How Acupuncture Can Help Your Hormone Imbalance
Hormonal imbalances occur in both sexes, can occur at any age, and are always accompanied by unpleasant problems such as lack of energy, reduced libido, infertility, irregular menstrual cycles, mood swings, or even growth impairment in children. Acupuncture is an ancient technique of Chinese medicine that more and more people are turning to for relief from various illnesses and maladies. While its applications are many, acupuncture has proven especially effective in the safe and natural treatment of all types of hormonal imbalances.
Most people are aware of the hormones that are associated with reproduction, such as testosterone and estrogen, but there are other important hormones that frequently become imbalanced, such as adrenal or thyroid hormones. In fact, there are 30 different hormones produced by the human body, and each one is vital to your health. These hormones are secreted by glands in your body, such as the pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands. Hormones and glands work together to form the endocrine system. A properly functioning endocrine system supports the overall health of your body.
Hormones act as the messengers in your body, overseeing the regulation of sleep cycles, reproduction, emotional health, physical growth, metabolism, body temperature, mental acuity, the immune system, and energy levels. They support the relationships between different bodily systems, and when they are out of balance, all of the body’s systems can be affected adversely—any woman who has experienced hormonal imbalances due to pregnancy or menopause can testify to this. A proper hormonal balance is vital to good health. When hormones are out of balance, symptoms such as fatigue, low libido, weight gain or weight loss, depression, irregular menstruation and others begin to appear and wreak havoc on a person’s overall well being.
Hormonal imbalances in both sexes are not uncommon, but are more often associated with women’s health. Fluctuations can be a natural occurrence, but long-term imbalances are not. Imbalances are typically caused by an unbalanced lifestyle, poor diet, medications, health issues, synthetic chemicals, or toxins in the body. Acupuncture can be used to minimize the fluctuations and treat the hormonal imbalances as well.
For women in particular, balancing hormones is important for menstrual cycle regulation, peri-menopause, menopause, post-menopausal, or fertility related issues. There are certain menstrual related disorders that can lead to hormone imbalances and infertility. In fact, acupuncture is extremely effective at treating many of the causes of infertility, as discussed in our post “Is Acupuncture Effective for Improving Fertility.” Researchers such as Dr. D. Sunay et. al. have demonstrated that professional acupuncture does work for women’s specific hormonal issues.
Hormones and Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a natural method of restoring balance to the hormones, and researchers such as Dr. Q.W. Xie have documented the direct effects acupuncture has on hormonal production. Acupuncture has none of the side-effects or toxicity found with Western medicinal approaches. For example, the synthetic hormones used for menopause in women are believed to result in the elevated risk of stroke, heart attacks, and certain types of cancer. Some individuals simply cannot take the medication prescribed for their hormonal imbalances. Acupuncture, on the other hand, is extremely safe, and some researchers report that it is more effective that Western hormone replacement therapies.
By placing needles at key channels of energy, certain organs (including glands) can be stimulated and a person’s qi redirected. A skilled, licensed acupuncturist will evaluate an individual’s condition and qi flow, then select the appropriate meridians and points for the imbalances uncovered. This evaluation can be accomplished through a variety of methods, including the detection of changes in the pulses or the use of saliva testing for a more direct measure of hormonal imbalances.
Once the main issues have been determined, the acupuncturist will formulate a treatment plan involving the correct meridians and points to encourage your body to balance itself. Again, keep in mind that acupuncture does not force the body to do anything, but rather redirects energy so that it is able to heal itself. This is a particularly powerful method when it comes to hormonal problems.
In addition to determining the correct placement of acupuncture needles, expect your acupuncturist to also suggest changes to diet and exercise, as well as the possible use of special herbs or teas to aid in the process of restoring balance to your qi and your endocrine system. Be prepared to allow sufficient time for your endocrine system and hormonal levels to achieve overall balance.
Finding the Right Acupuncturist
If you are struggling with hormonal issues, whether you are a young woman suffering with PMS, a mature woman dealing with menopause, or a man struggling with hypothyroidism, acupuncture can help restore your endocrine system to proper, balanced functioning. However, as with any treatment for a disease or disorder of the body, make sure to talk to your doctor first.
Awaken Integrative Wellness
Awaken Integrative Wellness is the solution to your acupuncture needs for hormonal imbalances. Before your first acupuncture treatment, our licensed professionals will complete an extensive health intake, evaluate your symptoms, and prescribe a customized course of treatment just for you. You will be pleased to know that Awaken Integrative Wellness accepts most health insurance for acupuncture treatment. We look forward to helping you get back to balance!