  • Premature menopause, occurring before the age of 40, affecting approximately 1% of women
  • Primary ovarian insufficiency, a condition where there is a temporary or permanent cessation of menstrual periods before age 40, which differs from premature menopause as the end of menstruation is permanent

Although rare, menopause can occasionally commence as early as someone’s 20s or 30s. Understanding menopause and its onset is crucial for managing the symptoms effectively and taking timely action.

The Menopausal Transition: Signs to Watch For

During the menopausal transition, women may endure various symptoms such as:

  • Intermittent dizziness
  • Cardiac palpitations
  • Fluctuations in skin temperature

These symptoms can be quite different in intensity and longevity across individuals.

To ascertain if a woman is going through the menopausal transition, medical professionals consider her age and symptom history alongside blood tests that assess FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) and E2 (Estradiol) levels. We will now take a closer look at some of these particular symptoms.

Understanding Irregular Menstrual Cycles

Perimenopause signals the onset of irregular menstrual cycles, often marked by changes in both timing and flow. As women approach menopause, they may encounter a range of menstrual cycle patterns, including:

  • Shortening or lengthening of cycles
  • Variability in cycle length, with some cycles diverging by more than a week
  • Extended periods of amenorrhea (absence of menstruation)

Understanding these changes can help women better manage their bodies during perimenopause. It’s important to remember that these irregularities are a normal part of the transition and don’t necessarily indicate a problem. However, if the changes become bothersome or are accompanied by heavy bleeding, it’s always wise to consult a healthcare professional.

Emotional Fluctuations During Menopause

Emotional changes during menopause aren’t just “all in your head.” Mood swings can include a range of emotional states such as:

  • irritability
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • a decreased sense of well-being

These emotional symptoms may parallel those of non-menopausal women of the same age, suggesting that these effects might not be exclusive to the menopausal transition.

Managing these mood changes can involve a variety of strategies, including:

  • Relaxation techniques
  • Pursuing a healthy lifestyle
  • Engaging in self-nurturing activities
  • Consultation with healthcare professionals

All of these can contribute to emotional well-being during menopause.

Remember, it’s okay to seek help when you need it, and you’re not alone in this journey.

Physical Changes Beyond Hot Flashes

While hot flashes may be the most talked-about symptom of menopause, there are other physical changes that women may experience. Some women may notice an increase in facial hair or thinning of scalp hair due to hormonal changes. While these changes can be a source of stress for some, it’s important to remember that they’re a normal part of the menopausal transition.

Pelvic floor exercises are also excellent for menopausal women, as they strengthen or relax important muscle groups. These exercises can help manage symptoms of urinary incontinence, which we’ll delve into more in the following sections.

Hormonal Shifts and Health Implications

During menopause, hormonal fluctuations are not solely responsible for hot flashes and mood swings. These shifts also carry broader health implications for women, increasing the likelihood of developing cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, and issues with urinary incontinence.

It’s important to consider various treatment strategies that address these specific health concerns associated with menopausal changes.

Estrogen Therapy: Weighing the Pros and Cons

Estrogen therapy, considered the most effective treatment for severe hot flashes and genitourinary syndrome of menopause, can be extended if needed. However, it’s not without its potential side effects.

Women who have undergone a hysterectomy may require only estrogen therapy without progestin, minimizing potential side effects. Transdermal routes and lower doses of estrogen therapy may also lower the risk of venous thromboembolism and stroke. However, estrogen therapy can be contraindicated for women with histories of certain cancers, as it may promote the growth of these cancers. Understanding the role of female hormones estrogen in these situations is crucial for determining the best course of treatment.

Non-Hormonal Options for Symptom Relief

There are alternative methods beyond hormone therapy to alleviate the discomfort of menopausal symptoms. Making dietary changes is an important factor in controlling these symptoms. It’s essential for women going through menopause to consume calcium and vitamin-rich dairy products to preserve bone density. Including healthy fats, like those from omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish and seeds, can benefit overall well-being after menopause.

Acupuncture may offer relief for a variety of issues that arise with menopause, including trouble sleeping, emotional fluctuations, and anxiety. Research has demonstrated that this traditional practice could diminish both how often and how intensely hot flashes occur during the transition into menopause.

Lifestyle Adjustments for Menopause Management

Taking care of your body through diet, exercise, and proper sleep hygiene is an essential part of navigating menopause. Here are some tips to help reduce menopause symptoms.

  • Incorporate high-fiber whole grains into your diet
  • Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables
  • Reduce the intake of processed foods, excess sugars, alcohol, caffeine, and high salt

By following these tips, you can support your body during this transitional phase.

Regular exercise and specific activities such as Kegel exercises can also help improve pelvic floor strength and manage symptoms of urinary incontinence. Let’s delve further into these lifestyle adjustments.

Diet and Nutrition: Eating for Hormonal Balance

Vitamin D and calcium are essential for bone health during menopause. Here are some benefits of these nutrients:

  • Vitamin D facilitates the absorption of calcium for strong bones.
  • Calcium and vitamin D supplements are beneficial for preventing fractures.
  • They enhance bone health in menopausal women.

A balanced diet can help manage menopausal symptoms. Some key foods to include in your diet are:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids, from sources such as fatty fish, flaxseed, and chia seeds, which are linked with improved health outcomes for postmenopausal women.
  • Whole grains, which may be associated with reduced menopausal symptoms and a decreased risk of heart disease.
  • Phytoestrogens found in foods like beans, flaxseed, and soybeans, which can have a positive impact on bone health and may lower cardiovascular risk in postmenopausal women.

By incorporating these foods into your diet, you can support your overall health during menopause.

Exercise and Menopause: Strengthening Body and Mind

Regular physical activity reduces the severity of menopausal symptoms, prevents weight gain by counteracting the loss of muscle mass and abdominal fat gain, and supports overall health during surgical menopause. Engaging in aerobic activities like walking, swimming, and dancing can be fun and suitable for joint health, while yoga offers adaptability to individual needs, and strength training helps maintain core strength and potentially reduce hot flashes.

