What are Menstrual Irregularities?
The female menstrual cycle is a result of the complicated hormonal interactions between your brain, reproductive organs, adrenal, pituitary, and thyroid glands. This complicated hormonal reaction is delicate, and when disrupted in even the slightest way, can become unbalanced. Most menstrual cycles range from 21 to 35 days, however up to 14% of women experience irregular cycles or abnormal uterine bleeding. An anovulatory bleeding pattern is characterized by irregular/infrequent periods with absent, minimal, or excessive bleeding, where an ovulatory bleeding pattern is characterized by excessive bleeding or duration longer than 7 days.
Irregularities or painful periods can be caused by any number of things, including:
- Stress and anxiety
- Hormonal imbalance
- Body weight
- Excessive exercise
- Thyroid issues
- Uterine scarring
- Premature menopause
Acupuncture is a highly effective in helping to regulate menstrual cycles, reduce stress, influence hormone regulation, and improve blood flow in the reproductive areas.
In the treatment of period pain, acupuncture can open the blockage of Qi and Blood, clear blockage of meridians, and balance internal organs. By appropriately balancing hormone levels, treatment ensures estrogen and progesterone levels remain within normal range. Acupuncture, further, increases endorphin levels in the blood, blocking the transmission of pain signals, and increasing adrenocorticotropic hormone levels. Acupuncture helps influences hormonal regulation centers of the brain and autonomic nervous system so as to improve hormonal states gently and naturally.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
In conjunction with acupuncture or as treatment on its own, Chinese herbal remedies are useful in treating menstrual irregularities gently and naturally. Chinese herbal formulas are specially tailored for each individual case and are safe for breastfeeding. While acupuncture stimulates flow of energy and blood, Chinese herbal formulas are specially designed to replenish deficiencies in the endocrine, immune, and metabolic systems. Chinese herbal formulas help to regulate menstrual cycles, alleviate endometriosis pain, thicken endometrium, and restore normal menstruation to those with irregularities.
Nutrition & Diet
A healthy and balanced diet is essential in the treatment of unbalanced blood flow and hormone regulation, as food intake directly impacts the body’s natural ability to regulate hormones. Eliminate, or avoid, foods with trans-fatty acids, refined sugars, caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco.
Lifestyle & Mind-Body Medicine
In addition to acupuncture and nutrition, learning relaxation techniques are greatly beneficial to general health and wellbeing. Chronic, or acute, lifestyle stress can have a wide variety of negative effects on the body, including reproductive organ blood flow and hormone regulation. Physical and psychological stress can make existing symptoms worse and delay overall internal healing.
Techniques that elicit the relaxation response (a state of deep relaxation in which the heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate decrease, muscle tension relaxes, stress hormone levels fall, and the mind becomes tranquil), and relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga may aid greatly in bringing balance to mental and emotional states. Practicing focused deep-breathing, meditation, yoga, tai-chi and other activities are among those that can increase your chances of a healthy life and pregnancy. Listening to music, focused breathing, or being outside in nature are also effective methods of managing stress.