From PMS to Menopause…Try Acupuncture!

pathways called meridians. When Qi and blood are of adequate quantity and are free fl owing, health is present. However, when Qi or blood are inadequate or channels become blocked, disharmony and disease follow. If Qi and blood become stagnant, dampness and heat can lead to phlegm accumulation. Phlegm accumulation is responsible for the development of diseases such as fi brocystic breast disease or fi broid tumors. If health is not restored the body’s ability to maintain normal cell function becomes compromised which in turn can lead to more signifi cant diseases including cancer.


There are several organs and meridians that are associated with gynecological health including the liver, kidney and spleen. These organs can become imbalanced due to inadequate nutrition, emotional issues, trauma, excessive inactivity, or insuffi cient sleep. Organ or meridian disharmony can cause the symptoms associated with PMS, irregular or painful menstruation, polycystic ovarian syndrome, infertility, fi broid tumors, fi brocystic breast disease and other pathologies. Listed below are some of the common condi- tions that acupuncture and TCM can effectively treat:

1. Irregular menstruation or painful menstruation, PMS. Short, long or irregular menstrual cycles, premenstrual syn- drome, heavy bleeding and hormone related migraine head- aches. These problems are often related to liver Qi stagnation. Treatment is geared at soothing the liver, reducing emotional imbalance and restoring the free fl ow of Qi and blood to reduce symptoms. Treatment usually includes acupuncture, cupping and herbal formulas to restore harmony.

2. Infertility. The liver, spleen and kidney organs and meridians are associated with infertility. Acupuncture and moxibustion are effective in balancing hormone levels, improving ovula- tion and preparing and maintaining a receptive uterine lining. Several studies have found that acupuncture and can improve pregnancy rates during in-vitro fertilization when treatment is completed prior to and after embryo transfer. Endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome are treated with acupunc- ture and herbs which are used to normalize hormone levels, improve metabolism and restore a healthier menstrual cycle.

3. Pregnancy-related discomforts. Acupuncture can relieve many of the discomforts that often accompany pregnancy such as morning sickness, heartburn, headache, fatigue, constipa- tion and back pain. Acupuncture treatments are essential for building Qi and blood after delivery, improving milk supply,

By Jo-Ann Connelly, RN, L.Ac.

cupuncture can be used for girls and women through all phases of life. Qi (pronounced “chee”) is the vital energy that travels through the body to all cells and organs through

and dealing with anxiety or postpartum depression. Acupunc- ture and moxibustion can assist with inducing labor in a post- term pregnancy limiting or preventing hospital intervention.

4. Fibrocystic breast disease. This condition is related to Qi stag- nation, accumulation of heat, chronic disharmony, or phlegm accumulation. The liver and stomach channels both cross the breast, if disharmony is present in the organs or meridians, stagnation may occur bringing heat changes in the breast lead- ing to phlegm accumulation and cyst formation. Acupuncture and herbal formulas are the treatment of choice to restore harmony and allow the body to heal naturally reducing breast lumps, pain and infl ammation.

5. Uterine Fibroids. According to TCM theory, fi broids are masses caused by the accumulation of blood, Qi and phlegm. Fibroids are most common in women of child bearing age. They can cause signifi cant pain, abdominal distension and heavy menstrual bleeding that at times is severe enough to cause anemia. The spleen, liver and kidney meridians are most often associated with the development of fi broids. The treatment is aimed at reducing the symptoms and halting the growth of the fi broids. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are the treatment of choice for fi broids.

6. Menopause. Acupuncture can relieve many of the common symptoms of menopause including: night sweats, hot fl ashes, insomnia, vaginal dryness, changes in libido, digestive chang- es, memory problems, anxiety and mood swings. From a TCM perspective menopausal symptoms are the result of a decline of Kidney Essence including both the Yin and Yang aspects. Treatment consists of acupuncture and Chinese herbs used to tonify and nourish the Kidney.

TCM has various treatment modalities available including acu- puncture, herbal remedies, cupping, moxibustion, guasha, Tuina, nutritional recommendations and electroacupuncture. Acupuncture can be used as a preventative medicine when treatment is given periodically throughout the year. Treatment helps the body adjust to changing seasons, cope with physical and emotional stressors to maintain the balance of the Yin, Yang, Qi and Blood.

Jo-Ann Connelly, RN, L.Ac. is a licensed acupuncturist with a prac- tice in Glastonbury, CT. Wolfspirit Acupuncture offers treatment in a community clinic as well as private appointments. The communi- ty clinic combines the benefi t of acupuncture and TCM along with massage therapy by Katie Thayer of Glastonbury Healing Massage and Wellness. Katie is available for private sessions as well. For more information please visit or call Wolfspirit Acupuncture at 860-430-9653. See ad on page 8. 29

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