To effectively manage menopause symptoms, aiming for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week is recommended. Here are some tips to help you incorporate exercise into your routine:

  • Start with light exercises and increase intensity and duration gradually to build endurance and strength.
  • Participate in enjoyable exercise routines like gardening or dancing to make it more fun and sustainable.
  • Engage in group exercise classes that promote social interaction to improve mood and sustain motivation.

By following these tips, you can effectively manage menopause symptoms through regular exercise.

Alongside regular exercise, quality protein intake is essential for mitigating muscle mass and bone strength reduction during menopause.

Tackling Vaginal and Sexual Health Post-Menopause

Post-menopause, maintaining vaginal and sexual health is just as important as managing other symptoms. Here are some tips to help:

  • Use water-based lubricants to ease vaginal dryness and discomfort during sexual intercourse.
  • Regularly use vaginal moisturizers to keep the vaginal tissues hydrated.
  • Maintain regular sexual stimulation to promote blood flow and vaginal health, potentially mitigating menopausal symptoms.

Hormonal treatments, such as local treatments with vaginal estrogen preparations, effectively relieve symptoms of vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA). In cases where estrogens are contraindicated, alternative hormonal treatment options such as selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) and intravaginal dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) can be considered.

Open communication about sexual needs and setting realistic expectations are essential for maintaining emotional intimacy and sexual satisfaction.

The Role of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in Menopause

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers a holistic approach to managing menopausal symptoms. TCM is a key therapy for managing menopausal syndrome in China, taking a holistic perspective on health and employing techniques such as:

  • acupuncture
  • herbal medicine
  • dietary therapy
  • exercise
  • meditation

These techniques aim to restore balance to the body’s energies, known as Qi, and alleviate menopausal symptoms by harmonizing the Yin and Yang within the body. The TCM approach is deeply rooted in the belief that menopause is a natural transition rather than a medical problem, and thus it focuses on gentle, non-invasive remedies that align with the body’s changing energies.

One TCM herbal formula traditionally used to treat menopause symptoms is Yin Huo Tang (YHT), which includes a combination of Rehmannia glutinosa, Morinda officinalis, Ophiopogon japonicus, Poria cocos, and Schisandra chinensis. YHT has demonstrated efficacy in alleviating menopausal symptoms such as depressive behaviors, aggression, and sleep disturbances in animal studies. This is partially attributed to its balance-restoring properties on serum estrogen levels and the health of reproductive organs.

Acupuncture, in particular, is a well-known TCM practice that involves the insertion of fine needles into specific points on the body to correct imbalances in Qi. It is often used to reduce the frequency and severity of hot flashes, improve sleep patterns, and enhance mood stability during menopause.

Dietary therapy in TCM focuses on nourishing the body with foods that support Yin and control Yang, as the balance between these two forces is believed to be disrupted during menopause. Foods such as black sesame seeds, yams, and goji berries are commonly recommended for their purported benefits in nourishing Yin.

Regular TCM-based exercise, such as Tai Chi and Qigong, is also emphasized for its ability to improve flexibility, maintain joint health, and reduce stress, all of which can be beneficial for women experiencing the physical and emotional changes of menopause.

Lastly, meditation and mindfulness practices are encouraged to help women cultivate a sense of inner peace and resilience, assisting in the management of the emotional fluctuations that can accompany menopause.

By integrating these practices into daily life, TCM provides a comprehensive framework for supporting women through the menopausal transition, aiming to improve overall quality of life and well-being.

Insights from the North American Menopause Society

The North American Menopause Society advocates for an individualized treatment plan when considering hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms. This means the treatment plan should be tailored to each woman’s unique health history, symptoms, and personal preferences.
Shared decision-making is recommended, along with regular reevaluations to determine the benefit-risk profile of hormone therapy for each woman. This approach ensures that women are involved in all stages of their treatment planning process, which can lead to more satisfactory outcomes. However, due to safety concerns, compounded bioidentical hormone therapy is not recommended.

Navigating Surgical Menopause

Surgical menopause, often a result of medical interventions like a hysterectomy, requires careful consideration of treatment options and potential health complications. When a hysterectomy includes ovary removal, it leads to an immediate induction of menopause because of the abrupt halt in hormones produced by the ovaries.

Prior to undergoing an oophorectomy, it is crucial for women to explore all available treatment options with their healthcare provider due to potential health complications that may arise if this surgery occurs before natural menopause. Understanding the implications of surgical menopause can help women make informed decisions about their health.

Summary

In conclusion, managing menopause involves understanding its onset, recognizing the symptoms, and exploring various treatment options, including hormonal and non-hormonal therapies. Lifestyle adjustments and holistic approaches like TCM can also play a significant role in easing the transition. Remember, menopause is a natural part of a woman’s life journey, and with the right information and support, you can navigate it confidently.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens when a woman hits menopause?

During menopause, a woman might undergo certain changes including an increase in weight gain and alterations to how her body uses energy and functions physically. These shifts can bring about symptoms like hot flashes and vaginal dryness, as well as the cessation of monthly periods – all resulting from reduced levels of estrogen and progesterone.

How do I know if I’m in menopause?

If you notice alterations in your customary menstrual cycle, including periods that are either significantly lighter or heavier than usual, irregular timing between cycles, or if your periods stop altogether, it may be an indication of menopause.

A diagnosis of menopause is confirmed after a full year has passed without experiencing a menstrual period.

What are the 3 stages of menopause?

Menopause encompasses three distinct phases: perimenopause, menopause itself, and postmenopause. Each stage signifies a reduction in hormone production accompanied by the degeneration of ovarian function.

What is menopause, and when does it typically occur?

