Gynaecology

gynaecology revisited

Gynaecology became a speciality in Chinese medicine during the Song Dynasty, over one thousand years ago, and our Sydney based team is committed to supporting this tradition, your ongoing health, fertility, and hormones. We provide an excellent standard of care through many years of experience and following best evidence acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine practice.

We support ongoing research and best practice surgical intervention, and can discuss treatment options, based on experience, best evidence, systematic reviews, and meta-analysis (looking at relevant research across a wide field). We have a research background and nearly three decades of experience working in gynaecology with many specialists in the field.

Using this knowledge as our base, and building on current research, our team offers treatment support across a wide range of conditions.

OVARIAN CYSTS

Michelle Cook

by Michelle Cook

What are they?

Ovarian cysts are growths of various size found on the ovaries. They can either be functional or neoplastic. Functional cysts occur when an enlarged follicle fails to rupture. Functional cysts will resolve by themselves. Neoplastic cysts are new growth not arising from a normal physiological process. There are many types of neoplastic cysts and their classification is complex.

Some of these cysts include:

  • Dermoid cysts - a sac-like growth can that can contain hair, fat, and other tissue,
  • Cyst-adenomas - non cancerous growths on the outer surface of the ovaries,
  • Endometriomas - tissue that normally grows inside the uterus develops outside and attacks the ovaries resulting in a cyst.

What are the complications?

Torsion and rupture - can lead to scarring and infection and death of tissue. If left untreated, some cysts can decrease fertility.

This is common with endometriomas and PCOs. Post menopausal cysts have a higher chance of developing into cancer.

What are the symptoms?

Signs and symptoms include pain, bloating, fixed localised pain, nausea, pain with bowel movements, and pain with sex.

How are they diagnosed?

Manual examination, ultrasound, CAT scans, and MRI.

What is the treatment?

Western medical treatment includes hormone therapy and surgery.

Chinese Medicine (CM) Treatment

In Chinese medicine theory ovarian cysts are said to be caused by a combination of factors. They can be caused by a mixture of ‘external pathogenic attack’ (such as heat or cold) combined with emotional stress which leads to a ‘stagnation of energy and blood’ in the pelvic area. They can also be caused by dietary irregularities and an over-consumption of sugar and greasy food.

CM works on the principle of strengthening the body’s resistance to eliminate any external pathogens. Then acupuncture and herbs are used to soften the lump and resolve the mass. Next, underlying imbalances are treated to prevent reoccurrence. Diet is very important in the treatment of cysts, as is appropriate exercise and management of stress.

Summary

  • Ovarian cysts can be functional or neoplastic,
  • Mainstream treatment tends manage with hormones or surgery,
  • Chinese medicine treats the cause of the imbalance in the body, as well as boosting the body’s own innate healing ability,
  • Acupuncture, herbs, and diet can be an effective means of resolving ovarian cysts (Huang, 1989; Yao, 1996).

References

  1. Huang Tao Qing (1989) The Experience of DR Shen Zhong Li in treating Ovarian Cysts - Journal of TCM vol 30, no 6.
  2. Yao Shi An (1996) What one should pay attention to when treating ovarian cysts with Chinese medicine - Journal of TCM vol 37, no 9.

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PAINFUL PERIODS and PRIMARY DYSMENORRHEA

Our team is interested in listening to all your symptoms related to painful periods and finding long term solutions. Encouragingly, research overwhelming suggests that acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are beneficial in relieving debilitating period pain and primary dysmenorrhea (PD) (Chen et al., 2013, Manheimer et al., 2014).

What is PD?

PD is a recurrent pain condition in which women experience acute episodes of painful cramping linked to menstruation.

What causes PD?

PD occurs in the absence of any underlying pelvic pathology. There is some evidence that increased prostaglandin activity is present in primary dysmenorrhea and is therefore postulated as a cause.

Prostaglandins are a group of lipids with hormone-like actions. They control processes such as inflammation, uterine contractility, blood flow, and the formation of blood clots.

Secondary dysmenorrhea is also a recurrent pain condition, in which women experience acute episodes of painful cramping linked to menstruation.

Unlike PD, secondary dysmenorrhea occurs as a result of an identifiable pathology (see Endometriosis).

