How Acupuncture can Help Women's Health Concerns
The modern medical approach to health is prevention. Chinese medicine has always addressed the special needs of women throughout their lives and many health issues women face respond extremely well to acupuncture treatments. Taking small steps to improve your health can make a difference to prevent health concerns.
The following are some of the top health concerns affecting women and how acupuncture can help are:
There have been many advances in the early detection and treatment of cancer. While the standard medical care for cancer is effective, the treatments are aggressive and cause numerous unwanted side effects as well as a lowered immune system. The three most common cancers among women are breast, lung and colorectal cancer. While breast cancer is the most common cancer in women it is second in the leading cause of cancer death. Early detection screenings and recommended self-examinations should be taken seriously.
Acupuncture has received much attention as an adjunctive therapy in cancer treatments for its use in pain relief, reducing side effects, accelerating recovery and improving overall quality of life.
From a preventive approach Chinese medicine works to restore imbalances in the system with a variety of treatment modalities including acupuncture, herbal therapy, tui na, qi gong in addition to food, exercise and lifestyle suggestions. Seasonal acupuncture treatments just four times a year serve to tonify the inner organ systems and correct minor annoyances before they become serious problems.
Characterized by a decrease in bone mass and an increased likelihood of fractures osteoporosis is not simply a calcium deficiency. As a complex living tissue, bone is made of many different components and is influenced by many variables including the body's use of calcium from the bone to balance pH levels in the blood. Osteoporosis threatens 44 million Americans, of which 68% are women, reports the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
"Osteoporosis is largely preventable," says Mark. "The behaviors that women develop in their childhood, in their adolescence, and in their early adult years really play a significant role in the development of the disease." That's because bodies build up most of bone mass until age 30. Then new bone stops forming and the focus switches to the maintenance of old bone.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine coupled with a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise, have much to offer in improving the quality of life for those who suffer from bone and joint problems.
Depressive disorders affect 10%-25% of women at some point in their lives. The body’s immune system is compromised and symptoms reduce functioning, impair work performance and social relationships. Common symptoms of depressive disorders include: a decreased interest in most activities, insomnia, fatigue, and feeling empty and worthless. At its worst, hopelessness sets in and suicide becomes a desperate option for approximately 15% of people who suffer from severe depressive disorders.
Chinese medicine does not view people as a collection of segmented parts to be treated independently but rather addresses the link between the body, spirit and mind. The goal of Chinese medicine is to bring all the human systems into a healthy balance, insuring that both the mind and body feel well and when used in conjunction with psychotherapy acupuncture has a positive and holistic effect on depressed patients. If you suffer from depression, consider acupuncture therapy in conjunction with your treatment plan to regain peace of mind, regulate your immune system and stay healthy.
Autoimmune diseases are a group of disorders in which the immune system attacks the body and destroys or alters tissues. There are more than 80 serious chronic illnesses in this category, including lupus, multiple sclerosis, and type 1 diabetes.
According to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA), about 75% of autoimmune diseases occur in women. Individually, each disease appears uncommon with the exception of diabetes, thyroid disease, and lupus however as a group, the disorders make up the fourth-largest cause of disability among American women.
Due to the complexity of treating autoimmune disorders, integrative medicine solutions have received much attention as successful therapies in their treatment. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are specifically noted for use in pain relief, regulating the immune system, managing symptoms and improving overall quality of life.
Menopause and Gynecological Health
Gynecological conditions including Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), fibroids, endometriosis, and infertility along with menopause are some of the most successfully treated problems by acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Chinese medicine has long recognized that health and vitality can be sustained over a woman's lifetime by restoring balance within the body and supporting the natural production of essential hormones.
Menopause is a transitional period marking the cessation of ovulation in a woman's body. Symptoms vary from mild to severe, and are brought on as our bodies try to adapt to decreasing amounts of estrogen. Symptoms can include hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, fatigue, mood swings, memory loss, dryness, headaches, joint pain, and weight gain. Menopause patients are encouraged to maintain a healthy weight, stabilize blood sugar, and eliminate stress, tension and anxiety or learn new techniques to cope with them to diminish the effects they have.
Chinese medicine does not recognize menopause as one particular syndrome and aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual using a variety of techniques such as acupuncture, herbs, bodywork, lifestyle/dietary recommendations and energetic exercises to restore imbalances found in the body. Therefore, if 10 women are treated each will receive a unique, customized treatment with different acupuncture points, different herbs and different lifestyle and diet recommendations.
With support from Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine along with small changes in lifestyle and diet, menopause can be a time of a revival of vital energy and an opportunity for personal growth.