Hormonal imbalance can be successfully treated with acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). We will start the conversation with “liver stagnation” (which leads to ‘liver fire’), which can cause PMS symptoms, hormone imbalance, and headaches.
Role of the Liver in Chinese Medicine
Western Medicine sees the liver as the physical organ itself, a meaty mass that sits on the right side of the belly. In TCM, the word “liver” refers to an entire meridian; a diverse organ system (including the liver and gallbladder) that governs everything from digestion and the breakdown of fats, to the smooth flow and balance of hormones. This makes perfect sense because when we go back to Western biology, hormones are indeed metabolized by the liver.
Think of the liver meridian as the commanding officer of the body’s “Qi.” Qi is the energy that flows through the body. It is said to aid in the movement of blood and lymph as well as nutrients and toxins that come in and out of the cells. Nerve conduction, energy production, and cognitive awareness all depend on the presence of Qi. The liver meridian makes sure that Qi and hormones are delivered to the right place at the right time.
A healthy liver ensures you have strong mental focus and firm decision making skills (whereas brain fog and frustration would be a sign of liver stagnation). An unobstructed, healthy liver meridian will balance your hormone levels as they ebb and flow throughout your monthly cycle. When liver stagnation is present, your hormones will be off, you may experience PMS (and all the emotions that come with it), and you may have cramps. This is because the body doesn’t have enough Qi (energy) and has to literally work harder (the contractions that create cramping) to produce a smooth flow of blood.
The liver meridian is the cleansing laboratory of the body. Over-consumption of fatty, greasy, and high cholesterol foods slows down its normal detoxification responsibilities. According to TCM, long-term blockage and stagnation leads to the generation of heat or “liver fire.” And no, there’s nothing necessarily physically ‘wrong’ with your liver itself. There’s simply an interruption or imbalance (“stagnation”) in the flow of energy throughout your “liver meridian” according to TCM. This is the most common diagnosis Westerners receive from their TCM practitioners because of on-the-go modern lifestyles.
How Can Chinese Medicine Help with Hormone Balance?
Acupuncture and herbal medicine are the most safe and effective forms of natural treatment for hormone imbalance. Acupuncture works by promoting organs to work at their optimum level and restores hormonal balance and targets the liver which is responsible for the metabolism and emotions. Along with balancing hormones naturally, acupuncture provides other benefits such as reducing anxiety, reducing stress and promoting relaxation.
There are a range of Chinese herbal formulas which are effective in balancing hormones. These formulas are made from just natural ingredients, nothing else. The benefit of starting an herbal supplement regimen is that you carry on with the treatment even after your acupuncture session. 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 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.
Dr. Pham came to Alternative Medicine very early in her career after personal struggles with upper respiratory infections which led to asthma, chronic sinusitis, gastritis, and one day to an anaphylactic shock after conventional medical treatment. Her lifelong experience in both Western and Eastern medicine allows her to master a holistic approach in addressing patients’ health conditions. Dr. Pham offers acupuncture procedures, Chinese Herbology, and other complementary nutritional supplements and therapies addressing anti-aging, pain management, digestive issues, sleep disorders, general health support and women’s health.
Omni Balanced Life Center, 720 Goodlette Rd., Ste 205, Naples.
Visit: www.OmniNaples.com to learn more and call 239.234.1608 to schedule your visit.