What are the symptoms?

PD is characterised by recurrent, crampy pelvic pain occurring just before or during the menstruation The pain can radiate to the lower back and thighs. There can be associated nausea, fatigue, bloating, digestive, and emotional symptoms. A diagnosis of PD is made based on a clinical history and, in some cases, a physical examination.

Treatment

In Western medicine once an abnormal pathology is ruled out the focus is on the management rather than cure. PD is typically treated on an episodic basis with pain relieving medications. Some women may be prescribed the oral contraceptive pill. While both these treatments may be effective, they are focused on masking the symptoms rather than treating any underlying cause and/or preventing symptoms from returning.

What does Chinese medicine say?

Chinese medicine (CM) has a rich history of treating gynaecological conditions including PD. CM theory provides another template for understanding the causes of PD. Through its unique theories of physiology it is possible to find a cause on an individual basis; be it hormonal, structural, lifestyle related, or a combination of these factors.

Recent findings have validated this position. The Cochrane Collaboration, an international not-for-profit organisation that prepares and maintains systematic reviews of randomised trials of health care therapies, has produced reviews summarising much of the evidence on CM. The reviews have found both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine to be effective in treating PD.

At the Rozelle Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Centre we provide the following treatments for PD:

  • Acupuncture,
  • Chinese herbs,
  • Nutritional supplements,
  • Chinese nutritional therapy,
  • Basal temperature monitoring to assess hormones.

Summary

  • PD is a chronic pain condition without a clear cause,
  • Mainstream treatment focuses on managing symptoms rather than curing the condition,
  • TCM theory provides a framework for understanding the causes of PD,
  • TCM focuses on treating the cause as well as the symptoms,
  • Acupuncture and Chinese herbs have been shown to be an effective treatment of PD.

References

  1. Chen, Y., Wang, S., Cao, Y., Xia, Y., Zhang, X., Yang Q., Li, X., Sun, J., Qin, P. and Cao, W. (2013). Traditional Chinese medicine for treatment of primary dysmenorrhea: how do Yanhu painkillers effectively treat dysmenorrhea? Phytomedicine: International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacology 20(12): 1095-1104.
  2. Iacovides, S., Avidon, I., Bentley, A. & Baker, F.C. (2014). Reduced quality of life when experiencing menstrual pain in women with primary dysmenorrhea. Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica 93(2): 213-221.
  3. Manheimer, E., Wieland, S., Kimbrough, E., Cheng, K.& Berman, B.M. (2014). Evidence from the Cochrane Collaboration for traditional Chinese medicine therapies. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 15(9): 1001-1014.
  4. Osayande, A. and Mehuk, S. (2014). Diagnosis and initial management of dysmenorrhea. American Family Physician 89(5): 341-346.

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ENDOMETRIOSIS

(See Female Fertility Health - Endometriosis)

MIGRAINE

Our team is concerned about your debilitating symptoms and are committed to finding solutions - whether your migraine is related to your menstrual cycle or not.

We use Chinese medicine ‘patterns of disharmony’ and classical theories to diagnose causative factors and provide effective treatment for migraine.

Clinical trials provide good results for migraine relief and prevention using acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine (Fracco et al., 2008, Linde et al., 2009). Our anecdotal evidence shows life-changing results for the women we treat at our clinic.

What is migraine?

Migraine refers to a disorder of recurrent headaches. According to the International Headache Society (IHS), migraine headaches are typically:

  • One sided,
  • Pulsating in nature,
  • Associated with nausea, photophobia, or phonophobia.

There are 2 broad groups of migraine sufferers:

  • Episodic, or less than 15 episodes per month, and
  • Chronic/transformed, or more than 15 episodes per month.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms vary from individual to individual, however pain is typically felt on one side. Pain can commonly be throbbing or pulsating, while varying in intensity. Pain may be associated with nausea, visual disturbances, photophobia, and phonophobia.

What are the causes?

There is no definitive cause of migraine however, in individual instances, migraine may be linked to:

  • Genetic propensity,
  • Stress,
  • Musculoskeletal tension,
  • Trauma,
  • Hormones,
  • Certain foods,
  • Alcohol consumption,
  • Certain chemicals.

