Menstruation and Women’s Health
PMT, dysmenorrhoea (painful periods), irregular periods, periods that are too heavy; for something that occurs naturally, usually on a monthly basis, it is amazing how women’s health suffers. The Chinese Medicine view is that Qi or Blood stagnation or deficiency is usually the culprit and acupuncture can help to relieve these conditions.
Acupuncture in Pregnancy
As a member of the ACT Jackie has an interest in helping women through pregnancy. Many women, whilst being overjoyed that they are pregnant, find that the pregnancy itself is anything but fun. Nausea, back pain and exhaustion are frequently cited as the downside of pregnancy and in some cases women can feel overwhelmed by just how ill being pregnant makes them feel. Most GP’s will advise rest but that is not always possible. Acupuncture, when administered by a qualified acupuncturist, is a safe way of helping to relieve some of the problems related to pregnancy.
From 37 weeks a specific pre-birth treatment can help prepare a woman’s body for labour. This is accepted practice in German hospitals where acupuncture is practised. Only small studies have been done but these suggest that treatment consistently increases the chances of women experiencing a natural efficient labour as well as reducing the time spent in labour.
In many countries women are taken care of by their families in the weeks immediately following labour and special treatments are given to aid recovery. In our modern society much of this has been lost but acupuncture can be very beneficial in the days immediately after childbirth. Pregnancy and labour are very taxing on a woman’s body and even more so as women are having babies into their late 30’s and 40’s. Post-natal acupuncture can help build up the body’s reserves of energy and help fight off infection.
‘Mother Warming’ – A Gentle but Strengthening Treatment
A gentle but strengthening treatment for women post-birth is called ‘mother-warming’. This uses moxa (which is a dried herb called mugwort) to warm up the meridians running along the lower back and abdomen. It is particularly good for anyone with a fear of needles as it can be administered without using them. Treatment is recommended as soon as possible after the birth, preferably twice a week for 3 weeks. For more information please visit the British Acupuncture Council’s advice on the puerperium.
For more information regarding acupuncture for pregnancy please read my blog
Acupuncture for the Menopause
For many women the thought of the menopause conjures up a fear of mood swings, hot flushes and ageing. Ageing is inevitable but the others don’t have to be. Jackie has experience of treating hot flushes (or hot flashes as they are sometimes known) and has been very successful in reducing their frequency and intensity. In Chinese Medicine night sweats are seen as being particularly detrimental as they deprive the body of important fluids and can accelerate ageing. For more information please read Jackie’s blog.