The cessation of a woman’s menstrual cycles, known as menopause, happens between the ages of 45 and 55. It is officially diagnosed once a woman has gone for 12 months without experiencing a menstrual period.

What are some common symptoms of menopause?

Hot flashes, mood fluctuations, and periodic dizziness are among the typical indications of menopause experienced by women. These symptoms can differ in both strength and how long they last.

Seeking advice from a healthcare provider is crucial for tailored support.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation or learn more about our services.

Lokahi Acupuncture
408.279.9001
Follow us on Instagram
Make an Appointment

Herbs and Supplements for Endometriosis

Best Herbs and Supplements for Endometriosis

by Susannah Lee, LA

March marks the observance of Endometriosis Awareness Month, a crucial time to shed light on this often misunderstood condition.

Endometriosis is a chronic health disorder in which tissue similar to the lining inside the uterus grows outside the uterus, leading to pain, inflammation, and potential fertility challenges for those affected. It is vital to raise awareness about the impact of endometriosis on individuals’ lives and advocate for improved support and understanding.

Below are 4 commonly recommended herbs and supplements for endometriosis offered by our reproductive health acupuncturists here at Lokahi Acupuncture.

1. Zinc:

Endometriosis is increasingly recognized as a condition involving immune dysfunction, where the body’s immune system may not effectively identify and manage endometrial-like tissue growing outside the uterus. This immune dysregulation can contribute to the chronic inflammation and pain associated with endometriosis.

Zinc, an essential mineral known for its pivotal role in supporting immune function, holds promise as a beneficial supplement for individuals struggling with endometriosis. By bolstering immune function, zinc may help modulate the inflammatory response associated with endometriosis.

Additionally, zinc’s role in hormonal balance and tissue repair aligns with the multifaceted nature of endometriosis, potentially offering support for symptom management and overall well-being.

2. Turmeric:

Turmeric, a revered food-based herb, embodies powerful properties that make it a compelling supplement for individuals grappling with endometriosis. Renowned for its anti-inflammatory prowess, turmeric offers a natural approach to addressing the chronic inflammation often associated with this condition.

The active compound in turmeric, curcumin, has been extensively studied for its ability to modulate inflammatory pathways in the body, potentially easing the pain and discomfort experienced by those with endometriosis.

By harnessing the anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric, individuals have an opportunity to incorporate a holistic and natural element into their approach to managing endometriosis.

3. NAC:

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) represents a compelling supplement for individuals grappling with the challenges of endometriosis. Its remarkable detoxification properties play a pivotal role in addressing the oxidative stress and inflammation often associated with this condition. By promoting liver detoxification and fortifying antioxidant defenses, NAC aligns seamlessly with a holistic approach to managing endometriosis. This gentle yet potent supplement, when integrated under the guidance of healthcare professionals, offers a beacon of hope for individuals seeking to navigate the complexities of endometriosis with a comprehensive and supportive approach.

4. Individualized Herbal Formulas:

From a Chinese Medicine perspective, endometriosis often presents a prominent pattern known as “blood stagnation of the lower jiao.” This pattern, when considered in the context of endometriosis, underscores the significance of addressing blood flow and circulation. It may coexist with other patterns, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive approach to harmonize these imbalances.

Harmonizing this pattern with appropriate herbal formulas holds promise for individuals navigating the complexities of endometriosis. By blending formulas tailored to the patient’s pattern and constitution, an acupuncturist trained in herbal medicine can provide personalized support aligned with the patient’s unique needs. Furthermore, adjusting these formulas throughout the different phases of the menstrual cycle ensures a dynamic and responsive approach to managing the condition.

It is crucial for individuals to seek appropriate care from a qualified acupuncturist before initiating any herbal formula and/or supplements for endometriosis.

This ensures that the chosen approach is not only suitable but also optimally aligned with the individual’s holistic wellness journey. This proactive step serves as a vital foundation for individuals seeking to embrace the natural and tailored approach to addressing endometriosis from a Chinese Medicine perspective.

At Lokahi we provide an online herbal medicine Dispensary through our own herbal medicine and supplement distributor, Fullscript, so that our patients have access to quality supplements that we prescribe and recommend.

For our patients, we offer a 10% online discount when you order through this site to help offset the shipping costs. Sign up today!

Contact us today to schedule a consultation or learn more about our services.

Lokahi Acupuncture
408.279.9001
Follow us on Instagram
Make an Appointment

Endometriosis: Natural Relief Strategies

Holistic Treatments for Endometriosis: Natural Relief Strategies

If you’re grappling with endometriosis, holistic treatments may provide the symptom relief you’re seeking. This article outlines how approaches like mind-body practices, dietary adjustments, and natural pain relievers can work together to form a comprehensive treatment strategy. Discover the holistic path to potentially easing the burden of endometriosis.

Holistic Approach to Endometriosis Management

Endometriosis, characterized by the growth of endometrial tissues outside the uterus, is a complex condition often presenting with chronic pelvic pain and heavy menstrual periods. Traditional treatments, from hormone therapy to laparoscopic surgery, have been the mainstay approach to managing endometriosis symptoms. However, they often focus on physical symptoms in isolation, such as menstrual period pain and scar tissue, and may not fully address the multifaceted nature of the disease.

On the other hand, endometriosis management from a holistic perspective transcends the treatment of physical symptoms alone. It encompasses emotional and mental health components, recognizing that endometriosis can significantly impact a person’s psychological well-being. This approach acknowledges the interconnectedness of physical and mental health, encouraging strategies that foster overall wellness and quality of life.

Mind-Body Connection

The connection between the mind and body is pivotal in the management of endometriosis. Studies have reported that women with endometriosis often experience higher levels of psychological distress, such as anxiety and depression. This distress can exacerbate physical symptoms, creating a vicious cycle of physical and emotional pain.

