A woman’s body experiences countless changes throughout its cycles and throughout her lifespan. With hormones fluctuating constantly, many women find they are subject to disharmony within the body. Painful menstrual cycles, PMS, hormonal imbalances, frequent UTI’s, and gynecological syndromes like endometriosis are just a few examples of this disharmony in the body.
This disharmony induces stress. However, existing stress at an anatomical level can be present from genetic or hereditary conditions – resulting in imbalance.
Traditional Chinese Medicine’s View
In TCM, menstrual disorders in particular, show a weakening of the key foundations of reproductive health like the Kidney, the Blood and the Uterus. In many cases, these areas of the body are overworked causing stress symptoms such as pain and inflammation.
Any additional stress on the body from improper diet to stressful emotional environments can add to this load. This constant state of stress can increase a person’s sensitivity to pain and other symptoms – and can be the underlying cause of chronic conditions.
This state of stress must be addressed to ensure that serious damage is not inflicted onto internal organs. It is also important to address to make sure that it does not cause any further emotional damage as well.
Other physical symptoms present from this disharmony include:
- (Painful) Cysts
- Interstitial cystitis
- Urinary dribbling
What can Acupuncture do?
In TCM, the Uterus and the Liver are very closely related. The Liver ensures the free flow of Qi – which is responsible for moving the Blood and bringing vital energy to the body. The Liver, Kidney and Spleen run on channels through the pelvis – making their function have a profound effect on the menstruation cycle.
If any of these channels are subject to blockages or are not performing well, this tends to point to a menstrual problem.
The following acupoints are some of the few which are most commonly used to treat women’s health issues.
- LV-3 – The third point on the Liver meridian (Taichong) is an acupoint located on the top of the foot between the first and second toes. Balancing emotional energy to regulate menstruation is what it is best known for. Another point on this meridian helps to reduce tension and pain, alleviate lower abdominal disorders and help with urinary problems.
- SP-6 – The sixth point on the Spleen meridian (Sanyinjiao) is located on the inner side of the leg (above the ankle). While it influences the digestive system, this acupoint is also extremely valuable for treating hormonal disorders that lead to irregular menstruation and immune disorders. The 9th point (Yinlingquan) is also located just before the knee and is used for the treatment of urinary diseases, abdominal and back pain and disorders affecting the female reproductive system.
- LI-4 – The fourth point of the Large Intestine meridian (Hegu) is located on the back side of the hand between the thumb and the first finger. It is concerned with relieving pain, constipation and other bowel disorders. It helps with inflammation and intestinal disorders and cramping in particular.
- ST-36 –The 36th point of the Stomach meridian (Zusanli) is located on the front of the leg (below the knee). It helps with nausea, vomiting and abdominal distention. It also helps with treating anemia – as a result of low iron levels in the body, immune deficiency and fatigue – all of which contribute to women’s health issues.
- UB-40 – The 40th point of the Urinary Bladder (Weizhong) meridian is located at the back of the knee. It targets abdominal pain and vomiting as a result of the pain. The 23rd point (Shenshu) is also used to treat urinary problems, lower back pain and weakness associated with this pain – as the meridian flows along the spine.
- K-3 – The third point of the Kidney meridian (Taixi) steps in to cover most of what the Urinary Bladder does in helping with urinary problems, pain in the lower back and menstrual irregularities.
By stimulating these points, relief can be given to a large amount of symptoms that women face in their lives. More importantly, acupuncture seeks to address the internal imbalances that cause these problems while relieving the external symptoms.