Acupuncture for hormone imbalances - introducing a natural hormone imbalance treatment
An efficient reproductive cycle depends on a well balanced hormonal system. Many women suffer from hormone imbalances which lead to a wide range of health complaints – including infertility and PCOS. Other symptoms of imbalanced hormones include fatigue, weight gain, pain and mood disorders – which is why it is vital that they are addressed appropriately. In this article we will discover the role of hormones from a Western as well as a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective and find out how herbs and acupuncture can provide an effective natural hormone imbalance treatment.
Hormone imbalances don’t happen overnight – they can take some time to manifest – but with the correct treatment they can be naturally balanced.
TCM and hormone imbalances – providing a natural hormone imbalance treatment
Chinese Medicine offers a natural alternative to hormonal imbalance issues. It provides a tried and tested way of helping the body to gently regulate its own hormone levels.
The regulation of our hormones is linked to the levels of Yin and Yang in our body. Too much or too little of either results in all number of hormonal imbalances. Yin and Yang are opposite in nature and they depend on one another to function properly. Therefore we are able to balance hormones such as oestrogen and progesterone by supporting the balance of Yin and Yang in the body.
Kidneys and hormones
The Kidneys are the source and foundation of a substance called Jing which is the foundation of the Yin and Yang of all the body’s organs. Kidney Yin has a downward energy that moistens and nourishes. Kidney Yang however has an upward movement that provides warmth and promotes dryness. Both Kidney Yin and Yang need to be precisely regulated for correct hormonal balance. In addition the Kidneys are closely connected to the endocrine system which regulates the sex glands, hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal and thyroid glands. Good Kidney health is vital to a well balanced hormonal system.
Liver and hormones
According to TCM theories the function of your Liver is intricately linked to regulation of your hormones. When you are feeling calm, in control and happy your Liver is able to function optimally, allowing the free circulation of energy – Qi – around the body which in turn allows your blood to nourish your tissues and organs. When you are tense, stressed and irritable your Liver is not able to function properly. Blood starts to pool in the uterus, increasing the discomfort of monthly periods. Signs of this blockage include bloating, spotting, and irritability. According to TCM, when the Liver Qi becomes stagnant, it can make menstrual flow heavy and lead to thirst, constipation, and angry mood swings.
Hormonal Imbalances and Infertility
Hormones play a pivotal role in female reproduction, particularly those hormones that control the menstrual cycle. In order for a pregnancy to occur, hormones in the body need to be released in a specific order. These include Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), Lutenising Hormone, Oestrogen and Progesterone. The released hormones regulate the growth of an egg within an ovary, the release of the newly formed egg into the fallopian tube and the thickening of the uterine lining for implantation. If the newly released egg is fertilised by sperm (the development of sperm is also regulated by hormones within the male body), the resulting embryo will then travel to the uterus for implantation.
An absence or irregular quantity of one or more hormones can delay or prevent any of the above processes from occurring, making pregnancy difficult to achieve.
Hormone imbalance, menstrual irregularities and PMS – through the lens of TCM
Premenstrual syndrome describes a set of specific symptoms that are experienced around the time of menstruation. I bet these symptoms sound familiar:
- low mood
- sleep disturbances
- mood swings
The terrible thing is that so many women expect to have their lives disrupted by these symptoms for anything up to 10 days a month. It is important to understand however that it does not have to be like this! With proper diet, exercise, a few Chinese herbs, and acupuncture, your hormone levels can be better regulated – meaning that you can kiss goodbye to PMS!
A natural hormone imbalance treatment – How does Acupuncture Work?
Acupuncture is a tried and tested research based treatment for imbalanced hormones. It works by placing single use, sterile stainless steel needles into specific acupuncture points in the body. Often these points will be located on the Kidney or Liver meridians – a sequence of points that runs over the body along a specific channel. Acupuncture works by helping the body to gently regulate its intricate balance of hormones and neurotransmitters. The needles help to unblock any areas of the body that have become stuck, and in doing so this stimulates the body’s natural flow. A recent study demonstrated that acupuncture helps to regulate women’s menstrual cycles leading to reduce pain and normalised blood flow. In addition to promoting feelings of relaxation and reducing levels of stress hormones, each treatment will gently nudge your system into the correct direction.
Several recent clinical studies have found that acupuncture can help with treating the ovulatory dysfunction and insulin sensitivity often associated with PCOS. Acupuncture has also been reported to decrease testosterone and the release of other male hormones in patients with PCOS—a common part of the hormonal imbalance related to high levels of androgens seen in those with the condition
Diet and Lifestyle tips
Let’s get physical!
If you are experiencing hormone imbalances, one of the most important things to do is to start to lose weight – often when we reach a healthy weight our hormones come in to balance automatically. Try incorporating small bits of exercise into your everyday routine – even simple things like getting off the bus one stop earlier or walking instead of taking the lift will add a couple of hundred extra steps into your everyday routine – and will help to shift excess weight.
An imbalance of oestrogen is a prime cause of weight gain and female body fat actually produces oestrogen in addition to storing it, The more adipose tissue a person has, the more oestrogen they produce. In TCM terms being overweight is the result of too much Yin which is a downwards energy. By getting hot and sweaty a couple of times a week by doing a bit of exercise – or even dancing to your favourite song – you are helping to increase your levels of Yang energy, lifting your mood as well as helping your body’s hormones to return to balance.
Go au natural
Eliminate xenoestrogens as much as possible – they are endocrine disruptors that alter the normal function of our hormones. Xenoestrogens are found in plastics, make up and chemicals that are used in many every day products. Try to eat organic, limit your exposure to plastics and chemicals.
Herbs can help
Take some Chinese herbs – they provide a natural hormone imbalance treatment. Why not try:
- Goji berries – these are a super food. Filled with antioxidants, they also are a great source of potassium which helps to support your pituitary gland.
- Dodder Berries and Poria Mushrooms provide a natural and powerful boost to your body’s ability to balance its hormonal system
- Many women find Dong Quai to be very helpful either to help support regular, pain free periods or to help with symptoms of menopause. It is very effective at helping to balance hormone excesses and deficits.
- Agnus Castus is another exceptional herb that has the effect of supporting the function of the pituitary gland as well as the hypothalamus. If you suffer from PMS this natural herbal remedy is a must!
How to boost your Liver health
A healthy liver is essential to promoting balanced hormones within the body. Therefore it is essential that we keep it in tip top condition.
Cut back on the bottle
If you drink alcohol take a couple of consecutive days off per week – your liver will thank you for the respite!
No ice – just the slice!
Start your day with a large slice of lemon in some warm water. This simple drink will help your liver to detox – and enable it to work at its best.
Add dandelion to your diet
The polysaccharides in dandelion are known to reduce stress on the liver and support its ability to produce bile. They also help your liver filter potentially harmful chemicals out of your food. Dandelion is also a good source of Vitamin C, one of the most helpful vitamins for the immune system
Goji Berry supplements have no added preservatives, and offer a convenient alternative for people who struggle to add the fresh berries to their diet or find the fruit to have a sour taste. Goji berry tablets/ capsules by GinSen, contains natural sources of antioxidants and are rich in iron which provide nutrition to the blood , improve energy levels naturally and various benefits.
For more information about how Chinese Medicine can help you with hormone imbalance, book your free consultation with our Chinese Medicine experts today
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our clinics website: GinSen where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.