Women’s Health2018-04-09T07:03:50+00:00

Project Description

WOMEN’S HEALTH

Women’s Health

A woman’s body goes through significant hormonal shifts on a monthly basis and especially during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause. These hormonal shifts, if not harmoniously orchestrated, can cause uncomfortable signs and symptoms.

Issues With Menstruation

Menstruation is wonderful indicator of the health of the body. A smooth, easy, and painless period is ideal. Any PMS, pain, or discomfort is an indication of subtle imbalances within the body. Short or absent periods may indicate a deficiency in blood or anemia, painful periods indicate a blockage in energy and blood, PMS symptoms can be an indicator of chronic stress, and irregularity in the cycle tells us about hormonal imbalances.

Acupuncture and herbal medicine have effectively treated these conditions for thousands of years. We love sharing the wisdom of Chinese medicine with our female patients to relieve period problems and allow them to live full and uninhibited lives.

Premenstrual Syndrome is characterized by a set of hormonal changes that trigger disruptive symptoms in women for up to two weeks prior to menstruation. Constant physical and emotional demands combined with environmental and societal factors can offset a woman’s equilibrium and leave her experiencing symptoms.

Acupuncture and Chinese herbs often provide enormous relief from PMS. The basic energetic imbalance that causes premenstrual syndrome is “liver qi (energy) congestion,” meaning that the energy’s free flow in the body is compromised. Acupuncture can provide instant relief and may be effective for the long term management of PMS symptoms such as irritability, bloating, digestive issues, headaches, cramping, and breast tenderness.

Many women experience irregular periods in the form of a missed period, continuous periods, or periods that occur twice in one cycle. A normal period is regulated by hormones, and irregular menstruation is generally related to disruptions in the balance of hormones. A wide variety of factors from our daily life may be responsible for irregular periods including diet, exercise, sleep, and stress.

Acupuncture and Chinese herbs have a powerful effect at normalizing hormonal output from the hypothalamus, pituitary, and ovaries, thus strengthening the hormonal communication system to regulate the cycle. In some cases, other conditions such as hypothyroidism, ovarian cysts, fibroids, PCOS, endometriosis, or low body fat may be causing the irregular cycle. We will conduct a thorough health intake and order blood work when needed to identify the cause and effectively treat the disrupted cycle.

Painful menses can cause pain in the lower abdomen, lower back, and hips. It may start several days or shortly before the menstrual period. Severe pain interferes with daily activities and affects 50% of women and 90% of adolescent girls.

Chinese medicine theory describes healthy menstruation as one that causes little or no discomfort. Period pain is an indication of a blockage in the flow of blood and energy in the body. There are specific acupuncture points and herbal formulas that address this condition quickly and effectively. Most women see a reduction in pain within two cycles.

PCOS symptoms are irregular menstrual cycles, obesity, excess facial or body hair, and infertility. Clinical symptoms are infrequent or no ovulation, high levels of male hormones, and insulin resistance and ovaries have small cysts, follicles that have begun maturing and then stopped, and enlarged ovaries.

PCOS can make achieving pregnancy challenging. Acupuncture has been shown to increase the frequency of ovulation in women with PCOS. It also affects blood endocrine levels such as testosterone, LH to FSH ratios, and beta-endorphin concentrations. Through its effect on the nervous system and hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, acupuncture can restore normal hormonal function. Supplements and herbal medicine can address insulin resistance.

Endometriosis is described as the abnormal growth of endometrial tissue outside of the uterus. Symptoms that mark endometriosis include very heavy bleeding, severe menstrual cramps and/or back pain, painful intercourse, and digestive problems.

Chinese medicine sees endometriosis as a combination of blood stagnation and reproductive weakness. The body is not discharging the blood correctly, so it collects in areas where it should not and causes pain. The immune system then targets this misplaced endometrial tissue and creates a response, which results in more inflammation, which further leads to infertility. Acupuncture can manage endometriosis symptoms without halting ovulation, can alleviate pain and inflammation, and mediate the immune response. It also promotes circulation to the reproductive organs, thereby helping the body flush out the endometrial tissue. Our goal is to create a healthy uterine environment that allows an egg to reach the uterus, fertilize, and implant.

Pregnancy

It brings us great joy to care for women as they support a developing life. Pregnancy is a beautiful time but it can be easy to miss the magic if you are suffering from nausea, mornings sickness, heartburn, constipation, headaches, back pain, swollen ankles, or fatigue. Acupuncture offers natural solutions for the most common pregnancy ailments so you can enjoy the time you spend with a baby developing inside.

Our treatment approach varies based on where you are in your pregnancy. Early in the first trimester, we focus on strengthening the body and promoting circulation to the uterus to establish a strong pregnancy. Once a heartbeat has been established, we shift our focus to symptoms that may be making you uncomfortable. In the last 4 weeks of pregnancy, we work on softening the pelvic muscles and ligaments, ripening the cervix, and boosting energy to prepare for labor.

During your entire pregnancy, we support and guide you in making healthy diet and exercise choices. We also work on keeping stress at a minimum to limit the developing fetus’s exposure to stress hormones. Our goal is simple, we want to keep you healthy and happy to ensure your baby will also be healthy and happy.