This cycle can be disrupted by mind-body therapies like meditation and yoga. These therapies aim to enhance emotional regulation, reduce negative self-talk, and mitigate the stress associated with endometriosis. By focusing on the mind’s impact on physical health, these techniques have shown promise in providing pain relief and improving the quality of life for individuals with endometriosis.

Lifestyle Modifications

Another integral part of a holistic approach to managing endometriosis involves lifestyle modifications.

Simple changes, like:

  • reducing exposure to environmental toxins
  • maintaining a regular exercise routine
  • ensuring adequate hydration
  • adhering to a healthy sleep routine

Can significantly help manage severe pain symptoms.

Regular exercise, for instance, releases endorphins, our body’s natural painkillers and mood enhancers. This not only helps to alleviate painful menstrual cramps but also aids in maintaining a healthy weight, leading to reduced estrogen levels and less severe endometriosis symptoms. Similarly, ensuring quality sleep can help manage the fatigue and discomfort often associated with endometriosis.

Natural Pain Relief Options

While traditional pain medications can provide relief from endometriosis pain, they can also bring potential side effects. In contrast, natural pain relief options, such as acupuncture, heat therapy, and massage, offer a gentler approach. These therapies can be integrated into a holistic management plan, providing relief from pain with fewer unwanted side effects.

These therapies, further detailed below, can be considered as holistic options to treat endometriosis and manage endometriosis pain.

Acupuncture

This traditional Chinese medicine technique can offer significant pain relief for those suffering from endometriosis. By strategically placing fine needles into certain meridian points on the body, acupuncture aims to restore balance and flow of energy, potentially reducing the chronic pelvic pain associated with endometriosis.

Studies suggest that acupuncture may also contribute to shrinking adnexal masses and may support fertility by promoting better blood flow to the reproductive organs. Patients often report not only direct pain alleviation but also an overall sense of well-being and relaxation following treatment, which can be particularly beneficial for the stress and anxiety that often accompany chronic pain conditions like endometriosis.

Clinical studies have also demonstrated that acupuncture can lower pain and serum CA-125 levels in women with endometriosis, indicating its potential as an effective treatment for managing endometriosis-related pain.

The pain-relieving effects of acupuncture may stem from its ability to:

  • Activate endogenous descending pain inhibitory systems
  • Deactivate brain areas that process pain signals
  • Modulate nociceptive impulses within somato-visceral reflexes

This makes it a promising complementary treatment for endometriosis pain management.

Heat Therapy

Specifically, heat therapy using heating pads can provide significant comfort and relief from pelvic pain related to endometriosis. The warmth from the heating pad can relax the pelvic muscles, reducing cramps and easing discomfort.

For those on the move, a warm water bottle can serve as an effective alternative to heating pads. It can provide similar benefits, enabling individuals to manage their pain while traveling or working. By keeping heating pads or warm water bottles accessible, individuals with endometriosis can better manage their pain, even during busy schedules.

Massage

Particularly, abdominal massage as a part of massage therapy can also be an effective method to manage symptoms of endometriosis. It can increase circulation to the reproductive organs and assist the lymphatic system in eliminating toxins, which is beneficial for womb health.

In addition to general massage, specific techniques like Ampuku or Arvigo can be tailored to address and alleviate endometriosis symptoms. Regular massages can also help:

  • Restore hormonal balance by ensuring healthy blood flow to the uterus
  • Assist the body in eliminating cysts associated with endometriosis
  • Reduce heavy bleeding and discomfort

Herbal and Dietary Supplements

The treatment of endometriosis can benefit from herbal and dietary supplements, as well as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Certain supplements have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immune-modulatory properties that can help manage endometriosis symptoms.

For instance, Resveratrol, a compound found in grapes, may act as a complementary treatment to medical therapy in endometriosis due to its antineoplastic and anti-inflammatory effects.

Other vitamin and mineral supplements that have shown promise in improving endometriosis symptoms include:

  • Alpha-lipoic acid – powerful antioxidant
  • Vitamin E – fat soluble vitamin, powerful antioxidant
  • Selenium: Its modulatory functions can benefit inflammatory conditions like endometriosis.
  • Zinc: It is vital for hormonal balance and menstrual cycle regulation.
  • Vitamin D: It can influence autoimmune responses and reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines.

These supplements can be consumed via diet or taken as supplements under the guidance of a healthcare professional. Antioxidant-rich foods, particularly those high in vitamins C and E, can significantly reduce symptoms of endometriosis and are important components of an anti-inflammatory diet.

Herbal Remedies

Managing symptoms of endometriosis can be naturally and effectively done through herbal remedies. Quercetin, for instance, may be a beneficial natural therapy for endometriosis due to its anti-estrogenic and progestogenic effects that inhibit endometrial cells proliferation and induce cell cycle arrest.
Other herbs like curcumin, extracted from turmeric, can reduce endometriosis symptoms through their anti-inflammatory, anti-metastatic, and antiangiogenic properties. Similarly, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) from green tea can suppress estrogen activity, which can be beneficial in the treatment of endometriosis symptoms.

Nutrition and Diet

The importance of nutrition and diet in the management of endometriosis cannot be emphasized enough. Emphasizing a plant-based diet can support estrogen reduction and decrease inflammation, which are integral to addressing endometriosis. Incorporating fiber can aid in the removal of excess estrogen from the body, which is beneficial for alleviating symptoms such as cramping and pain associated with endometriosis.

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into the diet can significantly aid the management of endometriosis. Omega-3 fatty acids, for instance, possess anti-inflammatory effects that can inhibit inflammation and may slow down the growth of endometriotic implants.

Similarly, foods rich in Vitamin C, including many fruits and vegetables, can prevent the growth of endometriotic implants due to their anti-inflammatory and antiangiogenic properties. A diet incorporating a variety of anti-inflammatory foods, such as:

  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • legumes
  • whole grains
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • monounsaturated fats

A healthy functioning of fallopian tubes is associated with reduced endometriosis symptoms.

Foods to Avoid

While some foods can aid the management of endometriosis symptoms, others have the potential to worsen them.

