Acupuncture and Women’s Health
What is acupuncture？
Acupuncture is inserting a very thin, single-use needle into certain points of the body for a healing purpose. The process is safe and hygienic.
Acupuncture can be traced back approximately 2,500 years. This treatment method is said to have been discovered accidently by Chinese ancestors while healing with stones. After thousands of years of empirical experience, it developed in to a mature medical therapy, which is also an important component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It is widely used in different medical fields, aiming to alleviate symptoms, cure diseases or for prevention purposes.
How does it work?
The Qi (energy) flows through meridians (“high-ways of Qi”), which connect all the organs and tissues of the whole body according to TCM theories. The technique affects various physiological systems by stimulating sensory neurons. The impulse of the inserted needle passes the signals to the central nervous system and triggers multiple biological reactions.
The process strengthens the body’s self-healing abilities, organ functioning, the immune system, and improves circulation among other effects.
How does acupuncture help in women’s health?
Nowadays, research shows the potential of acupuncture in obstetrics and gynecology. As proven by scientific evidence, acupuncture has very good effects in healing irregular periods, painful periods, menopause, infertility, supporting IVF, and relieving symptoms during the pregnancy, etc. Women do highly accept the treatment of their symptoms by acupuncture.
The main mechanism of acupuncture:
Acupuncture influences the communication between brain and reproductive system (hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis) to regulate hormonal imbalances with regular treatments. The mediation can stabilize hormone fluctuations every month to help regulate the menstrual cycle, better predict ovulation date, and alleviate the symptoms of PMS.
Also, acupuncture can slow down the sudden and obvious lack of estrogen to ease the transition of menopause syndrome. Furthermore, it can enhance the hormone production to help ease the conditions related to stress. Acupuncture can also improve the circulation, growth of endometrium, and follicular development. Even the healthy sperm production can be supported by acupuncture.
Chemical and biological changes
A great number of studies support that acupuncture can change the release and content of brain and body chemicals. By triggering specific acupoints different kinds of endogenous opioids are released into the body for repair and reducing pain and irritation.
Recently, the anti-inflammatory effect of acupuncture has been proven by the Harvard research team (1). This effect can be observed in acupuncture treatment for painful periods (dysmenorrhea), endometriosis, pelvic inflammation, intercourse pain, labor pain, back pain in pregnancy etc.
More benefits and effects of acupuncture have been shown in helping different health conditions. Acupuncture focuses on overall health and wellness, thus the effects are not only enhancing the reproductive system, but also improving the whole biological system. Acupuncture doctors will prepare an individual treatment plan depending on your situation during consultation.
The best healing can be reached with regular treatment (twice a week) for 3 to 6 weeks.
Viviane offers TCM evaluation and treatments in the Downtown (Xintiandi) clinic. She has extensive experience treating gynecological disorders and works closely with members for holistic solutions. Body & Soul offers a full range of gynecological diagnostics and treatment. Click here to make an appointment.
（1）Liu, S., Wang, Z., Su, Y. et al. A neuroanatomical basis for electroacupuncture to drive the vagal–adrenal axis. Nature (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-04001-4