Acupuncture: Diamonds No Longer a Girl’s Best Friend.
Diamonds have long been labeled a girl’s best friend for their radiant beauty, romantic sentiment and their status as the benchmark for appreciation of femininity. However, when it comes to health diamonds fail to make a significant impact. Of course some may argue that they never felt better than when a huge rock was sitting on their ring finger, but most of us can agree that diamonds have limited medicinal value. With that said, women may seek a new “best friend” and it just might be acupuncture. It is well documented that that women and men are two totally different people when it comes to emotions, thoughts, hormones, and general health concerns. That serves as a reminder that the health concerns of women are unique and special and their needs need be treated that way. Acupuncture recognizes the fairer gender and offers care for the majority of women’s health issues.
We will begin with the main concern of many, the menstrual cycle. Weather it be the cramping, muscle spasm, irritability, hormone surges, or irregularity most women will experience some disarray at one time or all the time by carrying this badge of womanhood. Coping and searching for relief has become a journey for millions and remedies are sometimes impossible to obtain. Acupuncture is unique because it realizes that most of the turmoil women go through is an outward display of symptoms. In simple words, imbalances in the body allow symptoms to run their course until balance is restored. Consider the body like a table. If the table has 4 equal legs it will not rock and dishes and glasses can be placed upon it. However, if there is imbalance such as a short leg or a missing leg, the table will not be able to function properly and dishes and glasses topple over in chaos. Symptoms are a lot like the glasses and dishes, they are quiet or absent unless imbalance allows them to gain vitality. Acupuncture realizes that there is great imbalances that occur during normal and abnormal menstrual cycles and painful and emotional symptoms are allowed to be expressed. Specific acupuncture points can address these problems. There are points specific to cycle regulation so women can approach a healthier schedule for their cycle. Pain control serves as a specific desire of many as there are points used to reduce muscle spasm, abdominal cramping and bloating and headache. Acupuncture can also help with stress management and mood swings that occur during the menstrual cycle and PMS.
Acupuncture is also very beneficial for the next stage of women’s remarkable place in this world, pregnancy. It’s no secret that pregnancy makes a large impact physically and emotionally. Let us start with the beginning. Conception is a growing concern. Women are having children later in life and it seems that infertility is quickly rising. Couples are having more and more difficulty conceiving and this takes an emotional toll on everyone involved. Fertility drugs, and invitro fertilization are becoming the last chance of hope for many to fulfill their dreams of parenthood. Acupuncture can serve as a glimmer of hope. It can be used by itself in the early stages of attempt to increase the chances of successful fertilization. Even more promising is its use with invitro fertilization and fertility drug therapy. A study showed that the rate of successful pregnancies nearly doubled by using acupuncture in tandem with fertility treatment. The rate of successful pregnancies in the study showed that the group receiving fertility drug treatments alone was 26.3% successful in comparison to a 42.5% success rate of the group using acupuncture in conjunction with fertility drug therapy.1 It is important to understand that acupuncture is not competing with fertility therapy, but serving as complimentary enhancement to the treatments rendered by the fertility specialists. There has been no reported contraindication and documented studies suggest that acupuncture can significantly improve your chances for conception.
Acupuncture can also play an active part during pregnancy. Points like “palace of the child” can help keep the fetal environment in harmony with hopes of keeping the term as safe and normal as possible. Acupuncture can also help with pregnancy pain management. As we know, pain management options are limited for the expectant mother and acupuncture poses no dangerous side effects for the baby or mother since it is a drugless therapy. Finally, there are points that can be used to help induce labor. This is of special interest for mother’s who have a long labor period or are dragging along past their due date. Sometimes it seems the baby is in no rush to joint the rest of us and they need a little help to leave the womb.
Moving further down the stages of the female life cycle, acupuncture can potentially help with post partum pain and pain associated with cesarean sections, Dilation and Curettage (D&C) and hysterectomies. Symptoms associated with peri-menopause and menopause can be reduced with acupuncture. So acupuncture remains unique that it can help women through all stages of their life cycle and the symptoms they may encounter. Acupuncture may not replace diamonds as a girl’s best friend, but it may serve as a friend you might keep in mind throughout life in case you need them.
1. FERTILITY AND STERILITY® VOL. 77, NO. 4, APRIL 2002 Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy.Wolfgang E. Paulus, M.D.,[a] Mingmin Zhang, M.D.,[b] Erwin Strehler, M.D.,[a]