Acupuncture and Women’s HealthMay 02, 2023 11:58AM ● By Kat Dunbar, MSOM, L.Ac
When Western medicine falls short many women turn to acupuncture and other forms of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for a more balanced and personalized approach to health care. TCM practitioners work with the patient to address the root of an illness rather than solely treating various symptoms as independent of one another. By taking into account a patient's health history, nutrition, mental health and lifestyle factors, TCM can be used to harness their body’s own powerful healing abilities to address the root of an illness.
For centuries Acupuncture has been used to treat and regulate many conditions faced by females including hormonal imbalances, menstrual disorders, infertility, endometriosis and menopause. As a safe, painless and fast-acting form of treatment, acupuncture continues to be a valuable tool for millions of women around the world.
7 Ways Acupuncture Is Used To Improve Women’s Health
1. Acupuncture for Thyroid Disorders
One in every eight women will develop a thyroid condition at some point in their lifetime. Depending on if one has too much (hyperthyroidism) or too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism), symptoms can include weight gain and weight loss, feeling restless or tired, constipation, dry skin, depression, anxiety, and more. With routine acupuncture treatments and herbal therapy, thyroid function can typically be improved and associated symptoms greatly reduced.
2. Acupuncture for Infertility
Acupuncture can increase the number of good quality eggs, optimize the uterine environment and reduces stress and anxiety levels. TCM also improves male fertility by increasing sperm quantity and quality.
There are many scientific studies indicating that acupuncture improves success rates of getting pregnant with IVF.
3. Acupuncture for Menstrual Imbalances
Every woman's cycle is different and TCM can help with irregular periods, pain/cramping, headaches, fatigue and mood imbalances associated with menstruation and PMS. Acupuncture can also regulate hormones and the regularity of future menstrual cycles.
4. Acupuncture for Endometriosis
Studies have proven that acupuncture is a viable treatment option for endometriosis. By increasing blood flow, balancing hormones, and reducing inflammation, acupuncture is able to reduce pain and other symptoms associated with this chronic condition and improve the patient's quality of life.
5. Acupuncture for Stress and Mental Health Conditions
Women are twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with depression. Whether due to hormonal changes or environmental factors or a combination of both, women are simply more likely to encounter mental health conditions than men. When one is suffering from stress, anxiety, or a related condition, acupuncture has been proven to help. By balancing the body’s energy and resetting the nervous system, ones ability to emotionally regulate will improve and moods can stabilize.
6. Acupuncture for Perimenopause and Menopause
Adverse symptoms of menopause are common, but acupuncture can be very effective at reducing and eliminating them. Many clinical studies have found that acupuncture in menopausal women reduced hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbances and emotional fluctuations. Acupuncture is a much safer and more affordable option than hormone therapies and medications that are often offered to women in menopause.
7. Acupuncture During Pregnancy
Many women use acupuncture as a tool to deal with the changes, discomforts and stresses of pregnancy. Acupuncture can alleviate nausea, fatigue, swelling, constipation, and other symptoms associated with pregnancy. It can even be used to improve and quicken labor. After giving birth, TCM can help support energy levels, breastfeeding and overall strength.
Kat Dunbar, MSOM, L.Ac, is a licensed acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist specializing in internal medicine as part of the professional staff at New Jersey Natural Medicine. NJNM treats a broad range of women’s health issues through various modalities including: acupuncture, herbal therapy, naturopathic medicine, bio-resonance therapy, therapeutic bodywork and more.