Endometriosis is a chronic, inflammatory, autoimmune condition in which the endometrial lining is found outside of the uterus. It is also a common reason women experience pelvic pain and/or fertility challenges. The severe, chronic pain associated with endometriosis can be life-altering and debilitating, both mentally and physically. Fortunately, Chinese medicine offers natural, non-invasive and highly effective treatment options for endometriosis sufferers and/or those struggling with infertility.
Symptoms of endometriosis:
heavy uterine bleeding
pain with bowel movements or urination
difficulty getting pregnant
abdominal bloating and/or cramping
lower back pain
While the symptoms of endometriosis can be more obvious, women with silent endometriosis never experience any of the above symptoms, yet they face challenges when trying to conceive and are often diagnosed with "unexplained infertility". Laparoscopy (abdominal surgery) is the only way to diagnose endometriosis (and doctors generally only perform this as a last resort) so it often goes undetected in women who are asymptomatic. In contrast, Chinese medicine practitioners use diagnostic methods (i.e.tongue and pulse diagnosis) to identify and treat disease patterns that cause endometriosis early on.
Acupuncture for endometriosis
Acupuncture has been shown to significantly reduce pelvic masses, dissolve stray endometrial tissue, stop pain, and reduce CA-125 (the cancer antigen that measures the severity of endometriosis). In fact, studies have proven that acupuncture is more effective than the drug mifepristone (a progesterone blocker that thins uterine lining) in the treatment of endometriosis, with acupuncture treatments achieving a 94.4% effectiveness rate. Acupuncture can also lessen the invasiveness of endometrial tissue, preventing the condition from worsening.
There are several ways acupuncture treats endometriosis. Acupuncture works by releasing beta-endorphins and enkephalins (which produce a natural morphine-like effect), improving blood flow to the pelvis to reduce the size of endometrial masses, calming the nervous system to alleviate stress, and regulating healthy hormone function. Additionally, acupuncture boosts fertility and can double your chances of conceiving. Because there are so many benefits and no negative side-effects, acupuncture has become a popular treatment method for patients with endometriosis.
Chinese herbal medicine for endometriosis
Conventional treatment of endometriosis involves medication and surgery, and while these treatments can be effective, the condition can come back because they don't actually fix the root cause. "Although several studies have suggested that medical and surgical treatment are effective ways of relieving pain and preserving fertility, endometriosis is likely to remain problematic because of the side effects associated with the chronic administration of painkillers and hormonal treatments as well as the high recurrence rate after surgical procedures."
Chinese herbal medicine is an effective alternative to endometriosis drugs and surgery without the long-term side-effects, and it works by treating the underlying root cause (i.e. poor blood flow) to prevent reoccurance. There are over ten Chinese herbal formulas that are used to treat endometriosis, and each formulation is customized for the patient's individual needs. Specific herbs are used to relieve pelvic pain via cytokine suppression and COX-2 inhibition, improve blood flow, dissolve abdominal masses, move stagnant blood, warm the uterus, regulate the menstrual cycle, and alleviate PMS symptoms. Chinese herbal medicine can be used as a stand alone treatment or in conjunction with acupuncture or conventional treatment.
The aim of Chinese medicine for endometriosis is to treat the whole patient, not just the symptoms. A recommended course of treatment with acupuncture is typically once per week for 12 weeks or twice per week for 6 weeks. Chinese herbal medicine is usually taken for a total of 3 months.
If you or someone you know is struggling with endometriosis and/or infertility, we can help. Schedule your free consultation and start your journey today: 321-972-2940.