Holistic Endometriosis Help? For Real?
treating Endometriosis with acupuncture and herbs
by Erika Holmes, L Ac
I often hear women speak about their painful menstruation as if it were their lot in life. Many of them have mothers/sisters/grandmothers who also suffer from painful periods, and they believe that they just have to accept that they will have painful periods, too. They often suffer in silence, believing that this is their cross to bear, and that nothing can be done to change it. Since so many other women they know also suffer painful periods, they’ve come to accept that this is “normal” menstruation, and they just need to grin and bear it. FALSE! Menstruation does NOT have to be painful, heavy, clotty, or otherwise miserable.
For many women, the pain associated with their period is caused by endometriosis. Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue similar to the uterine lining (called the endometrium) is found outside of the uterus, which can cause inflammation that may result in scar tissue. An estimated 1 in 10 women suffer from this condition, and approximately 176 million women worldwide are thought to be affected by the disorder. Symptoms may include: painful periods, pain during and after sexual intercourse, heavy bleeding, chronic pelvic pain, painful ovulation, and fatigue. However, it is possible for a woman with endometriosis to experience no symptoms at all. About 30-50% of women with endometriosis are also infertile.
Western medicine treatment options for endometriosis include: hormonal contraceptives, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (Gn-RH) agonists and antagonists, progestin therapy, aromatase inhibitors, and surgery. However, many women do not wish to take synthetic hormones, and are hesitant to undergo a major surgery. They wonder if other treatment options exist. The simple answer: YES!!
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which includes acupuncture and herbal remedies, can help reduce the pain and inflammation caused by endometriosis. From a Chinese Medicine viewpoint, the symptoms of endometriosis are often caused by a stagnation of Qi and Blood. In other words, energy and blood are not moving as they should, causing a “blockage”. This blockage, or lack of circulation, inhibits the flow of nutrients to the affected area, and almost always results in pain. TCM treatment with acupuncture and herbal supplements, help to increase circulation, thereby eliminating the blockages, restoring adequate nutrition to tissues, and reducing inflammation. This naturally results in a reduction of pain and overall improvement in the quality of life.
If you suffer from endometriosis, know that you are not alone. Acupuncture and herbal therapy is a viable alternative or complement to conventional Western medicine, and can provide the relief for which you are searching. You don’t have live in pain, or accept that this is your lot in life and you must suffer through because there are no other alternatives. Our therapies help remind the body that healing is not only possible, but more efficient and easy to do. We offer free 15 minute consultations if you or someone you know are interested in learning how to help ease the suffering of endometriosis pain.