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Endometriosis and Acupuncture

Endometriosis and Acupuncture

Endometriosis is a chronic and debilitating condition that causes painful or heavy periods.  It may also lead to infertility, fatigue, bowel and bladder problems in girls and women of childbearing age. It is estimated that 1.5 million women in the UK are currently living with the condition, but what is most concerning is that recent research shows that it can take an average of 7.5 years from a woman first visiting her GP, to a diagnosis!

Endometriosis is caused when the layer of tissue that normally covers the inside of the uterus grows outside of it. Most often this is on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and tissue around the uterus and ovaries, but in some cases, may also occur in other parts of the body including the bowel. These cells react to the menstrual cycle each month and also bleed.  As there is no way for this blood to leave the body it can lead to inflammation, pain and the formation of scar tissue which can impact a woman’s life in a number of ways including;

  • Chronic pain in the abdomen, lower back and bowels
  • Fatigue and lack of energy
  • Depression and feelings of isolation
  • Problems within relationships and sex life
  • Reduced ability to conceive
  • Difficulty in fulfilling work and social commitments

The only way to diagnose endometriosis is by a laparoscopy, in which a camera is inserted into the pelvis via a small cut near the navel.  The camera looks for signs of endometriosis on the pelvic organs, and if found, it may be treated with pain relief, hormone treatment or removed depending on your circumstances.

Acupuncture Treatment for Endometriosis

Acupuncture treats a wide range of illness and disease including endometriosis.  A full medical history is taken and the treatment is tailored to your individual needs.  The acupuncture treatment will aim to;

  • Reduce pain and ease periods by smoothing the flow of Blood and Qi
  • Increase energy levels
  • Enhance feelings of wellbeing
  • Improve chances of conception

Any of the following lifestyle changes may also help to improve your symptoms sooner;

  • Take time in life to rest; don’t always rush around, especially during your period. This being said, regular exercise such as a brisk walk 3 or 4 times a week can help with symptoms
  • Practise mind body exercises such as tai chi, meditation or yoga
  • Nutrition is very important as we can help to reduce our oestrogen levels to prevent the growth of endometrial tissue. This can be done by reducing the intake of alcohol, sugar, caffeine and animal protein whilst increasing fresh fruits, vegetables, and high-fibre whole foods.

Resources

Endometriosis UK – https://www.endometriosis-uk.org/

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