What does Chinese medicine say about migraine?

Chinese medicine (CM) has its own understanding of pathophysiology. At its heart is an understanding that symptoms/illness/disease are the manifestations of the interaction between the individual, the environment, and lifestyle factors. This means that the mechanisms behind migraine formation are much less standardised.

As part of a TCM consultation regarding migraine a practitioner will look at the following factors:

  • Where is the pain located?
  • Is the pain dull, sharp, throbbing or pulsating?
  • When does the pain occur?
  • What conditions improve or worsen the pain?
  • What other symptoms accompany pain?
  • Is there an association to menstruation?
  • Current diet?
  • Digestive function?
  • Work environment, home environment?
  • History of injury?
  • General health history?
  • Is there neck pain?
  • - and the list goes on ...

Chinese medicine assessment, including observation of tongue pulse and Hara diagnosis, is used. At this point the practitioner is able to understand why you are experiencing migraines.

How is it treated medically?

  • Acute migraines are most often treated with over-the-counter pain relieving medications,
  • For people diagnosed as having chronic/transformed migraines, prophylactic medications can be recommended,
  • Prophylactic medications need to properly tailored to each individual,
  • Most prophylactic medications have side effects,
  • Drowsiness is the most common side effect,
  • In reality, many chronic/transformed migraine sufferers don’t seek out prophylactic medications,
  • This reticence to use prophylactic medication has been found in a number of research articles and possibly the fear of side effects is the driver.

How do we treat and prevent migraine at our centre?

At the Rozelle Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Centre our practitioners utilise acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, nutritional supplements, naturopathic supplements, and diet therapy to give you an individualised treatment plan to prevent and manage migraines. CM has a long history in the treatment of headaches and migraine pain, and modern studies have demonstrated that acupuncture in particular can be a useful means of preventing and managing migraines.

Summary

  • Migraines are debilitating, symptoms include pain, nausea, visual disturbances, photophobia, and phonophobia,
  • The cause or trigger for migraines will vary from person to person,
  • The current treatment is mainly symptomatic relief,
  • Prophylactic treatment can be associated with side effects and is under utilised,
  • TCM has a long history treating headaches and pain,
  • TCM treatment is based on improving the root cause as well as alleviating symptoms,
  • Modern studies have demonstrated that acupuncture, in particular, is useful for the prevention and management of migraines.

References

  1. Fracco, E., Liguori, A., Petti, F., Zanette, G., Coluzzi, F., De Nardin, M. and Mattia, C. (2008). Traditional acupuncture in migraine: a controlled, randomised study.
  2. Jackson, J.L., Coghill, E., Santana-Davila, R., Elderidge, C., Collier, W., Gradall, A., Seghal, N. and Keuster, J. (2015). A comparative effectiveness meta-analysis of drugs for the prophylaxis of migraine headaches.
  3. Leonardi, M., Steiner, T.J., Scher, A.T. and Lipton, R.B. (2005). The global burden of migraine: measuring the disability in headache disorders with WHO’s classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF).
  4. Linde, K., Allais, G., Bruckhaus, B., Manheimer, E., Vickers, A. and White, A.R. (2009). Acupuncture for migraine prophylaxis.

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PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME (PMS)

Bernice Lowe

By Bernice Lowe

Several studies have shown good results for PMS after acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine intervention (1.2.3.4.), and our team like to offer long term solutions that are tailored to the individual, cost effective and life changing.

Our team has a great deal of sympathy for women who suffer PMS, and after many years we have also collected good anecdotal evidence to show women respond quickly to treatment, and are delighted to see results in a short period of time. Encouragingly, many come away feeling empowered with self education while better equipped to manage PMS and prevent the symptoms.

What is PMS?

PMS impacts up to 80% of females, and while some are fortunate to have very minimal or no PMS symptoms, others have a severe form of PMS known as Premenstrual. The array of physical and emotional symptoms occur cyclically from one to fourteen days prior to menstruation. For some women this is a conservative estimate, for others this accounts for up to 50% of their reproductive life.

