Women’s Health and Acupuncture

Women of all ages can benefit from acupuncture

Acupuncture is a valuable tool in promoting women’s well-being, both for general optimal health and for treating specific gynecological concerns, including infertility. It works by restoring the flow of qi, or energy, and the balance of the opposing qualities of yin and yang within the body. Using tiny stainless steel needles placed on certain points on the body, this treatment is a painless way to correct health issues.

For young adolescent women just beginning to menstruate, acupuncture can help relieve cramps and PMS. The menstrual cycle can be comfortable and regular so that it won’t interfere with normal day to day activities. Your mother may tell you that her period was difficult until she had her first baby, but you don’t have to wait that long. PMS symptoms usually begin to disappear quickly after an acupuncture session.

Although menstruation is a natural and normal process it can be a difficult one for many women. The symptoms may include pain, depression, anxiety, fatigue, breast tenderness, insomnia and gastro-intestinal disturbances. These symptoms may have a significant impact on normal daily life. Acupuncture and herbs produce good results in the treatment of PMS. Your practitioner should take the time to Implement natural remedies, diet changes and herbs to enhance the treatment outcome.

Acupuncture also offers physical and emotional support for childbirth. In the three weeks preceding your due date, Acupuncture treatment encourages softening and thinning of the cervix. These treatments reduce your chance of going beyond 40 weeks and can shorten labor. It can also be used during childbirth as it reduces the need for pain medication and augmentation. For women who are trying to become pregnant, acupuncture can help solve problems of infertility. After childbirth, acupuncture and herbal medicine are very helpful in restoring and replenishing the new mother’s energy. In addition, whether for pregnancy, childbirth or postpartum, acupuncture provides powerful relief from anxiety.

For women in menopause, hot flashes and night sweats can be greatly reduced to make this time of transition much more comfortable. Treatment focuses on stopping excessive sweating and restoring restfulness.

Acupuncture is effective for other Women’s health problems:

vaginal discharge
menstrual problems
breast distention
heavy flow
irregular period
premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
skipped periods
menopausal symptoms
hot flashes
night sweats
poor sleep
low back pain
morning sickness
postpartum depression and exhaustion

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Heart Health and Acupuncture

Cardiovascular health is an important focus for many people, yet few people are aware of the profound benefits that acupuncture can offer to strengthen the health of this vital system. In fact, you might be surprised at what the right combination of needles (called an ‘acupuncture point prescription’) can do for you. Some issues associated with your heart include atherosclerosis, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Keep in mind that although acupuncture can improve the health of your heart, you should still follow the advice of your doctor and continue taking any medications that he/she prescribes. One of the great things about acupuncture is that it can be performed alongside prescription medication – there are never any side effects due to proper acupuncture treatment, no matter what medication you might be taking.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the Heart (capitalized to differentiate from the anatomical heart) is in charge of circulating blood in your body. A healthy Heart organ, therefore, leads to well-nourished tissues in your body, and a weak Heart can lead to palpitations and chest pain, much like a heart in scientific terms. In TCM, however, it is also believed that your Heart houses your Spirit, and thus has a much deeper significance.

TCM practitioners consider your Spirit to be an integral part of your health, as it is through your Spirit that you connect to the world, expressing wisdom, virtue and emotional well-being. Issues with your Heart therefore, can also manifest as sleep problems, joylessness, forgetfulness, and in extreme cases even manic behaviour.

The health of your Heart is reflected in your facial complexion, and so a healthy Heart gives you a rosy complexion, while a weak Heart will leave you pale. Furthermore, excess heat in your Heart system will give rise to a reddish complexion, and Heart stagnation will make your face more purple in colour.

Some acupuncture points that help your Heart are located on your wrist and forearm, your chest, and your upper back. Since TCM is a holistic medicine, points elsewhere on your body would also likely be used as support. On your own, you should do light exercise (following your physician’s recommendations) and also supplement your diet with foods that have a bitter taste to them, as bitterness is the flavour associated with the Heart. And not surprisingly, joy is the emotion associated with the Heart, so nourish lots of joy in your life!

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