Could it be Endometriosis?

Are your menstrual cramps so debilitating that you need to miss work or school? Do you have heavy or irregular bleeding during periods combined with severe pain? Is intercourse uncomfortable, even painful? Are you having painful bowel movements? These are some of the signs that you may be suffering from endometriosis.

March is Endometriosis Awareness month, a condition which more than one in ten women suffer from. Endometriosis occurs when the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus, attaching itself to other organs. This can lead to adhesions and scarring, as well as the painful symptoms mentioned earlier. It is frequently reported that pain can increase over time. Many women wait up to seven years for a proper diagnosis. This is lost time, lost money, and countless hours of stress and pain.

Acupuncture can be helpful in treating the painful symptoms that accompany endometriosis. There is a saying in Chinese medicine that goes, “Where there is lack of flow, there is pain. Where there is free flow, there is no pain.” The Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment for endometriosis attempts to increase circulation, regulate blood flow, and remove any blockages in the body. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine helps to regulate the phases of the menstrual cycle and bring hormonal balance in a natural way.

Chronic pain and discomfort, not to mention the chronic stress associated with endometriosis, can create a cascade of emotional, psychological, and physical pain. By using Chinese Herbal medicine, it can help curb these negative effects.

I’d like to leave you with five suggestions to keep you more at ease.

1. Keep warm, especially during menstruation. Heat moves the blood and cold can stagnate tissue. Hot water bottles and extra layers of clothing can be helpful.

2. Have a well-balanced diet rich in antioxidants, avoid cold and processed foods, and lean toward an anti-inflammatory diet.

3. Avoid intercourse and gynecological exams during menstruation. Uterine and vaginal contractions may cause a reverse flow of blood and increase pooling of blood outside the uterus.

4. Calm the mind through meditation and light exercise. Tai chi/chi gong can facilitate a mind-body connection that is important for keeping stress levels down while gently increasing blood flow.

5. Know that you’re not alone. If you are feeling disheartened, discouraged, or depressed, please reach out to someone in your community. Compassion for yourself goes a long way.