Foods that boost inflammation or estrogen levels, such as:

  • alcohol
  • caffeine
  • fatty meats
  • processed foods
  • sugary drinks

A healthy diet can have a significant impact on your bowel movements, ensuring that your digestive system functions properly and unwanted substances are eliminated from your body. It is essential to consume a balanced diet rich in fiber, fruits, and vegetables to maintain regularity and prevent constipation.

A diet high in trans fats and red meat is associated with an increased risk of endometriosis and should be minimized. Similarly, dairy products, especially those containing growth hormones and antibiotics, can worsen endometriosis symptoms by causing inflammation.

To manage endometriosis symptoms, it is recommended to:

  • Reduce consumption of trans fats and red meat
  • Minimize intake of dairy products, especially those containing growth hormones and antibiotics
  • Replace these foods with lean proteins like chicken, fish, or turkey

Mindfulness and Stress Reduction Techniques

Stress commonly accompanies chronic conditions like endometriosis. It not only exacerbates the physical manifestations of the disease but also impacts the severity of endometriosis by influencing inflammatory parameters and neuroendocrine–immune axis responses.

Therefore, mindfulness and stress reduction techniques are critical to a holistic approach to managing endometriosis. Techniques such as meditation and yoga can help alleviate endometriosis symptoms by promoting relaxation, improving psychological well-being, and enhancing overall quality of life.

Meditation

As a powerful tool, meditation can assist endometriosis patients in relaxing the mind and body, increasing calmness, improving psychological balance, and enhancing the overall quality of life. Techniques such as mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) have been shown to reduce stress and have lasting effects on pain levels, daily functions, and well-being in endometriosis patients.

Starting a meditation practice for endometriosis involves focusing on the breath and observing thoughts or emotions without judgment. This not only helps to remain present but also alleviates stress, a significant exacerbator of endometriosis symptoms.

Yoga

Another mind-body intervention, yoga, may help in alleviating symptoms of endometriosis like:

  • pain
  • anxiety
  • depression
    stress
  • fatigue

Yoga practices like Hatha Yoga, known for its postures and breathing exercises, are recommended to enhance physical and mental well-being, potentially aiding in the management of pain for endometriosis patients.

Specific yoga poses, such as Vajrasana (thunderbolt pose), Malasana (squat), and Janu Sirasana (head-to-knee forward bend), may also help in alleviating chronic pain, making yoga a useful addition to a holistic endometriosis management plan.

Integrating Holistic Treatments with Conventional Medicine

Effectively managing endometriosis typically involves a blend of conventional medical treatments and holistic therapies. While conventional treatments focus on managing physical symptoms, holistic therapies consider the whole person, addressing the physical, emotional, and mental aspects of the disease.

Before trying new alternative therapies for endometriosis, it’s important to consult with your healthcare team. This ensures the safety of the therapy and its proper integration with conventional treatments. Open communication with healthcare providers is essential when incorporating holistic treatments into an endometriosis care plan.

Monitoring Progress

In the management of endometriosis, monitoring progress is an important part. This requires effective communication and descriptive methods for tracking symptoms. Emerging digital technologies, such as smartphone apps and wearable sensors, provide novel means for objective and continuous symptom tracking in endometriosis.

By integrating digital symptom data with traditional patient-reported outcomes and clinical tests, there is potential to develop more personalized and effective treatment strategies for endometriosis.

This not only enhances the effectiveness of treatments but also empowers individuals to:

  • Take a more active role in managing their health
  • Make informed decisions about their treatment options
  • Track their symptoms and progress over time
  • Communicate more effectively with their healthcare providers

This integration of digital technology and healthcare has the potential to revolutionize the way endometriosis diagnosed is approached and treated.

Summary

In conclusion, managing endometriosis requires a comprehensive approach that addresses not just physical symptoms but also the mental and emotional aspects of the disease. From mindful practices like meditation and yoga to dietary changes and natural pain relief options, a holistic approach to endometriosis management can enhance overall wellness and quality of life.

By integrating these strategies with conventional treatments and working closely with healthcare professionals, individuals with endometriosis can effectively manage their symptoms and lead a fulfilling life.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation or learn more about our services.

Lokahi Acupuncture
408.279.9001
Follow us on Instagram
Make an Appointment

Women's Health - Lokahi Acupuncture

How Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Supports Women’s Health Through Life’s Stages

Women’s health encompasses many stages, and each stage poses its set of unique situations and symptoms.

From puberty to menopause, women go through a multitude of changes that can be challenging to manage. However, Traditional Chinese Medicine, such as acupuncture and herbal medicine, offers a holistic approach to support women’s health throughout these stages.

In this article, we explore how acupuncture, herbal medicine, and lifestyle awareness can help women manage their health better as they transition through various stages.

We’ll also delve into how Traditional Chinese Medicine views the life cycles for women and how it can provide a holistic solution to women’s health problems.

Puberty:

Every woman’s journey through their reproductive phase begins with puberty, which usually starts between the ages of eight and thirteen.

For many girls, puberty can be a confusing and challenging time, as their bodies start to change, and their hormones go into overdrive. Some of the physical symptoms that may arise at this stage include acne, mood swings, irregular periods, and menstrual cramps.

Acupuncture can help balance the hormones, alleviate menstrual cramps or headaches, increase circulation, and reduce stress levels associated with puberty.

Pregnancy:

Pregnancy is a period of change of the utmost importance.

Yes, it is a beautiful and exciting time for most women, but it also comes with several health concerns. These range from morning sickness and back pain in the early stages to postpartum depression later on.

Acupuncture can help manage some symptoms related to pregnancy, such as nausea, back pain, anxiety, and insomnia. Moreover, it could prepare the body for labor and delivery.

Menopause:

Menopause marks the end of the reproductive phase and the beginning of a new phase of a woman’s life.

