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Acupuncture for Endometriosis

Endometriosis is the abnormal location of uterine tissue outside of the uterus. It is a fairly common condition affecting up to 10 % of women between age16 and 50, and is believed to be the cause of infertility in 30-50% of all infertile women. The cause of endometriosis is still unclear. It could be a variety of disorders: hormonal imbalances, immune system dysfunction, reflux menstruation and heredity factors. Patients usually suffer greatly with very limited choices of treatment. Conventional medicine, in the main, consists of hormonal blockage and/or surgery. These therapies are only temporary, suppress the symptoms and, more often, cause significant side effects and a high rate of recurrence.

Chinese medicine has been used successfully in treating a wide range of women's health disorders including endometriosis. Acupuncture and herbal medicine has been proven safe and effective in managing endometriosis-the result of thousands of years of practice and modern scientific studies in terms of both pain relief and in healing the condition at a deeper level.

Cause of endometriosis from the perspective of Chinese medicine

One of the most important causes of endometriosis is "blood stasis". Blood stasis is blood that coagulates or congeals, brought about either by blocked energy in the pathways of the body or by insufficient energy to push the blood through the vessels. Blocked or insufficient energy may be due to emotional trauma, severe stress, constitutional weakness, surgical history, and/or exposure to cold: either cold temperatures or the habitual consumption of cold foods especially during menstruation. Signs of blood stasis include stabbing pain that is fixed in one place, frequent or heavy bleeding, bleeding with dark purple clots. Chronic stagnation causes clots, which can have a tendency to manifest themselves as masses or lumps. Endometriosis, fibroids and ovarian cysts are all examples of blood stasis in women.

Endometriosis & Infertility

There is a strong association between endometriosis and infertility. It is thought that scar tissue and adhesions may obstruct or distort the shape of the fallopian tubes and prevent the ovaries from releasing eggs. Endometriosis may also affect fertility by causing hormonal irregularities and a higher rate of early miscarriage. Since drug therapy completely shuts off the activity of the ovaries and surgery results show a very high rate of recurrence, women who have endometriosis and try to get pregnant fair better with no therapy. Fortunately, this condition can be successfully treated with the help of acupuncture and herbal medicine. More and more women are experiencing the benefits--not only either completely cured or significantly improved endometriosis, but also the ability to conceive and carry a healthy baby to full term.

Our Treatment Approaches

  • Alleviate pain by increasing circulation in the pelvic organs.
  • Control and shrink endometriosis, and eliminate growth and recurrence of endometriosis by utilizing herbal medicine to break down congealed blood/blot clots and dissolve masses.
  • Enhance the immune and endocrine systems by stimulating the autonomic nervous system to help eliminate stray endometrial cells.
  • Relieve stress and correct disruptions in the flow of the body's energy, returning the body to good health.
  • Warm the uterus, restore renal and adrenal function to correct irregular cycles, help ovulation and enhance fertility.
  • Strengthen and balance general health and help the effectiveness of IVF.
  • Minimize undesired side effects and accumulated toxicity from medication and invasive procedures.

As a result of Dr. Zhou's many years of experience, the majority of her patients have experienced dramatic results and their symptoms have been improved or alleviated relatively fast. Patients have felt much less cramping and more relaxed immediately after treatment and during subsequent menstrual cycles. Since endometriosis tends to be a progressive disease, which means that symptoms usually get worse over time, and acupuncture and herbal medicine work at a very deep level, Dr. Zhou strongly suggests her patients commit to a treatment plan, which will allow enough time for it to effectively rebalance the body's systems. Six months or more of consistent treatment may be required, especially for infertility due to endometriosis.

Diet & Supplements

  • Avoid cold temperatures or the consumption of cold foods or iced drinks especially during menstruation.
  • Eat more soy products in the diet since soy has an anti-estrogen effect.
  • Avoid vigorous exercise during menstrual flow.
  • Eat a low-fat diet, since excess body fat increases estrogen production and can lead to various gynecological problems.
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine and chocolate, which can raise estrogen levels.
  • Fish oils (2000mg twice daily) decrease inflammation and growth of abnormal endometrial implants.
  • Vitamin B6 (50-100 mg daily) reduces estrogen receptors.
  • Vitamin E (400 IU daily) is an antioxidant that prevents inflammatory reaction and enhances immune response.

Acupuncture and herbal medicine naturally and effectively treat many gynecological disorders and often resolve problems in patients when western medicine has been unsuccessful, such as is the case with endometriosis. Dr. Zhou educates her patients to maximize a healthy menstrual life (see Menstruation). She emphasizes that any subtle signs of imbalance including menstrual cramping, irregularity, heavy flow and PMS should be balanced as early as possible in order to prevent any harmful serious condition such as endometriosis from developing. Her goal is to provide a preventative treatment program, harmonize woman's reproductive organs, and help them achieve optimum health.