Endometriosis, UTIs and Other
Women’s Health Concerns ~ ~
How Acupuncture & TCM Can Help
by Yosef Pollack, L.Ac.
Western doctors are now starting to recognize the world of good acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine can do for female health problems. Here, we are going to look at two common health issues that TCM has produced excellent results for – endometriosis and urinary tract infections.
What Is Endometriosis
Endometriosis is an abnormal growth of cells in the uterus and endometrium. These growths settle in the ovaries, fallopian tubes and other organs. Then, they can break off, causing vaginal bleeding, pain and scarring. It varies quite a bit in severity from one person to another.
Chinese doctors have actually known about it much longer than western doctors have. They attribute it to a stagnation of blood, qi, heat or cold in the body. In other words, the blood or qi cannot flow properly, and this blockage leads to the growths. Both stress and poor dietary habits cause this form of stagnation.
How Endometriosis Is Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask you a series of questions about your menstrual cycle. Just like a western doctor, they will want to know all about your medical history. They’re trying to find out where and why the disharmony or stagnation is happening.
Treatments That Work For Endometriosis
To treat this condition, acupuncture is used. There are various points throughout the body that help re-route the qi and get it where it needs to go. It can remove blockages, too. Another treatment that’s often used is moxibustion or moxa. This is the burning of an herb near or on the body to stimulate the flow of qi and warm the cold condition of the body.
Your doctor will also give you some dietary restrictions. They will tell you to avoid high calorie foods, get plenty of fiber and make sure you are getting adequate nutritional support. You will need to cut down on fatty foods, alcohol and caffeine. They may also give you herbal teas to drink. If you follow the recommendations and drink your tea, you should start to see results soon.
Acupuncture and Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections can affect either men or women, but they strike women much more often. Nobody knows why this is, but a urinary tract infection can be tremendously painful. According to western medicine, a bacterium enters the urinary tract and wreaks havoc there. They treat them with antibiotics, but they are increasingly starting to look for solutions that are more natural.
Treating UTIs with Acupuncture
TCM sees the imbalance of qi in the lower abdomen as the cause of urinary tract infections.
A number of factors can cause this imbalance, but again we are seeing stress and lifestyle (especially diet) as major contributors. Your doctor will start by using acupuncture to release blockages, but you will have to compliment the acupuncture therapy with dietary and lifestyle changes to see them really go away.
Recent studies show that acupuncture really does work when applied to urinary tract infections, although western researchers cannot figure out why this is. The combination of acupuncture treatments, herbal teas and lifestyle changes reduces urinary tract infections by treating the entire mind and body as a unified whole. In the west, they still do not know why it works, but they know that it, in fact, does work!.
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