Women may experience different symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, mucosal dryness, mood swings, osteoporosis, and so on.

Acupuncture has shown to reduce hot flashes, decrease sweating frequency, and stabilize mood and emotions. Herbal medicine may also help to alleviate symptoms and prevent bone loss.

Traditional Chinese Medicine:

Traditional Chinese Medicine views the life cycles of women in eight-year cycles, and each phase comes with its set of symptoms.

Each cycle is related to a specific organ system and its corresponding emotions. For example, the kidney system, which includes the bladder and reproductive organs, is the primary organ system during the reproductive years. Each of these organs has a specific role they play in women’s physical, mental, or spiritual health.

During each cycle, acupuncture and herbal medicine can help support the body and mind. For instance, promoting circulation and removing blockages is critical during puberty, nourishing the blood and the reproductive organs during fertility years, and stabilizing Qi and Yin to prevent osteoporosis during menopause.

Herbal Medicine:

In countries such as China, herbal medicine that is supportive is often cooked into food like soups and congees. Small, consistent doses of herbs can be incorporated into a woman’s diet to promote hormonal balance and overall health. Herbal medicine aims to restore balance and harmony to the body, making it an excellent addition to other therapies such as acupuncture and lifestyle awareness.

As women transition through different stages of life, it is essential to support their overall health and well-being.

Acupuncture, herbal medicine, and lifestyle awareness can provide a holistic approach to manage the different physical, mental, or emotional symptoms that arise at each stage. Traditional Chinese Medicine views women’s lives in eight-year cycles and offers specific treatments that align with each cycle. Incorporating herbal medicine into the diet can help balance hormones while providing other health benefits.

Focusing on prevention and early intervention, rather than waiting for issues to arise, is key to supporting women’s health through life’s stages.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation or learn more about our services.

Lokahi Acupuncture
408.279.9001
Follow us on Instagram
Make an Appointment

Acupuncture for PCOS

How to Know What Type of PCOS You Have

Understanding the 4 Different Types of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

In this blog, we will explore each different types of PCOS, shedding light on their unique characteristics and offering insights into effective East Asian Medicine treatment approaches.

PCOS is a complex hormonal disorder that affects many women worldwide, and understanding its distinct variations and personalized treatment options is crucial for those navigating this condition.

1) Insulin-resistant PCOS: This is the most common type of PCOS, often linked to weight gain. When your body becomes resistant to insulin, your pancreas overworks, producing more insulin. This leads to an overproduction of testosterone, causing PCOS symptoms

2) Post-Pill PCOS: This type of PCOS is temporary and is typically seen after the discontinuation of hormonal birth control. The pill suppresses ovulation, and sometimes, the body takes a while to start it again, leading to PCOS symptoms.

3) Inflammatory PCOS: Chronic inflammation in the body can interrupt ovulation and lead to this type of PCOS. It’s often linked with other signs of inflammation such as skin conditions or joint pain.

4) Adrenal PCOS: This type of PCOS is less common and results from an overproduction of DHEA, a male hormone, by the adrenal glands instead of the ovaries which produces symptoms like acne, hair loss, or irregular periods.

Understanding the type of PCOS is instrumental in formulating an effective and targeted treatment strategy.

PCOS is not a one-size-fits-all condition, as it manifests in various ways and presents with different underlying factors.

Insulin-resistant PCOS

Insulin-resistant PCOS often occurs in women with a higher body fat percentage.

This type may cause weight gain, particularly in the abdominal area, due to the body’s inability to properly utilize insulin. This leads to higher glucose levels and increased fat storage.

Post-Pill PCOS

Post-Pill PCOS can affect any body type, as it is more directly linked to the cessation of hormonal birth control rather than physical attributes.

Symptoms may persist for several months, but they usually resolve once the body regulates its hormone production.

Inflammatory PCOS

Women with an inflammatory body type, who might already have body composition predisposed to inflammation, are more likely to develop Inflammatory PCOS. They might also struggle with other inflammatory conditions such as skin issues or joint pain.

Adrenal PCOS

Finally, Adrenal PCOS is more common in women with a lean body composition. Despite having a normal Body Mass Index (BMI), these women might experience symptoms like acne, hair loss, or irregular periods due to an overproduction of DHEA, a male hormone, by the adrenal glands.

Identifying Your Type of PCOS

By identifying the specific type of PCOS a person has, healthcare professionals can tailor interventions to address the root causes and alleviate symptoms more efficiently. For example, some individuals may experience PCOS primarily due to insulin resistance, while others may have elevated levels of androgens contributing to their symptoms.

Knowing these distinctions enables healthcare providers to recommend appropriate dietary modifications, lifestyle changes, and medications that specifically target the underlying hormonal imbalances or metabolic dysfunctions associated with each type of PCOS.

This personalized approach significantly enhances the likelihood of successful treatment outcomes and improved quality of life for individuals affected by PCOS.

East Asian Medicine and Acupuncture offer a holistic and integrative approach to managing Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). These traditional methods work on the principle of balancing energy or ‘qi’ within the body, thus promoting overall wellness rather than focusing solely on treating specific symptoms.

In this context, acupuncture, a key element of East Asian medicine, is used to stimulate specific points on the body. This stimulation can help regulate the endocrine system and improve blood flow to the ovaries, which in turn can balance hormone levels and promote regular ovulation. It’s believed that acupuncture may reduce insulin resistance, a key factor in Insulin-resistant PCOS, and lower inflammation levels associated with Inflammatory PCOS.

Furthermore, East Asian medicine also emphasizes the importance of lifestyle modifications.

Dietary changes, stress management, and regular physical activity are all integral parts of the treatment approach. These interventions aim to restore balance in the body and can be particularly effective in managing the weight gain often associated with PCOS and reducing the chronic inflammation that leads to Inflammatory PCOS.

