Acupuncture offers women an alternative to suffering needlessly from untreated symptoms, or taking medications with unwanted side effects.
Acupuncture is very effective for women’s health issues including menstrual disorders, fertility, pregnancy, childbirth & menopause symptoms.
Acupuncture can provide dramatic relief, sometimes in one treatment, for periods that are painful, irregular, too heavy or too light.
In Chinese medicine, a woman’s menstrual cycle tells us a lot about general health and hormonal balance.
The “ideal” period looks like this: 3-4 days of not too heavy bleeding, 28-32 day cycles, minimal cramping and clots.
Medical doctors generally offer birth control pills for period problems. If you don’t want to take the pill, acupuncture can balance your cycle naturally, without artificial hormones.
- PMS – Acupuncture can help you stop dreading “that time of the month” by reducing pain and smoothing mood.
- Excessive Bleeding – Acupuncture seems like magic to me for very heavy bleeding, and bleeding that goes on too long. I’ve had clients come in after weeks and months of constant heavy bleeding which stopped after 1 or 2 acupuncture treatments.
- Irregular periods – I recommend weekly acupuncture treatments for up to 3 months or until the period is regulated, which usually happens more quickly than that. Ongoing monthly treatments can keep things balanced.
- Endometriosis – Acupuncture reduces abdominal pain for women with endometriosis.
- Vulval Pain & Vulvodynia – I was surprised to read that a recent survey found that 16% of women experience vulvodynia, ie daily vulval pain that lasts 3 months or more. Some small studies have shown that acupuncture significantly reduces and sometimes resolves vulval pain.
Fertility, Pregnancy & Childbirth
Acupuncture supports women at all stages of pregnancy and childbirth.
- Fertility/ IVF – For best results, plan on 3 months of weekly treatments, or at least one month of twice-weekly treatments, prior to implanting. Acupuncture can increase fertility by increasing blood flow to uterus and ovaries, balancing the endocrine system, and reducing stress.
- Nausea & morning sickness – Acupuncture is an effective treatment for women who experience nausea and dry retching in early pregnancy.
- Low back pain – Back pain in general is one of the most common reasons people seek acupuncture, and women often experience increased low back pain during pregnancy.
- Childbirth induction – If you don’t want to be induced with medication, plan to schedule an acupuncture treatment for at least one week before your doctors say they want to do the Pitocin. We’ll do treatments with you lying on your side with plenty of pillows for comfort, so that we can do needles on your low back and your belly at the same time. Three treatments is usually the charm, but sometimes it takes a couple more treatments. Plan to come in for daily treatments until the baby comes – I will fit you in!
Because it gently balances hormones and relaxes the nervous system, acupuncture can reduce menopausal symptoms including:
- hot flashes
- night sweats
- heart palpitations
Cancer & Cancer Treatment
Acupuncture is an effective treatment for symptoms associated with cancer and cancer treatment, including:
- nausea & vomiting
- hot flashes
- depression & anxiety
- low white blood cell count & immune function
In Part 2, I’ll talk about how acupuncture can provide relief for health issues that women are more affected by than men.