Period Problems and Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture

With all this talk of tampon tax and the 'period' word being thrown about The House of Commons, I thought i would write a blog about them!

Gone are the days of 'The Red Tent' where women went to sit for a week every month and nothing was expected of them.  These days women have to get on with life and hope their periods don't interfere.

So what is a 'normal' period.  The vast majority of people think that pain is a normal part of a period, that heavy bleeding is something that everybody gets and an irregular cycle is to be taken in their stride.  Not so.  Whether you have a diagnosis or just a variety of symptoms, Chinese Medicine has a long history of treating gynaecological disorders and all issues surrounding menstruation.  PMT, periods that are painful, short, long, heavy, light, clotted, irregular or have spotting.  Whatever the issue, Chinese medicine seeks to bring the period to a 28 day cycle, 5 day bleed, fresh red flow and no pain!

Primarily Chinese Medicine helps by regulate the blood and the qi which are prone to getting stuck around period time and this can cause pain.  If the stagnation continues to build then heat is created and this can be a cause of heavy bleeding. Both acupuncture and herbs can help alleviate the symptoms and address the underlying causes. 

                                                            If you are struggling with any aspect of your period and wish to discuss things further, I'm happy to answer your question


Headache and Migraines

Almost everyone will experience a headache at sometime or another but when persistent or recurrent then intervention is required.  Most chronic headaches have an internal and external component.  An underlying internal balance is often complicated by myofascial lesions in the soft tissues of the neck and upper back.  These 'knots' or 'bands' can cause pain to be referred to various areas of the head and are commonly known as 'trigger points'.  Successful treatment of chronic headache usually involves both constitutional treatment and removal of as much tension and trigger point activity as possible.  Other causes of headache include:

External pathogens like at the onset of flu, emotional factors, diet, overwork/stress, constitutional make-up and trauma.

The location of a headache and its characteristics give the Chinese medicine practitioner a good indication as to the internal disharmony and thus how to treat accordingly with acupuncture and herbal medicine.  

Most patients will be taking some medication to ease symptoms and the hope is to reduce the need for these drugs as they can impede diagnosis and treatment.  A slow withdrawal is essential to prevent rebound  headaches.


Lingering Pathogens - What are they?

Lingering Pathogens (LPs) are pathogenic influences that remain in the body and provoke a persistent immune response: this includes living organisms like viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites or allergens, chemicals, drugs and environmental toxins.

LPs manifest in a number of ways. An infection from the past may still make its presence felt with recurrent symptoms often arising when the patient is stressed or run down, or perhaps detectable as persistent antibodies or other markers in blood tests.

In clinic we often suspect a LP when the patient presents with a history that begins "I have never been well since...", sometimes it may not be apparent. Examples include Recurring infections, Glandular fever, Chronic fatigue syndrome, ME, Allergies, Chronic infections, Rheumatoid arthritis, Graves and Hashimotos thyroiditis, Herpes infection and Malaria.

Signs and symptoms include low grade fever or heat sensations, chills/fever, swollen lymph nodes and tonsils, abnormal sweating, muscle/joint aches, low energy levels, skin lesions and rashes, recurring pains.

So why are we likely to get an LP?

Read more: Lingering Pathogens - What are they?

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