It is no wonder it has been called ‘the curse’. The good news is that Chinese medicine (CM) can help women reduce, better manage and prevent these symptoms. Despite PMS being common, CM does not consider these symptoms to be normal, in fact CM theory suggests a woman’s journey through the menstrual cycle should be pain free and have no emotional or physical discomfort.

What are the symptoms?

The array of symptoms varies but can include emotional and behavioural symptoms such as:

  • Tension or anxiety,
  • Depressed mood,
  • Crying spells,
  • Mood swings and irritability or anger,
  • Appetite changes and food cravings,
  • Poor sleep,
  • Social withdrawal,
  • Poor concentration,
  • Joint or muscle pain,
  • Headache,
  • Fatigue,
  • Weight gain related to fluid retention,
  • Abdominal bloating,
  • Breast tenderness,
  • Acne flare-ups,
  • Constipation or diarrhoea,
  • Sore breasts,
  • Overheating,
  • Lower back pain,
  • Pelvic pain.

What are the causes?

There are four phases of a menstrual cycle: menstruation, follicular phase, ovulation, and luteal phase. The menstrual cycle is a hormonal biofeedback system, which means each structure and gland is affected by the activity of the others.

Many lifestyle factors may affect this biofeedback system and contribute to the cause of PMS. At Fertility Health Chinese medicine diagnosis will help you to identify and to address these factors. Stress, emotional upsets, poor dietary habits, lack of exercise, toxins, and digestive disturbances can all contribute to reproductive health problems.

Chinese Medicine treatment for PMS has existed over thousands of years. According to Chinese medicine theory Qi (energy) and Blood should flow freely throughout the body. If Qi and Blood are not free flowing then stagnation follows.

When this occurs during the days leading up to menstruation the symptoms of PMS start to occur. Emotional changes and physical discomfort are the result of the Qi getting stuck and failing to maintain a smooth response.

How is it diagnosed?

At our centre, women are relieved to discover that their “random” PMS symptoms are coherently grouped together in an underlying diagnostic pattern of imbalance. Our team's significant experience in reproductive health means we can quickly grasp your unique pattern and identify modern lifestyle factors to help you quickly manage your symptoms. Diagnosis is made using your medical history and a careful examination of your pulse, tongue, and physical palpation for any diagnostic reflexes.

How do we treat it?

Chinese medicine treats the cause of the problem by reaching into the core of the disharmony. Not only should you find your symptoms have significantly reduced, but you should find your overall health and wellbeing remarkably improve.

We utilise:

  • Acupuncture,
  • Lifestyle modifications,
  • Exercise,
  • Herbs,
  • Nutritional supplements.

References

  1. Chou, P. (2007) A Controlled Trial of Chinese Herbal Medicine for Premenstrual Syndrome.
  2. Acupuncture for the Management of PDD.
  3. Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine and PMT/PDD Review.
  4. Acupuncture Treatment for Premenstrual Syndrome.

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INTERSTITIAL CYSTITIS AND PAINFUL BLADDER SYNDROME

By Bernice Lowe

What is Interstitial Cystitis and Painful Bladder Syndrome?

Interstitial Cystitis (IC) and Painful Bladder Syndrome (PBS) are both conditions where the bladder becomes hypersensitive. This creates symptoms such as pain, inflammation, and increased urinary symptoms.

It is believed that females are nine times more likely to be diagnosed with IC and PBS compared to males and symptoms tend to increase during PMS [1], but the misdiagnosis of this condition can make it difficult to get accurate data about its true prevalence [2].

The early symptoms appear to be similar to a urinary tract infection (UTI). For most people the onset is slow and mild and intermittent symptoms often exist undiagnosed for many years before any help is sought. It is here that Chinese medicine can play a crucial role as an adjunct to first line management of this condition [3].

The causes of IC and PBS are often multifactorial and the comprehensive diagnosis by practitioners at Rozelle Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can help you identify and manage these factors. Chinese medicine can offer help at any stage of this condition, but early treatment and prevention will always bring the best health outcomes [4].

What are the symptoms of IC and PBS?

Symptoms vary, but the most commonly felt symptom is pain and discomfort.

