Acupuncture and Endometriosis

Endometriosis is almost definitely affecting you or someone you know, right now. One in ten women live with this disease, and it goes drastically undiagnosed, with many women going years before appropriate treatment is offered or realized. It is thought that many couples experiencing fertility challenges may be traced to endometriosis which is a hormonal and immune system disease where cells similar to the uterine lining (endometrium) grow outside the uterus, often within the abdomen on the bowels, ovaries, bladder or rectum. Common symptoms include:

  • painful periods
  • pain with intercourse or bowel movements
  • infertility
  • clotted menstruation
  • heavy menstrual bleeding

 If you or someone you know does experience one or more of these symptoms, it’s important that you talk to your doctor for a correct diagnosis.

Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce these disruptive symptoms that don’t involve hormone therapy or pain killers.

How can acupuncture and Chinese medicine help endometriosis?

  • This meta-analysis from 2017 found that Acupuncture can be effective at addressing pain symptoms associated with endometriosis. STUDY 
  • This study from 2017 found that Acupuncture was MORE effective than medication at managing pain associated with endometriosis. The authors states “ In Chinese medicine, endometriosis is related to the dysfunction of the liver, spleen, and kidneys. In addition, coldness may lead to obstruction of meridians and blood stasis in the uterine region. This impedes qi and blood circulation in the uterus, leading to menstrual pain due to a lack of delivery of vital energy and nutrients to uterine tissues.”
  • Our goals are to reduce pain, improve fertility, balance hormone levels and reduce inflammation surrounding the ovaries and uterus. 
  • In some cases symptoms are worse around ovulation and increase until menstruation, warranting more treatments. . 

How to reduce symptoms of endometriosis: 

  • Use acupuncture for menstrual pain management and to reduce inflammation.
  • Visceral massage by a properly trained therapist can help to heal and break up possible adhesions.
  • Focus on diet to improve liver health, to properly convert and eliminate proliferative estrogen from the system. Include cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, collards, cauliflower, kale and turnips.
  • Avoid environmental toxins whenever possible – including trying to eat organic food.
  • Include anti-inflammatory supplements such as Omega-3 (fish oil) and curcumin (turmeric) on a daily basis. 
  • Manual therapies such as osteopathy that can work with the visceral restrictions and improve circulation.
  • Avoid toxins and inflammation.

DIY Acupressure for Endometriosis

Acupressure: Acupressure is a useful and accessible way to treat yourself at home or on the go. Apply pressure on the point with your middle finger or thumbs, moving in a circular motion for about 1 minute 3 or 4 times a day on both sides. If you find that your fingers are getting weak or sore, you can substitute a golf ball, pencil eraser or other object. 

SP8 – Spleen 8 – DiJi –  “Earth Pivot” Location: In combination, this point is commonly used for painful and irregular menstruation, two symptoms of endometriosis. 

Final thoughts

Although endometriosis is a common condition there are lots of things that can be done to support both you and your body. If you have or have symptoms of endometriosis know there are services to support you! If you need any help we offer an array of services that can support you and your body such as acupuncture, osteopathy, massage and physiotherapy!

Don’t know where to start? Fill in our 3 minute questionnaire and we’ll prepare a personalized wellness plan with your goals in mind to help you find your optimal health!

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