Herbal medicine, another component of East Asian Medicine, often complements acupuncture in the treatment of PCOS. Various herbs are used to balance hormone levels, reduce inflammation, and address specific symptoms such as acne or menstrual irregularities.

​​At Lokahi, we understand the challenges that come with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Our team is well-versed in the intricacies of this condition and is dedicated to providing comprehensive support to our patients. If additional testing or a formal diagnosis is required, rest assured that we will guide you to the right professionals who can offer the necessary expertise.

We are committed to empowering our patients with the knowledge and resources they need to navigate their PCOS journey with confidence and take steps towards improved health and well-being.

In conclusion, East Asian Medicine and Acupuncture offer a different, complementary approach to PCOS treatment. They focus on restoring balance in the body’s systems, improving overall well-being, and addressing individual symptoms, based on the personal body composition and type of PCOS.

Resource: one of our favorite writers on women’s health: https://www.larabriden.com/4-types-of-pcos-a-flowchart/

Schedule a free 15-minute consultation today

Lokahi Acupuncture
408.279.9001
Follow us on Instagram
Make an Appointment

Acupuncture Treatment for Menstrual Cycle Issues

Acupuncture Treatment for Menstrual Cycle Issues

Are you one of the many women who find themselves dealing with menstrual cycle issues?

Whether it’s pain, irregularity or unpredictable flow, these issues can be daunting and frustrating.

You’re not alone- around 30% of women experience some sort of reproductive issue. If you are looking for an alternative to traditional western medicines, acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine might just provide the relief you need.

In this article, we will explore how acupuncture treatment and Traditional Chinese Medicine has been used as a treatment for irregularities in menstruation and discuss some potential benefits.

What is acupuncture and how does it work for menstrual cycle issues?

Acupuncture treatment involves inserting thin sterile needles into specific points on the body to stimulate energy flow and promote healing.

While it may seem intimidating, many women have found relief from menstrual cramps, irregular periods, and other cycle-related issues.

Needles are very fine and inserted painlessly into specific acupuncture points on the body, which is said to work by restoring balance to the body’s energy flow, or qi, and stimulating the release of natural painkillers in the brain.

Benefits of acupuncture for regulating your menstrual cycle

If you are struggling with menstrual irregularity, you may want to consider acupuncture as an all-natural solution.

This form of Eastern medicine has been shown to effectively regulate menstrual cycles, without the need for invasive treatments or medications. By targeting specific acupuncture points on your body, acupuncture can help balance your hormones, reduce inflammation, relieve pain and encourage healthy blood flow to the uterus.

Not only can this lead to more regular periods, but it may also alleviate painful cramps, bloating, and other uncomfortable symptoms that often accompany menstruation.

What to expect at your first acupuncture appointment?

If you’ve never had acupuncture before, it’s natural to have some questions and maybe even a little nervousness about your first appointment.

Rest assured, though, that an expert acupuncturist will put you at ease and walk you through the process step by step.

When you arrive at Lokahi Acupuncture, you’ll start with a consultation where your acupuncturist will ask about your medical history and any specific concerns you have. Then, you’ll lie down on a comfortable table and the acupuncturist will begin placing tiny, hair-thin needles into acupuncture points on your body.

You may feel a slight pinch or tingling sensation, but the needles shouldn’t hurt. Then, you’ll simply relax and let the needles do their work, which can help with everything from pain relief to stress reduction.

By the end of your first appointment, you’ll likely feel both relaxed and energized, and you’ll be excited to come back for more!

How long will it take to see results from acupuncture treatment?

If you’ve never had acupuncture before, you may be wondering when you’ll start to see results.

The answer is, it depends.

Every person’s body is different and reacts differently to treatment. Some may see results after just one session, while others may take several sessions.

Because acupuncture works by stimulating the body’s natural healing processes, it may take some time for your body to respond to the treatment. It is important to find an acupuncture practitioner who you feel comfortable working with and who will help determine a treatment plan that will work best for you.

Common misconceptions about acupuncture treatments for menstrual cycle issues

Acupuncture has been used for centuries to treat various health issues, including menstrual cycle issues. Unfortunately, there are many common misconceptions surrounding acupuncture and its effectiveness for menstrual cycle issues.

One of the most common myths is that acupuncture is painful. While it does involve the use of acupuncture needles, they are very thin and typically cause no pain or discomfort.

Another misconception is that acupuncture is only helpful to treat pain. However, acupuncture can actually help regulate menstrual cycles and reduce other symptoms like bloating and mood swings.

Another consideration is that acupuncture can often be used alongside conventional treatments. If you’re considering acupuncture for menstrual cycle issues, it’s important to separate fact from fiction and speak to a qualified practitioner who can answer any questions you may have.

Tips for getting the most out of your acupuncture session

If you’re considering acupuncture as a way to regulate your menstrual cycle, there are a few tips to follow that can help you get the most out of your treatments.

Firstly, it’s important to find a licensed and experienced acupuncturist who specializes in treating menstrual issues.

During your appointment, be sure to communicate any concerns or symptoms you may be experiencing so that the acupuncturist can tailor the treatment to your specific needs.

It’s also recommended to stay hydrated, get plenty of rest, and avoid alcohol and caffeine before and after your treatment to maximize its benefits.

And finally, be patient and consistent with your acupuncture sessions – it may take a few sessions before you start to notice significant improvements in your menstrual cycle.

With these tips in mind, acupuncture can be a safe and effective way to regulate your periods and improve your overall reproductive health.

In conclusion, acupuncture is an effective and natural way to improve the quality of your menstrual cycle.

It can help relieve stress, relieve pain, boost blood circulation in the pelvic area, and thicken the endometrium.

Acupuncture treatments are personalized to suit each individual’s needs and any questions or concerns a patient might have should be discussed prior to an appointment.

As a result, you should always feel comfortable and confident when it comes to seeking treatment for menstrual cycle irregularities.

With that being said, taking an informed step in the right direction towards optimizing your reproductive health through acupuncture is definitely worth considering – so why not schedule a free consultation today?