  1. Bladder pain - which tends to worsen as the bladder fills. It may be constant or it can come and go. Pain can range from mild discomfort, pressure, tenderness, to intense pain felt in the bladder. Other areas, in addition to the bladder, such as the urethra, lower abdomen, lower back, pelvis or perineal area may also have pain. Some women will experience pain around the vagina, in the vulva and in men, around the scrotum, testes, or penis,
  2. Urinary frequency- but only passing small volumes of urine,
  3. Urinary urgency - this will affect quality of life, especially in social situations,
  4. Pain with sexual intercourse (dysuria) - this tends to affect women and can be related to certain positions,
  5. Nocturia - waking up at night to urinate. Some specialists consider nocturia to be the key symptom that distinguishes IC from PBS [5].

How is it diagnosed?

Diagnosis is made by the exclusion of other conditions and for your doctor to begin to suspect IC/PBS, urinalysis, and urine culture test results must be negative for bacteria.

Antibiotics, if prescribed, may have a minimal or limited success. Further investigation by a specialist may include:

  • Medical history and bladder diary,
  • Physical pelvic examination and neurological assessment,
  • Ultrasound,
  • Urodynamics,
  • Cystoscopy,
  • MRI.

Summary of diagnosis

The diagnosis of IC and PBS is one of exclusion, it makes this diagnosis lengthy and challenging to diagnose. Symptoms appear similar to other disorders of the bladder and currently no definitive test exists to identify IC and PBS.

Doctors must first rule out and treat other conditions before making a diagnosis of IC and PBS [6]. As initial symptoms appear to be similar to urinary tract infections (UTI), this tends to be the most common misdiagnosis.

It can also be confused with endometriosis, uterine fibroids (women), chronic prostatitis [7], and epididymitis (men). IC and PBS conditions are usually well established by the time diagnosis is made, and by then patients have usually taken several unsuccessful courses of antibiotics and as well as various diagnostic tests and procedures, some of which may aggravate the symptoms.

The confusion about IC and PBS?

Specialists use the terms bladder pain syndrome (BPS) or painful bladder syndrome (PBS) to describe cases with painful urinary symptoms that may not meet the strictest definition of IC.

IC and PBS symptoms overlap but they are separate conditions which are frequently confused. At this stage while there is much discussion about differential diagnosis between these conditions, there exists no standard diagnostic criteria, but there are on going studies examining what standard criteria should be used [8] [9].

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What are common causes?

Experts do not know exactly what causes IC/BPS but the condition tends to be due to multifactorial causes and there are many theories.

The most common theory is that glycosaminoglycan (GAG), a protective surface layer of the urinary tract epithelium (urothelium), becomes damaged and permeable. This allows chemicals in the urine to “leak” through the barrier and irritate the surrounding tissue causing pain, inflammation, and increased urinary symptoms.

  • Mast cells play a crucial role as this specific type of inflammatory cell is often found in the bladder urothelial lining. Mast cells release histamine and other chemicals that lead to IC and PBS symptoms. Atopic allergies contribute to increased histamine levels,
  • Something in the urine that damages the bladder, such as a toxic substance or an earlier urinary tract infection,
  • Neurogeneic changes in the nerves can hypersensitise the bladder, so pain is caused by events that are not normally painful (such as bladder filling),
  • Autoimmune disease – where the body's immune system attacks the bladder. Examples are Sjogren syndrome, fibromyalgia and systemic lupus,
  • Genetics - Researchers are beginning to explore the possibility that heredity factors, may play a part in some forms of IC. In a few cases, IC has affected a mother and a daughter or two sisters, but it does not commonly run in families,
  • Dysfunctional pelvic floor muscle,
  • igestive problems - IC has a very high association with disorders of the bowel such as inflammatory bowel disease and IBS.

Treatment with Chinese Medicine

Scientists believe IC and PBS may be a manifestation of a more general condition that causes inflammation in various organs and parts of the body other than the bladder. Clinically we have observed that many people with IC and PBS have other concurrent conditions such as systemic inflammation and digestive system disorders. We have found that an holistic approach is the best treatment option to successfully manage symptoms and Chinese medicine (CM) can help manage your symptoms at any stage of the condition.

