About Women’s Health
The broad heading of women’s health encompasses a wide variety of conditions and ailments. These include gynaecological problems such as PMT (Premenstrual tension, or PMS), Dysmenorrhoea (period pains), irregular periods, vaginal diseases such as Candida (thrush), discharge, and inflammatory diseases of the reproductive tract. Menopause and all its related symptoms is also commonly treated by Chinese Medicine.
Western Medicine View
PMT is usually treated in Western medicine using hormones.
Chinese Medicine View
Acupuncture has been proved – through controlled trials – to be an effective treatment for primary dysmenorrhoea and morning sickness. Acupuncture has also been shown to have a therapeutic effect on premenstrual syndrome and female infertility according to the World Health Organisation*.
Chinese Medicine has recognised and treated Gynaecological problems as a specialist field for over 2000 years. The Chinese Medicine theory understands female physiology directly in relation to the functional relationships between the internal organs, meridians (the channels through which the body’s essential energy – Qi – flows), and reproductive organs. According to CM theory treatment is therefore dependent on diagnosing the condition of your internal organs and checking the flow of blood and Qi through specific meridians.
According to Chinese Medicine theory Chinese herbs and acupuncture can be prescribed to treat a variety of women’s health issues and other co-morbidities.
Treatment for irregular menstruation, for example, will usually involve first ensuring that the Heart, Liver, Kidney, Spleen and Lung functions are working normally. According to CM theory, any imbalance that causes these organs to function inefficiently can lead to irregular menstruation. Once these organs are strengthened and the flow of blood and Qi is unblocked, menstruation will return to normal.
According to Chinese Medicine, PMT is caused by the body’s inability to adapt to the stresses related to loss of blood. This can manifest itself in many symptoms such as emotional sensitivity, headaches, diarrhoea, restlessness, insomnia, pain and dizziness. The type and severity of the symptoms depend on how the body reacts to the blood deficiency. Treatment involves diagnosing which bodily functions and organs are being adversely affected by the loss of blood and strengthening these areas to reduce and eventually prevent PMT.
Similarly, menopause can bring with it a variety of conditions such as hot flushes, palpitations, insomnia, irritability, tinnitus. These symptoms are due to the fact that certain meridians empty during menopause which causes major imbalances in the body and many women find it hard to restore balance alone. A herbal and acupuncture treatment can be prescribed to help tune the body to be accustomed to the physiological changes brought about by menopause, which can alleviates the symptoms, according to CM theory.
For personalised advice on diet and lifestyle, please ask the doctor during your consultation. Please be reminded that we offer free online health advice.
+ *CLINICAL TRIALS
Helms JM. Acupuncture for the management of primary dysmenorrhea. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1987, 69:51-56.
Shi XL et al. [Acupuncture at SP 6 in the treatment of primary dysmenorrhoea.] Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion, 1994, 14(5):241-242 [in Chinese].
Dundee JW et al. PC 6 acupressure reduces morning sickness. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 1988, 81(8):456-457.
De Aloysio D, Penacchioni P. Morning sickness control in early pregnancy by eiguan point acupressure. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1992 80(5): 852-854.
Bayreuther J, Lewith GT, Pickering R. A double-blind cross-over study to evaluate the effectiveness of acupressure at pericardium 6 (P6) in the treatment of early morning sickness (EMS). Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 1994, 2:70-76.
Fan YJ. Observation of the therapeutic effect of moxibustion for treatment of pregnant vomiting. World Journal of Acupuncture-Moxibustion, 1995, 5(4):31-33.
Li J et al. [Treatment of 108 cases of premenstrual tension by head-acupuncture.] Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion, 1992, 12(3):245-246 [in Chinese].
Yu J et al. [Relationship of hand temperature and blood b-endorphin immunoreactive substance with electroacupuncture induction of ovulation.] Acupuncture Research, 1986, 11(2):86-90 [in Chinese].
Chen BY. Acupuncture normalized dysfunction of hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis. Acupuncture and Electro-Therapeutics Research, 1997, 22:97-108.
Ji P et al. [Clinical study on acupuncture treatment of infertility due to inflammatory obstruction of fallopian tube.] Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion, 1996, 16(9):469-470 [in Chinese].