Acupuncture for Women’s Health
While most people think about acupuncture for pain, it is also particularly effective for many women’s health issues.
Period pain, fertility, pregnancy, and menopausal symptoms are all women’s health issues that respond well to acupuncture. Acupuncture naturally balances women’s hormones, offering an alternative to suffering needlessly from untreated symptoms, and taking medications with unwanted side effects.
Problem Periods. Acupuncture can provide dramatic relief for periods that are painful, irregular, too heavy or too light. In Chinese medicine, a woman’s menstrual cycle tells us a lot about general health and hormonal balance. The “ideal” period looks like this: 3-4 days of not too heavy bleeding, 28-32 day cycles, minimal cramping and clots. Medical doctors generally offer birth control pills for period problems. If you don’t want to take the pill, acupuncture can bring your cycle into balance naturally, without artificial hormones.
PMS – Acupuncture can really help women who suffer from pain and mood swings every month before their period. Acupuncture can help you stop dreading “that time of the month” by reducing pain and smoothing mood.
Irregular periods – I recommend weekly acupuncture treatments for up to 3 months or until the period is regulated, which usually happens more quickly than that. Ongoing monthly treatments can keep things balanced.
Excessive bleeding – Acupuncture seems like magic to me for very heavy bleeding and bleeding that goes on too long. I have had clients come in after weeks andmonthsof constant heavy bleeding which stopped after 1 or 2 acupuncture treatments.
Endometriosis pain –Acupuncture significantly reduces chronic pelvic pain for women with endometriosis.
Fertility, Pregnancy & Childbirth. Acupuncture can support women at all stages of pregnancy and childbirth.
Nausea & morning sickness – Studies show that acupuncture is effective for women who experience nausea and dry retching in early pregnancy.
Fertility/ IVF – For best results, plan on 3 months of weekly treatments, or at least one month of twice-weekly treatments prior to implanting. Acupuncture can increase fertility by increasing blood flow to uterus and ovaries, balancing the endocrine system, and reducing stress.
Low back pain – Back pain in general is one of the most common reasons people seek acupuncture, and women often experience increased low back pain during pregnancy.
Birth induction –If you don’t want to be induced with medication, plan to schedule an acupuncture treatment for at least one week before your doctors say they want to do the Pitocin. Plan to come in for daily treatments until the baby comes – I will fit you in! Three treatments is usually the charm, but sometimes it takes a couple more treatments. We’ll do treatments with you lying on your side, with plenty of pillows for comfort, so that we can do needles on your low back and your belly at the same time.
Gynecological cancer. Acupuncture is an effective treatment for symptoms associated with cancer treatment, including nausea and vomiting, pain, hot flashes, neuropathy, depression, anxiety, low white blood cell count and immune function.
Menopause. Because it gently and naturally balances hormones and relaxes the nervous system, acupuncture can reduce menopausal symptoms including hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, anxiety, and heart palpitations.
In my next blog post, “Acupuncture for Women’s Health, Part 2,” I’ll talk more about how acupuncture can provide relief for health issues that women are more likely to be affected by than men.
About Abba. Abba received her Master’s of Science in Oriental Medicine (MSOM) from Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College, Berkeley in 2005. She is a national certified Diplomate of Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), and a Licensed Acupuncturist (LAc) in Missouri and California. Abba’s passion and inspiration is witnessing how much these tiny needles help her clients every day!