CM helps by managing some of the multifactorial underlying issues that may cause or arise from IC and PBS. Individualised diagnosis is one of the many great strengths of Chinese medicine, and our complementary approach is well suited to managing the complexity of IC and PBS with ongoing care alongside of any other specialist treatment you are also seeking [10].

Diet plays a fundamental role in managing symptoms as many people will notice a flare after certain foods or drinks.

There is little research into the link between IC and PBS and foods and at this stage there is no one IC diet. There is much variation amongst IC and PBS patients around which foods and drinks tend to irritate their bladders.

Our experienced practitioners can help you identify and eliminate which foods and beverages may be your triggers, and to help find a dietary plan that best suits your digestive constitution. Acupuncture treatments will benefit and strengthen your digestive system and help to support your diet changes in promoting healing of the gastrointestinal tract, and by reducing inflammation. Patients will notice an easing of their bladder symptoms after acupuncture.

Stress - Some IC and PBS patients will notice their symptoms become worse with stress. Often stress and anxiety may increase due to the effects of having a chronic condition. Broken sleep due to waking during the night to urinate will also add to stress and fatigue. Acupuncture treatments help to regulate the nervous system and restore calmness and relaxation.

Holistic treatment may use the following therapies:

  • Chinese Herbal Medicine,
  • Acupuncture,
  • Nutritional supplements,
  • Stress management.

Useful links

References

  1. IC/PBS Treatment Options.
  2. Screening, Treatment, and Management of IC/PBS.
  3. Rosenberg MT, Newman DK, Page SA, IS/PBS: symptom recognition is key. Clin J Med. 2007 May; 74 Suppl 3:S54-62.
  4. IC Causes.
  5. Diagnosis of IS/PBS.
  6. Bladder Pain Syndrome..
  7. Complementary and Alternative Therapies for IC.

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HEAVY BLEEDING AND IRREGULAR CYCLES

The team at the Rozelle Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Centre has a lot of sympathy for women who suffer with heavy bleeding. We have a wealth of experience treating this condition and Chinese medicine has developed many classical herbal formulas to reduce heavy bleeding across a wide range of symptoms and causes. Further, we can discuss the best evidence for all medical and surgical intervention based on systematic reviews and meta-analysis.

What are the symptoms?

Menorrhagia is the term used to describe excessive heavy bleeding, and this is suspected if the symptoms include:

  • Menstrual blood flow greater than one pad or tampon an hour for a day or more,
  • Bleeding for longer than a week,
  • Saturation of pad over night requiring change two times or more,
  • Bleeding after menopause commences,
  • Curtailing of normal activities due to the heaviness of the bleed,
  • Concurrent feelings of anaemia, shortness of breath, and fatigue,
  • Anemia.

When should you see a doctor?

If your cycle has changed and you have started to experience any of the above symptoms, it is wise to see your doctor.

What are the causes in biomedicine?

  • Often there is no identifiable cause,
  • Hormonal imbalance related to peri-menopause,
  • Endometriosis,
  • Polyps,
  • Fibroids,
  • Adenomyosis,
  • Dysfunction of the ovaries,
  • In some very rare cases, cancer of the cervix, uterus, or ovaries,
  • As a result of anti-coagulant drugs such as wafrin,
  • Rare blood disorders such as Von Willebrand’s disease
  • Miscarriage,
  • An IUD can be responsible,
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease.

What is the biomedicine treatment?

  • Oral contraceptive,
  • Oral progesterone,
  • Non steroid anti-inflammatories,
  • IUD,
  • Tranexamic acid,
  • Uterine ablation or D and C,
  • Hysterectomy,
  • Fibroid embolisation,
  • Surgical removal of fibroid,
  • Polypectomy.

What does Chinese medicine say about heavy bleeding?

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine may be used to complement any of the above biomedicine treatments to support treatment outcomes and address underlying causes. This is a good option to support a full recovery.

Further, in the case of many gynaecological problems, Chinese medicine theory is well suited to follow ‘patterns of disharmony’ when no disease is identified, or even when a disease is identified, such as endometriosis, or hormone imbalance, the ‘pattern of disharmony’ will be unique for each woman, and by addressing these disharmonies or constitutional imbalances, homeostasis, or the proper regulation of organ and hormonal function, can be addressed.

