Womens Health and Chinese Medicine
By Julie Gwyther MSOM
Most people are not aware of the extent of how Chinese medicine can help with women’s health issues. Gynecology and the treatment of women's diseases has been a field of specialization in Chinese medicine since the medicine’s inception thousands of years ago. Chinese medicine offers the opportunity for women to treat their health conditions in a safe, drug-free, and holistic manner by emphasizing treating the root of a condition rather than masking a symptom.
There is often an underestimation of the need to treat some gynecological conditions. Many conditions are common to women, but this does not imply that these conditions are normal. Also seeking treatment for a present condition can prevent something more serious from developing.
Traditional Chinese medicine is recognized by the World Health Organization as being especially effective at treating menstrual pain, menstrual irregularity, PMS, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), endometriosis, infertility, and menopausal syndrome. Acupuncture creates balance in the body by affecting the circulatory, nervous, endocrine and musculoskeletal systems.
Hormonal imbalances play a role in many of women’s health concerns. By regulating the endocrine system acupuncture can treat the root of these conditions as opposed to merely covering up a symptom. For example, in treating menopause, a deficiency of estrogen can be helped not by adding foreign hormones to the body, but by strengthening the body’s ability to make its own hormones in other glands such as the adrenals.
Surgery or prescription and over-the-counter medications are not appropriate for every woman’s health concern and often pose unnecessary risks and side effects. For example, subjecting a body to high doses of ibuprofen every month for several days as a way of managing painful menstruation poses the risk of intestinal bleeding and liver toxicity. Multiplying this ibuprofen exposure by the number of years a woman has had painful menstruation creates a situation where other health concerns may appear as a result of this medication.
This ancient medicine offers an invitation to not only rid the body of symptoms, but also reestablish the health and vitality that each woman deserves.