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Acupuncture for Endometriosis: A Fresh Look

Acupuncture for Endometriosis: A Promising Path

Do you know that the lining of your uterus, the endometrium, can sometimes set up camp outside the uterine cavity? It’s an unsettling reality for 1 in 10 women globally—translating to around 200 million women. Endometriosis, as it’s called, doesn’t limit itself to the vicinity of the uterus. It can pop up in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, pelvic side walls, bladder, and even the intestines. This uninvited guest is one of the major reasons why our young girls miss school and why adult women take off work (1,2).

The Painful Reality of Endometriosis and Western Medicine Approach

The hallmark of endometriosis? Pain. And not just any pain—it’s often a severe, debilitating pain that persists throughout the menstrual cycle. But the discomfort isn’t the only burden. Endometriosis can play havoc with your body, leading to pelvic pain, painful periods and intercourse, difficulty with bowel movements, and even infertility. Western medicine does offer some solace—hormone therapy, pain medication, and surgery, but these aren’t always the magic cure-all (3,4,5).

Acupuncture for Endometriosis: A Chinese Medicine Perspective

Chinese medicine offers a unique lens to view endometriosis, focusing on individual symptoms to tailor the treatment. From this perspective, endometriosis falls under the categories of Tong Jing (painful period) and Zheng Jia (abdominal masses). Chinese medicine identifies six patterns associated with endometriosis:

  • Liver Blood Stasis: Characterised by intense stabbing pain before or during the period, aggravated by pressure. This pattern is often accompanied by mental restlessness.
  • Damp-Heat: Presents as hypo-gastric pain before the period or during mid-cycle, and a burning sensation extending to the sacrum.
  • Blood Stasis due to Heat: This pattern includes intense, stabbing, and possibly burning pain that may be constant or intermittent throughout the cycle.
  • Blood Stasis due to Cold: Exhibits dull aching pain throughout the cycle and during the period. Symptoms are aggravated with pressure and touch but are relieved with a heat source.
  • Blood Stasis and Phlegm: Chronic pain throughout the menstrual cycle becomes excruciating before and during the period. Additional symptoms can include heavy vaginal discharge, poor digestion, and fatigue.
  • Kidney Yang Deficiency: Painful periods with abdominal pain relieved with pressure and heat, along with symptoms like water retention, bloating before the period, dizziness, and lower back pain.

Each of these patterns requires a different treatment strategy involving acupuncture and herbal medicine​(1).

Acupuncture for Endometriosis: A Popular Complementary Therapy

You’d be surprised to learn that a considerable number of women with endometriosis have sought complementary therapies—especially when they face fertility challenges. Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture have emerged as popular choices. A survey conducted during the World Congress of Integrative of Medicine and Health in 2017 revealed that 86.2% of endometriosis sufferers had used complementary procedures. Interestingly, acupuncture was a favored option for 60.3% of the respondents(7).

Acupuncture for Endometriosis: A Natural Path to Manage Symptoms

If you’re wary of hormone therapy or dependency on painkillers, acupuncture could be the answer you’re looking for. Not only does it help manage the symptoms of endometriosis, but it also prevents recurrence after laparoscopy. So, if you’re curious about how acupuncture can help manage your endometriosis symptoms or other women’s health issues, why not give it a try? Make an appointment for a consult today!

Written by

Dr Jacqueline Heng
Dr Jacqueline Heng is an empathetic, thoughtful and calm practitioner with a holistic approach to the health of her patients.  Her quiet confidence and competent knowledge on areas of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, especially in Women’s Health and Dermatology, stems from her extensive studies and clinical experiences and practice from her own private clinic. Jacqueline obtained her Bachelor of Health Science in Chinese Medicine from Southern School of Natural Therapies (Victoria)
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