Anna Rudel
San Jose Acupuncturist
408.279.9001
Follow us on Instagram
Make an Appointment

A Brief Introduction to Moxibustion

A Brief Introduction to Moxibustion

Have you ever heard of moxibustion?

You may have seen it before, or even experienced it during a visit to your acupuncturist. Moxibustion is a form of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) therapy that has been used to treat various health conditions for more than 2500 years. Let’s take a look at what exactly moxibustion is and how it’s used in traditional Chinese medicine.

What Is Moxibustion?

Mugwort, or artemisia, is a flowering species belonging to the daisy family. Moxibustion is an external treatment applied directly onto the surface of an acupoint to warm certain points on the body.

It involves the burning of moxa wool, which is made from dried mugwort plant material, until it produces heat that penetrates into the skin. The heat stimulates the flow of qi (energy) and blood throughout the body, which helps improve circulation and promote healing.

It can also help reduce pain and inflammation.

What Conditions Can Moxibustion Treat?

Moxibustion has the ability to balance and regulate qi, blood and yang energy; expel cold; warm yang energy; and protect against illnesses, helping to ensure overall health and well-being.

The most common usage of a moxa treatment in to turn a breech baby. In this case, indirect moxa is used on a point on the little toe every day for 10 days to turn a baby. It is effective and used by midwives and hospitals in Australia!

Moxibustion can also be used to treat a variety of conditions, including menstrual pain, arthritis in the joints of the fingers, chronic coughs due to cold accumulation in the lungs, digestive problems such as constipation and diarrhea, and bleeding that will not stop.

How Is Moxibustion Applied?

Moxibustion is a therapeutic technique that involves the application of heat to specific acupuncture points on the body. It can be applied in various ways, including holding the lit end of a roll of dried mugwort near but not touching the skin, or placing moxa-infused wool on top of an acupuncture needle or close to the skin and letting it smolder for 10-15 minutes before removing it.

The frequency of treatment depends on the condition being treated – for some conditions it may be administered daily or twice weekly over a series of weeks or months.

Who should perform Moxabustion treatment?

It is important to only undergo moxibustion therapy with the assistance of a certified and qualified professional. If you receive acupuncture treatments, you can consult with your acupuncturist on whether they offer moxibustion services or can refer you to another trusted practitioner.

Moxibustion is a safe and effective form of traditional Chinese medicine therapy that has been used for centuries to treat various ailments ranging from menstrual pain to digestive issues. It works by stimulating qi flow throughout the body and promoting better circulation and improved overall health.

It remains one of our very favorite modalities due to its calming and warming properties, and is a fabulous way to level-up an acupuncture treatment!

Schedule a 15 minute video consultation to learn more about how our team of acupuncturists can support you!

Anna Rudel
San Jose Acupuncturist
408.279.9001
Follow us on Instagram
Make an Appointment

Acupuncture for PCOS

Acupuncture for PCOS

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine condition of reproductive-age women.

Women with PCOS have higher levels of androgens, or male sex hormones, that are  normally present in smaller amounts. This hormone imbalance causes the body to skip menstrual periods and can make it harder to get pregnant. The name polycystic ovarian syndrome describes the numerous small cysts that form in the ovaries. However, some women with this disorder do not have cysts.

The diagnosis of PCOS can be overwhelming especially if you are trying to get pregnant.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can improve your overall health and lead to a healthy pregnancy.

What are the symptoms of PCOS?

  • Missed periods, irregular periods, or very light periods

  • Weight gain, especially around the belly (abdomen)

  • Ovaries that are large or have many cysts

  • Excess body hair, including the chest, stomach, and back (hirsutism)

  • Acne or oily skin

  • Dark or thick skin patches on the back of the neck, in the armpits, and under the breasts

How can acupuncture and Chinese medicine treat PCOS?

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can treat the symptoms of PCOS, while also addressing underlying imbalances and inflammation in the body. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs aid to regulate the endocrine system and improve circulation to the reproductive organs, thus improving egg quality and promoting ovulation.

In Traditional East Asian Medicine, we assess the patient and put together a profile of the symptoms.

Then we see if that profile fits a specific pattern that East Asian medicine has already identified, or whether it is a mixture of more than one pattern. Once we have identified the pattern, we can create a treatment plan. This is important since no one person presents in the same way.

The 4 main patterns are:

  • Kidney Yang Deficiency: always feeling cold, low thyroid function, loose stools, low sex drive, pale tongue, frequent urination

  • Spleen Qi Deficiency with Dampness: bloating, loose stools, low thyroid function, anemia, brain fog, cold hands or feet, low energy, puffy tongue with tooth marks

  • Liver Qi Stagnation Transforming to Heat: headaches, constipation, IBS symptoms, depression, distention and pain in the breasts, irritability, tongue color red or slightly purple especially on the sides of the tongue

  • Kidney Yin Deficiency: insomnia, anxiety, thirst, low back pain, dry skin, short menstrual cycles, the tongue is thin, red, and dry

We treat the whole body, including our patients’ underlying factors and symptoms of PCOS.

Once we know which pattern or patterns apply we know which acupuncture points, herbal formulas, diet and lifestyle recommendations we might make. Since PCOS is such a complex syndrome, we do not subscribe to the idea that one size fits all. Rather we take our time to figure out a sustainable set of steps to support the body in coming back to balance.

Chinese herbal medicine can be very effective in the treatment of PCOS as well as lifestyle and dietary modifications. If you would like to know more about how acupuncture and herbs can be helpful for you, give us a call for a free 15-min consultation!

Cara Ortiz, L.Ac. joined the fertility team at Lokahi Acupuncture in 2022 and specializes in working with fertility patients with PCOS and thyroid conditions.

Cara Ortiz, L.Ac.
San Jose Acupuncturist
408.279.9001
Follow us on Instagram
Make an Appointment