women’s health:

 

Acupuncture and Women’s Health

    Chinese medicine and acupuncture have enhanced the health and well-being of women for thousands of years, and continue to enrich the lives of those who choose to utilize its benefits.  The bodies of women go through a multitude of cycles in a lifetime, first puberty, then the ongoing cyclical turn of menstruation, pregnancy for some, and eventually menopause. 


        Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are excellent tools in maintaining the body’s balance and supporting overall vitality though each cycle.  Commonly treated conditions include irregular or painful menses, heavy uterine bleeding, loss of menstrual flow, pre-menstrual syndrome, infertility, pregnancy-related conditions including frequent miscarriage, and the shift into menopause.


Menstruation

       Ancient Chinese medicine believes that the regularity and harmony of a women’s menstrual cycle reflects her overall health. Having a healthy menstrual rhythm and flow can prevent women from turning to artificial methods, such as the pill, to maintain good menstrual health. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help with symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome, and painful menses-- a condition that may be brought on by emotional and physical stagnation or blockage that accumulates during the time prior to menstruation. 


Fertility

     Acupuncture can regulate menses and increase blood flow to the uterus, enhancing uterine wall thickness, which is an important marker for fertility.  It can also increase endorphin production, which has been shown to affect the release of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), a decapeptide involved in regulating reproduction.


    Acupuncture can regulate the hormones and increase ovarian response function, normalize hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, (a key process in fertility), reduce the side effects of hormone treatments, and impact the plasma levels of the fertility hormones: follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), estradiol (E2), and Progesterone (P). Acupuncture increases and strengthens the immune system, which decreases the chances of miscarriage and increases the rate of live birth.


In Vitro Fertilization

   A widely published German study found that acupuncture with IVF achieved a 42% clinical pregnancy rate, compared to only 26% in the control group which did not receive acupuncture.  When acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are used in conjunction with IVF, clinical experience suggests an increase in the pregnancy rate.  Chinese medicine helps improve IVF success rates in several ways:


Menopause

     Natural maturation leads women toward the cycle of menopause, which can often be a challenging time in a woman’s life.  Some of the symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia and vaginal dryness, can cause physical discomfort.  Others such as depression, anxiety and osteoporosis may affect quality of life more dramatically.  Chinese herbs and acupuncture can increase a woman’s yin essences, providing help in coping with this exciting time of transition and maturation.


Acupuncture can regulate menses and increase blood flow to the uterus, enhancing uterine wall thickness, which is an important marker for fertility.  It can also increase endorphin production, which has been shown to affect the release of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), a decapeptide involved in regulating reproduction.


Acupuncture can regulate the hormones and increase ovarian response function, normalize hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, (a key process in fertility), reduce the side effects of hormone treatments, and impact the plasma levels of the fertility hormones: follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), estradiol (E2), and Progesterone (P). Acupuncture increases and strengthens the immune system, which decreases the chances of miscarriage and increases the rate of live birth.


In Vitro Fertilization

   A widely published German study found that acupuncture with IVF achieved a 42% clinical pregnancy rate, compared to only 26% in the control group which did not receive acupuncture.  When acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are used in conjunction with IVF, clinical experience suggests an increase in the pregnancy rate.  Chinese medicine helps improve IVF success rates in several ways:

•  Improves the function of the ovaries, producing better quality eggs

•  Regulates hormones to produce a larger quantity of follicles

•  Increases blood flow to the uterus, thickening the uterine lining

•  Relaxes the patient and decreases stress levels

•  Helps to prevent uterine contractions

•  Lessens the side effects of Western drugs used in IVF

•  Strengthens and regulates the immune system

•  Improves male semen, creating better quality and quantity of embryos

•  Decreases chances of miscarriage


Chinese medicine, including acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and Chinese dietary and lifestyle therapy are recommended before, during, and after IVF. 


    Before IVF, Chinese medicine can help both partners by regulating the immune systems and reducing stress. For the female partner, preparatory Chinese medicine treatment can last three-six months. The practitioner can treat menstrual irregularities such as amenorrhea, PMS, endometriosis, uterine myomas (fibroids), or heavy bleeding due to lack of ovulation.  Acupuncture helps the male partner to improve the quantity and quality of sperm, and the quality of the seminal fluid. 

        

    Acupuncture and Childbirth

        Acupuncture can help with all stages in a woman’s cycle of childbirth, from conception through delivery. Acupuncture can assist in turning a baby in breech position to a normal position, and can be used to induce labor if a woman is past her due date.


Acupuncture during and after Pregnancy

   Once a woman has conceived, acupuncture and Chinese medicine are helpful in maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Acupuncture helps reduce morning sickness, high blood pressure, fatigue, constipation, pre-eclampsia, stress, anxiety and insomnia.

    Traditional Chinese medicine can help with an easier transition through all stages of pregnancy, easing lower back pain, sciatica, morning sickness, carpal tunnel, colds/flus, hemorrhoids, constipation, rashes, and other problematic symptoms.  In the later stages, acupuncture can assist in turning a baby in breech position to a normal position, and can be used to induce labor if a woman is past her due date.

    Chinese herbs and acupuncture can also be essential in the recovery of postpartum depression and exhaustion, common experiences in the childbirth cycle.

                                                                                                                 

acupuncture and chinese herbs

clinical studies:

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lily lotus acupuncture 

Lia Willebrand

LAc,MSTCM,CMT

2615 Ashby Ave. Berkeley

510-858-6463

lilylotus11@gmail.com