There are several causes of heavy bleeding in Chinese medicine that will not be identified by conventional tests but they will still result in heavy bleeding that may not respond well to any biomedicine intervention.

These include: disharmony of liver, spleen and kidneys, hot liver leading to reckless blood, spleen not holding, leading to blood leaking from the vessels, blood stagnation leading to reckless blood, and kidney Yin and Jing deficiency leading to heat and reckless blood. Each of these Chinese medicine patterns will have different signs and symptoms, which make it possible for us to identify the disharmony that is responsible for each woman’s heavy bleeding.

Symptoms will vary greatly between one women and the next, and while obvious pathologies might be identified, such as endometriosis, hormone imbalance, or peri-menopause, often blood tests return normal and there is no obvious reason for the heavy bleeding. Other times we see women who literally bleed for over three weeks at a time despite medication.

Importantly, each woman may experience one or more pattern but, after a thorough assessment, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can be prescribed to meet the needs of each individual.

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MENOPAUSE

In Chinese Medicine (CM) menopause is referred to as "the drying up of the great thoroughfare” and several texts and treaties have been written on the treatment of the often distressing symptoms experienced during menopause.

These may include:

  • Hot flushes,
  • Night sweats,
  • Painful intercourse due to dryness,
  • Mood swings, teariness, and irritability,
  • Low libido,
  • Brain fog and poor memory,
  • Fatigue and exhaustion,
  • Palpations and irregular heart beat,
  • Anxiety and depression,
  • Weight gain,
  • Fluid retention.
  • Irregular and heavy bleeding.

Many women in addition may experience some of these symptoms during peri-menopause, the years before menstruation totally ceases. Both menopause and peri-menopause can be an extremely distressing and challenging time in a woman’s life.

Our team of CM practitioners is very supportive of peri-menopausal women, and women ‘going through’ menopause, and we have all had a great deal of experience treating gynaecological problems and supporting women through this time in their life.

From a CM perspective, there is frequently a weakness of liver qi function and regulation, and weakness in kidney Jing, Qi, Yin and Yang.

Our team has promising anecdotal evidence to suggest that symptoms such as severe hot flushes and night sweats are relieved significantly within 5 weeks of CM treatment commencing.

During a thorough CM assessment all symptoms are discussed and our focus is to assist the woman to regain vitality and health and relieve all troubling symptoms so that she can comfortably and confidently transition into the next stage of her life.

THRUSH

Thrush is one of the most common gynaecological conditions we treat at our clinic in Rozelle. In Chinese medicine (CM) the diagnosis and treatment of thrush developed over several centuries.

There are several categories mentioned in CM that define the different types of thrush a woman might experience and, in order to better develop a more tailored and specific treatment strategy, it is important to differentiate these varying symptoms.

Our team is highly experienced in making thorough diagnosis of the different types of thrush that a woman might experience, and in providing a tailored CM treatment accordingly. The aim of the treatment is to clear the thrush and address underlying risk factors to the thrush developing again.

We provide an holistic CM assessment in order to thoroughly assess all risk factors to thrush, and these risk factors are addressed accordingly. Our team provides both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, and advises on diet, nutrition, meditation, and breathing exercises.

RECOVERY AFTER PREGNANCY AND CHILDBIRTH

We provide acupuncture throughout pregnancy to our clients, to support the health of both mother and baby as well as monitor risk factors to conditions that might arise after delivery. We have had nearly three decades experience supporting women during pregnancy and have learned to monitor large and small signs and symptoms so we might prevent problems down the track. We find being progressively preventative is in the best interest of our clients, and Chinese Medicine (CM) has highly developed theories and ‘patterns of disharmony’ that alert and guide our practitioners to better serve our clients.

If a woman has never had acupuncture prior to the delivery of her baby, she can still benefit from acupuncture treatment and receive support so that she might recover better after childbirth.

Some of the conditions we support after delivery include:

  • Carpel tunnel syndrome,
  • Raynaud disease,
  • Mastitis,
  • High blood pressure,
  • Low blood pressure,
  • Extreme fatigue,
  • Recovery after pre-eclampsia,
  • Post natal depression,
  • Poor supply of breast milk and lactation difficulties,
  • Anxiety.

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