Women Love Acupuncture!
We are also proud to have our offices located inside Full Circle Women's Care - a full service obstetrics and gynecology practice with an emphasis on a balance between holistic and allopathic medicine. We are firm believers in the integration between modern medicine and traditional eastern medicine, so we are happy to be located within this setting where patients can receive the best of both worlds.
The Top 10 Reasons Women Receive Acupuncture Treatment:
1. Anxiety and Stress Relief - This first reason may surprise you, because, hey, don't men have stress and anxiety too? Sure they do, but, unfortunately women are just more likely to suffer. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America states that "From the time a girl reaches puberty until about the age of 50, she is twice as likely to have an anxiety disorder as a man. Anxiety disorders also occur earlier in women than in men." Luckily, acupuncture is amazing for treating anxiety because it deeply calms the nervous system and studies show it actually reduces stress hormones.
2. Fertility Challenges - Very often women seek help in our clinic for fertility challenges. Acupuncture can be used to assist regulating hormones so that a woman can get pregnant naturally or it can help when a woman is going through IVF treatments (a recent study suggests acupuncture doubles the chances of success with IVF). Acupuncture is helpful for fertility because it increases blood flow to the reproductive organs, balances hormones and regulates the menstrual cycle. It's important to note that while a woman's health is vitally important to achieving a healthy pregnancy, it does take two to tango, so to speak. In many cases, having the male partner come in for treatment can greatly increase the odds of conception because acupuncture has been shown to increase sperm count, motility and morphology.
3. Menstrual Pain - Cramping, pain and PMS around the monthly cycle has become very common. Young women go on birth control pills at a young age to manage pain and many more have to take pain medications at "that time of the month." However, increasingly, women are looking for non-hormonal and natural options to dealing with menstrual pain. Acupuncture can really help alleviate these symptoms and there are also some very safe herbal formulas that we use that can assist with this as well. Often, women who have had cramps for years and are miserable on a monthly basis are surprised with their period starts with no warning at all - symptom free!
4. Prenatal Symptoms & Health Concerns - Acupuncture is so useful in pregnancy. Acupuncture is a completely drug-free way to treat multiple symptoms that arise during this amazing time in a woman's life. Some of the most common symptoms that women seek treatment for are: nausea and food aversion, fatigue caused by hormonal shifts, headaches caused by hormonal shifts, back pain, round ligament pain, pubic symphysis pain, hemorrhoids, digestive complaints like acid reflux and constipation and can assist in preventing preeclampsia. Read more on our webpage about prenatal acupuncture.
5. Cervical Ripening and Labor Preparation - Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to naturally encourage labor to commence. In our experience acupuncture, is best used for cervical ripening, and recent studies show that acupuncture promotes cervical ripening. Cervical ripening refers to the cervix becoming soft, thinning (becoming effaced) and opening up (becoming dilated). Cervical ripening needs to happen before a woman can go into labor naturally. In our experience, one or two treatments when a patient is overdue and her cervix isn't ripe really isn't the best use of acupuncture for labor preparation (though sometimes it is still worth a try if a woman is really wanting to avoid a chemical induction). To really allow acupuncture to work at it's best, a woman should begin treatments at week 36 and receive two treatments per week to ripen her cervix and prepare for labor. In our experience and in the experience of the doulas and birth professionals we work with, this is the best use of acupuncture to encourage labor and a smooth childbirth experience.
6. Depression - Again, depression is one of those things where we say - "wait, don't dudes get depressed too?" Of course, they do, but unfortunately about twice as many women as men experience depression. Women also suffer certain types of depression that are unique to their gender, including premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD--a much more severe form of PMS), perinatal depression (depression during pregnancy or after pregnancy) and also depression during peri-menopausal time (as a woman approaches menopause). Acupuncture is very effective for generalized depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and these hormonal influenced depressions that women experience. Acupuncture can be safely combined with medication for depression and many studies have shown that acupuncture boosts the effects of drug therapy for depression.
7. Headaches and Migraines - Headaches and migraines are another one of those things that women get more than men. So while we've treated many men successfully with head pain, women are more likely to seek our care of these symptoms. The most common types of head pain we see in women are either tension related pain coming from the neck and shoulders or hormonal related headaches and migraines. In some cases, it's a combination of both tension and hormonal headaches. In both cases we see great results. For tension headaches, we often combine cupping with acupuncture to help loosen tight neck and shoulder muscles. Migraines and headaches are often associated with PMS, and as we've discussed above, acupuncture is amazing for smoothing out symptoms from hormonal changes.
8. Endometriosis, Cysts and Fibroids - We can use acupuncture to reduce symptoms of endometriosis, ovarian cysts, chocolate cysts and fibroids. With the addition of Chinese herbal medicine we can often reduce the size and sometimes even completely put into remission these conditions within about 3-4 months. The principle we use to treat these conditions is restoring proper blood flow in the reproductive organs.
9. Menopause Symptoms - Hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes - these can all be helped with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. We can use herbs to restore the "yin" of the body. In Chinese medicine yin is a substance in the body that is cooling, nourishing and moistening. It is related to estrogen in the body. We can use natural, safe herbs and acupuncture to restore this cooling substance to the body without the use of hormone therapy.
10. Breech Presentation in Pregnancy - If your baby is in a breech or transverse presentation, acupuncture and a special herb called moxa can be successful to help baby go head down. Generally this takes two acupuncture treatments and a course of self-moxa treatment at home (we give you the tools and educate you on how to do it). This method can safely be used in conjunction with an External Cephalic Version (ECV) and other methods such as chiropractic adjustments and tools from the website Spinning Babies.