Acupuncture has many benefits for women’s health and can reduce pain caused by menstruation, discomfort related to menopause. It also helps to manage stress and address fertility or infertility issues.
What is Acupuncture, and How Does it Work?
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medical procedure that involves the insertion of very tiny needles into the epidermis (outer layer) of the skin. This holistic technique is more than 3,000 years old, and can be used to treat a variety of ailments, including, but not limited to headaches, knee pain, muscle pain, and back pain. In modern medicine, it can be done by a board-certified practitioner who is well versed in the restoration of your energy and well-balanced health.
A licensed acupuncturist will evaluate your pain or injury, work to understand the underlying cause, and start you on an acupuncture treatment plan that can be adjusted throughout the healing process. Unlike western medicine, acupuncture does not simply mask the symptoms of an issue but uses the energy from within your own body to restore you to your whole, healthy self.
The insertion of very tiny needles into the outer layer of the skin stimulates nerve endings underneath that promote the release of endorphins, neurotransmitters, and hormones, and sometimes stimulate other processes of the body to perform a specific function. Traditional Chinese medicinal theory believes that acupuncture’s primary purpose is to restore the Qi (pronounced “chee”), or energy flow, throughout the body.
How Acupuncture Can Benefit Women’s Health
There are several correlations between the use of acupuncture and the improvement or management of women’s health. First and most obviously, acupuncture can be used to relieve the pain of menstruation, so scheduling a recurring appointment monthly can be beneficial for menstruating women. Acupuncture is a much more holistic treatment approach to managing the pain associated with period cramps and other menstrual discomforts.
The Mayo Clinic recognizes the uses of acupuncture for not only low back pain and period cramps, but for stress management as well. Stress management should be an integral part of every and all health care routines, regardless of gender. It is a key factor in preventative medicine and can help you sleep better, manage weight, avoid other common illnesses, and recover more quickly from illness when you aren’t feeling well.
Stress management is equally as important in treating the symptoms of menopause, as well as in handling fertility issues in a holistic way. Reducing stress is a vital component in overcoming both of these obstacles both later in life, and in young adulthood. Chinese medicine operates on the basis that a balanced Qi and harmonious blood flood are imperative for optimal fertility.
A recently published article from the BBC highlighted one study that suggested that acupuncture can be effective in treating a multitude of menopausal symptoms. These included hot flashes, night sweats, emotional problems, and sleep disturbances. Although some believe that the belief in the effectiveness of acupuncture alone is enough to treat these symptoms, it’s worth noting that this 3,000-year-old procedure is still a staple in modern Chinese medicine and that there are many thousands of patients who swear that acupuncture alleviates even their worst symptoms.
Where Can I Find a Good Acupuncturist?
If you decide that acupuncture could be for you, there are many different types available to try. This even includes a non-needle version for those of us who have an aversion to needles, as offered by Integrative Family Wellness in Smithtown, NY. You can learn more about this practice, and book an appointment by clicking this link.