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Endometriosis

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been used to manage associated symptoms of endometriosis for the last 3, 000 to 4, 000 years. Even though endometriosis was not clearly diagnosed until recent times, Chinese Medicine has been used to treat its symptoms such as pelvic pain, irregular menstruation, pain during intercourse, intestinal irregularity, low back pain, infertility and other related symptoms and conditions. Chinese Medicine has achieved growing popularity in America as a cost-effective medical system without side effects. There are many treatment modalities within this system. Acupuncture, electroacupuncture, moxibustion, herbal dietary, Qi Gong and Tuina massage therapies are the commonly utilized methods in the treatment of endometriosis and pelvic conditions.

Acupuncture:

Acupuncture is a therapy involving inserting, manipulating, and retaining very fine disposable sterile needles in different “points” of the body to solicit neurological, immunological, and endocrine responses. It has been found that acupuncture treatments promote the release of endorphins and other “healing” chemicals in the body. These chemicals assist in healing and pain management. In gynecology and reproductive medicine, acupuncture has been utilized to manage pain from dysmenorrheal, pelvic inflammation, endometriosis, mittelschmerz, premenstrual tension syndrome, breast disease, urinary bladder distress and to promote healing and hormonal regulation in chronic bladder infection, uterine fibroids, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, anovulation, premature menopause and menopausal conditions.

Electroacupuncture:

Electroacupuncture is the usage of electric impulse stimulation through the acupuncture needles in affected areas and is utilized in more severe pain conditions of endometriosis. This type of treatment enhances the therapeutic effects of acupuncture. It is a pain-free procedure with a small amount of throbbing and vibration in the affected area.

Moxibustion:

Moxibustion is a procedure of burning a herb, Folium Artemisiae Vulgaris to create heat and therapeutic effects as a stand-alone or an additional treatment to acupuncture treatment in certain types of endometriosis and pelvic pain conditions. Deep warmth is usually felt after moxibustion in the applied area. Moxibustion increase circulation throughout the pelvic cavity and promote healing. It is used in certain types of endometriosis.

Herbal Therapy:

Herbal therapy is widely used for many disease conditions in China. There are now approximately 5, 700 herbal substances identified in the Materia Medica, published by the Ministry of Health, China. Majority of these substances are plant source and found through many years of experimentation and usage to be effective in assisting healing in certain conditions. Chinese herbs are usually used in combination of 6 to 20 herbs and are customarily prescribed for an individual patient’s specific condition. It is therefore common to have different herbal prescriptions from patient to patient in endometriosis condition. Herbs can be administered to a patient in many forms. Raw herbs can be taken on a brewed tea form. This herb tea form is stronger and quick acting. It does take some time for cooking and preparation and the taste can be quite strong initially. The herbs can also be prescribed in many other forms such as powder, capsule, pill, topical and tincture. Herbs possess many strengthening as well as therapeutic effects due to their content of varieties of nutrients and vitamins, which are essential to the body.

Dietary Therapy:

Dietary therapy is used as a prerequisite to other types of TCM therapies. In Chinese Medicine, proper nutrition is considered one of the most important foundations to health and disease prevention. A patient going through an initial evaluation will be given guidance on general food restrictions and specific recommendations. In endometriosis, a patient is advised to avoid smoking, recreational drugs, caffeine, refined sugar, icy cold raw foods as well as reduction in dairy products. Increased intake of green vegetables as well as barley and seaweed are advised. These and other guidance are given to prevent and reduce further irritation, inflammation and other symptoms of endometriosis.

Qi Gong Therapy:

Qi Gong is a practice of specific breathing techniques combined with movement and visualization in order to regulate one’s body functions. These meditative exercises have been practiced in China for thousands of years and are currently practiced by millions of people in China and around the world. These exercises were initially created to strengthen Vitality, promote longevity and prevent diseases. In the last forty years, many medical and research institutions throughout China have been using Qi Gong for rehabilitation, pain management and cancer treatment. In endometriosis treatments, patients are advised to join Qi Gong classes or are prescribed individual customized Qi Gong exercises. It has been found to be effective in managing intense pelvic pain as well as increasing energy level. Patients usually feel a sense of well being after practicing Qi Gong. Most Qi Gong exercises for therapy are simple and fun to learn.

Tuina Massage Therapy:

Tuina is a therapeutic massage modality practiced for many centuries. It was initially developed to set broken and dislocated bones, restore structural alignment and was later expanded to treat many more conditions. Endometriosis patients with back pain, neck stiffness, body aches, emotional tension, and headaches are advised to receive Tuina therapy.

 


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