Regulating periodsWomen commonly face many issues during menstruation. These issues include irregular periods, delayed / skipped periods, short or long cycles, headaches, cramping, heavy bleeding during periods, spotting between periods, etc. Nearly one third of women have irregular periods and eighty percent of women may experience PMS. This occurs when the balance of hormone levels is disrupted. Delayed periods may indicate poor ovulation and lead to heavy bleeding due to increased endometrial lining. When hormone levels are not sufficient for nourishing the endometrial lining, lighter periods or bleeding can happen between periods.
Hormonal regulation (e.g. ‘The Contraceptive Pill’) is the most common option used in western medicine. It can impose a new monthly pattern and reduce many symptoms by taking over the body’s natural hormones with artificial ones. However, it does not treat the root of the irregularity. Consequently, when a woman stops taking ‘the pill’, it is likely for the irregularity to return. The worse part is that the artificial hormones continue to override the body’s natural hormone. As no egg can be released from the ovary, this may result infertility eventually. In addition, women may also experience other side effects of ‘the pill’ including weight gain, low libido, nausea, mood swings, breast tenderness, headaches, blurred vision, swelling even chest or abdominal (stomach) pain.
Researchers have discovered that acupuncture has positive effects on poor uterine artery blood flow. It improves menstrual frequency, and balanced sex steroid levels by normalising oestrogen activity and decreasing circulating androgens. Other research also concluded that acupuncture is effective in the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea with a success rate of around 90%. Together with herbs, it can optimise ovary function, increase blood flow to the uterus, minimise uterine contraction, as well as reducing anxiety and mental stress.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), period issues always reflect on an imbalance within the body. It can be caused by liver Qi stagnation due to emotional stress, or deficiency of kidney that lead to poor development of reproduction. Other factors, such as chronic illness and improper diet may also weaken the spleen and stomach, ultimately affecting periods. According to syndrome differentiation, treatment is planned to regulate periods by tonifying the kidney, strengthening the spleen and soothing the liver to promote the free flow of qi (energy) and blood inside channel system.
Usually acupuncture treatment starts at the beginning of a cycle, around day 5-7 of the new cycle. 1-2 treatments are required per week and this continues over ovulation and post ovulation. Timing is particularly important for treatment in order to stimulate body to release natural hormones for fertility. Treatment is repeated over three cycles or until a regular cycle is established.
For any inquires, please contact Auckland eastMED acupuncture.