Plus MENSTRUAL CONDITIONS

PMS

PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME 

In society symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) and pre-menstrual tension (PMT) are accepted monthly by women. This time of the month can be dreaded as a time of chaos for the individual and surrounding environment. From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, PMS and PMT are both conditions reflected in a pattern of imbalance. A pattern that can be relieved through the support of Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal medicine and Chinese Dietary Therapy.

Optimal health in Chinese medicine is defined as a state of harmonious balance in the body. When the relationship between yin and yang becomes disharmonised, unbalanced, blocked or stagnant symptomatic patterns of disease result. Unlike Western Medicine in which diagnosis is symptom and condition based, a Chinese Medicine Practitioner will treat patterns of illness which can manifest as a number of symptoms such as back ache or period pain. It is likely in a consultation and acupuncture treatment for your health practitioner to view the tongue, check your pulse and ask about your diet and lifestyle for a condition such as insomnia.

Traditional Chinese Medicine focuses on resolving the current condition and the prevention of further disease rather than symptomatic care. Therefore, once these patterns of disharmony have been recognised balance in the body Chinese Medicine will be used. This is where Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Chinese Dietary Therapy, Cupping and other modalities come into play.

DYSMENORRHEA

ASSOCIATED PERIOD PAIN

Period pain within society is widely accepted as being part of a woman.  Symptoms of having painful periods vary from one female to the next, although can include aches and pains before, during or after the period, around ovulation and can be associated with headaches and nausea. From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, these symptoms are seen as a pattern of imbalance in which the blood flow through the uterus is not adequate. Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine is available to benefit the period and to provide drug-free pain relief to improve a female’s quality of life throughout this time.

IDEAL TREATMENT:

Patients should begin to feel relief after 1-2 months of treatment and to treat the root of the cause patients should expect treatment for 3 months. Optimal treatment is twice per week, although in clinical reality once per week for the first month, then decrease to fortnightly at particular times of the month and eventually monthly for maintenance.

AMENORRHEA || OLIGOMENORRHEA

IRREGULAR CYCLES

Ovulation is the transition from the follicular phase to the luteal phase. In Traditional Chinese Medicine this is viewed as the pivot of YIN. It is when yin reaches its fullest capacity (Oestrogen) and turns into YANG (Progesterone).

Ovulation is a significant step to the transition to the Luteal phase of the cycle which is key for a smooth menstrual cycle. Without ovulation, there is no menstrual cycle, i.e. no period and highlights hormone metabolism dysfunction (NOTE: in some cases, menstruation can occur without ovulation but this is very rare).

Acupuncture and herbal medicine to aid in ovulation can help to support a regular flow to reduce these ailments.

IDEAL TREATMENT:

3months to regain cycle. Weekly treatment is recommended for the first month of treatment then progressively tapering down from weekly to fortnightly in the 2-3rd month, and ultimately to monthly maintenance.

Endometriosis

ENDOMETRIOSIS

Endometriosis is defined as the overgrowth of endometrial glands inside or outside of the uterus. It affects 1 in every 10 women and can currently take up to 7 years to be diagnosed.

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicines have been shown to reduce inflammation and pain related to endometriosis. From a TCM perspective, the focus is on a differential diagnosis of the ailment to ensure regulation of the menstrual cycle.

OPTIMAL TREATMENT: Twice per week from ovulation to day 2-3 of bleed.

IDEAL TREATMENT: Once per week

POLYCYSTIC OVARIAN SYNDROME (PCOS)

PCOS is a metabolic and endocrinological disorder characterised by improper hormone signalling, insulin resistance and inflammation. It is the leading cause of ovulatory infertility and effects up 15% of women.

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine aim to regulate the human body through restoring harmony of the body by the smooth circulation of Qi. This helps to regulate ovulation, clear heat, reduce accumulations such as weight gain and tonify deficiencies such as genetic predisposition. The more regular the cycles become the better health outcomes for the woman, physically, mentally and emotionally.

IDEAL TREATMENT: Once per week for 8-12weeks. Reducing to fortnightly once cycles have found form through encouraging regular Ovulation.

// REFERENCES

DYSMENORRHEA [1] http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0180177

AMENORRHEA/OLIGOMENORRHEA  [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3962314/

ENDOMETRIOSIS  [1] Shen Q, Lu J. Clinical Observation of Acupuncture-moxibustion for Endometriosis [J]. Shanghai Journal of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, 2017, 36 (6).   [2] Armour, M., Smith, C., Schabrun, S., Steiner, G., Zhu, X., Lawson, K. and Song, J. (2018), ‘Manual acupuncture plus usual care versus usual care alone in the treatment of endometriosis-related chronic pelvic pain: study protocol for a randomised controlled feasibility study’, Pilot and Feasibility Studies, vol 4, no 10 .

PCOS  [1]  Jo, J., Lee, Y. J., & Lee, H. (2017). Acupuncture for polycystic ovarian syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicine, 96(23), e7066. http://doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000007066