Many women feel anxiety or fear about childbirth because they have never experienced it before. Being prepared about the birthing process, what happens to your body and baby can help to take away or lessen fear. To learn about the birthing process and read other women’s stories, we recommend Ina May’s book, Guide to Childbirth.

In the last 4 weeks of your pregnancy, we prepare the body for childbirth by relaxing the pelvic muscles and ligaments, ripening the cervix, and helping the baby descend.

Clinical studies have shown that women who have acupuncture once a week in the month leading up to their due date have shorter labors, fewer medical inductions, and fewer emergency caesareans compared to women who do not have acupuncture.

Most babies will move into delivery position a few weeks prior to birth, with the head moving closer to the birth canal. When this fails to happen, the baby’s buttocks and/or feet will be positioned to be delivered first.

A safe and gentle way to encourage the baby to move is using a well known acupuncture and moxibustion protocol. This protocol involves acupuncture in strategic points on the body and warming a point on the small toe with Moxa. Moxa is made of an herb called Mugwort that is pressed into a cigar-like stick. The moxa stick is burned close to the toe and a warm, relaxing sensation is felt. We will perform moxa in the clinic and send you home with moxa sticks so your partner can continue the treatment at home. We recommend doing moxa twice a day for 15 minutes for 5-10 consecutive days.

Using moxa to turn a breech baby has a success rate of anywhere between 69% and 85% in clinical trials. We see the best results when we treat the expecting mom before 37 weeks. After 37 weeks the baby may be too tightly wedged in the uterus to freely turn. How moxa works is not fully understood but it does seem to create more space for the baby to turn by relaxing the back, pelvis, and uterine muscles.

Tiredness during pregnancy usually occurs in the first trimester and last trimester. Western medicine believes that the growing placenta is stimulating hormonal changes and this is contributing to the tiredness.

Acupuncture for fatigue treatment can provide a substantial and positive increase in energy levels for all expectant mothers. Fatigue is relieved by gently restoring the proper flow of energy and blood and returning to the state of balance.

Morning sickness can affect up to 80% of women. After 13-14 weeks, the nausea and vomiting usually subsides but it can go on into the second trimester for some women.

Studies have shown that acupuncture that targets the wrist can reduce the nausea and vomiting associated with morning sickness. The research also found that there were no adverse effects unlike anti-nausea medications.

Heartburn is a particular problem in the third trimester and can be so severe that women cannot sleep without being propped up by pillows.

In traditional Chinese medicine, heartburn during pregnancy is commonly treated by cooling down the stomach using a reducing needle technique on specific stomach acupuncture points located on the legs.

We greatly encourage women to come in for acupuncture during the postpartum period. For many women, this can be one of the most challenging times of their life. Your body is recovering from child birth, you have a new life to care for, your hormones are changing drastically, and you are only getting limited sleep.

We like to give women some pampering during this time. We want to support your recovery, energy, mood, and help you sustain a healthy milk supply. The more taken care of you are, the better you can care for your baby.

Menopause

Menopause is the end of a woman’s menstrual periods, and it may last a few months to several years. The entire menstrual cycle slowly comes to an end along with the rise and fall of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. The rate that these hormones decline and the balance between the two is mainly responsible for the unwanted menopausal symptoms along with the overall state of health. Symptoms that can be addressed with acupuncture include:

  • Hot Flashes

  • Night Sweats

  • Anxiety

  • Insomnia

  • Heavy Periods

  • Weight Gain

From Chinese medicine theory we learn that the body has yin and yang energies. Yin is cooling, quiet, and governs sleep. Yang is warm, active, and governs energy. At menopause, yin begins to decline. As the balance of yin and yang is disrupted, we see excess yang show up in the form of hot flashes, night sweats, and anxiety. The lack of yin can be seen in disrupted sleep, dryness, and lack of calm. Acupuncture and herbal medicine are used to harmonize the balance of yin and yang and encourage a symptom free transition.

PREGNANCY RESOURCES

OUR PATIENTS SAY

I’ve seen Angie through 2 pregnancies, multiple injuries and various ailments (insomnia, hormone changes, chronic headaches, etc). I’m such a believer in acupuncture after the long list of results I’ve had…and I also feel strongly that the practitioner makes all the difference. I refer my yoga students to Evoke regularly…not because of any perk for me but because of the gift it is to share in good health!

Amy M.

For someone who was scared of needles- Neda helped me feel comfortable as she explained every aspect of the treatment she was going to perform. Her presence is calm, dedicated, kind and inviting. I look forward to my appointments with her- and leave feeling refreshed, balanced and supported. It is hard to put into words how grateful I am to have her in my life!  Neda and Angie both listen intently to what is happening in your life and make sure that each treatment is tailored to what you need- physically and emotionally. They seem to care in a way that helps you feel validated and nourished.

K.I.

What an amazingly caring, gentle, wise, and compassionate healer!  I see her weekly, and at each appointment, she thoroughly takes the time to find out how I am doing and what I need most from the day’s treatment.  She listens, offers deep and thoughtful insights to what I am experiencing, and I always leave feeling more grounded, relaxed, and positive about my healing journey.

Carol B.

COME VISIT US

We are a team of four licensed practitioners, each with slightly different specialties, so we can match you with the best practitioner for your case. Not sure if acupuncture can help? We offer free 30 minute consultations. 

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