If you’re suffering from fibroids and have symptoms such as menstrual cramping, heavy menstrual bleeding, etc., you need to consider getting acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. They may not shrink the fibroids but they can eliminate or reduce your symptoms. Actually, acupuncture may be able to reduce the size of your fibroids under certain conditions.
Uterine fibroids, which is also called myomas or uterine leiomyomas are non-cancerous tumors made up of connective tissue and smooth uterine muscle. Around 20% of women over 35 years of age have this condition. In some women, fibroids may not cause any symptoms; for others, however, symptoms such as pelvic pain or discomfort; pain during sexual intercourse, back pain (if the lower back’s muscles and nerves are compressed); urinary frequency (if the bladder is compressed); constipation (if the rectum is compressed); stomach bloating or discomfort; menstrual cramping; heavy menstrual bleeding; etc. may arise
Infertility can result in women with fibroids, that is, if the fibroids block the entrance into the uterus from the fallopian tubes or the uterine cavity. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioners are often asked if acupuncture in Boca Raton can treat a fibroid, particularly a large one. Listed below is a fact-sheet on TCM modalities for fibroids:
1. A combination of Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture can alleviate symptoms associated with fibroids – menstrual cramps, heavy period, etc.
2. If you have a large fibroid, using Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture may lessen its size, although not to a large extent; the treatment however, can help prevent the fibroid from getting any larger.
3. Acupuncture works much better when it is used in combination with Chinese herbal medicine.
4. Along with TCM treatment, dietary and lifestyle changes are extremely important in the cure of fibroids.
5. Chinese herbs and acupuncture combined may make a fibroid disappear if it is very small (about smaller than a walnut, two to three cm in diameter, although it could be larger).
Uterine Fibroids – The TCM Perspective
The cause of fibroids in TCM is typically blood stagnation (blood stasis) in the uterus. Stagnation of blood itself may be due to another factor such as heat (dries up body fluids and causes the blood to thicken resulting in blood stasis), qi stagnation (the qi moves the blood, so if the qi does not move, blood does not move either), and cold (which coagulates the blood). Moreover, people with fibroids who have weak digestion (deficiency of spleen-qi) may have additional pathogenic fluids that have gathered in the body over the years, and one type fluid called phlegm may result in a mass with sluggish blood in the uterus. These factors are known as “patterns” and it is very important to distinguish the pattern of a disease. For example, to determine the appropriate TCM treatment may mean knowing what type of imbalance one has in a person’s body.
I have mentioned about the association between fibroids and weak digestion (deficiency in spleen-qi), and this means how you eat and what you eat are very important.
Mainstream medicine still has no clue as to what really causes of uterine fibroids, although estrogens, particularly estradiol (E2), is suspected to contribute to their development. A lot of doctors believe that estrogen dominance can be blamed on the stress hormones such as cortisol, norepinephrine, and epinephrine.
TCM’s viewpoint on the relationship between fibroids and stress
The free flow of qi throughout the body is controlled by the liver and so the liver is always involved when stagnation occurs. Stress plays a huge role in qi stagnation, which can lead to long-term blood stasis. Heat is generated by long term stagnation of qi.
That is the reason why lifestyle modification and stress management along with TCM are extremely important in the treatment of fibroids. Both Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture are highly effective for the management of stress.
Uterine Fibroids – Mainstream Conventional Treatment
Western medicine offers surgery (myomectomy or hysterectomy) or hormonal therapy as treatments for fibroids. Nowadays, MRI-guided focused ultrasound therapy and UAE (uterine artery embolization) are also offered – compared to myomectomy and hysterectomy, they are less invasive and entail a shorter recovery period. TCM is a good choice if you are interested in a noninvasive type of treatment; however, TCM is not a quick remedy as natural healing of the body often takes time.
If you have fibroids, here are some helpful recommendations:
– If you believe you have fibroids, you need to seek immediate help to prevent them from growing larger.
– If you have fibroids and show symptoms like menstrual cramping, heavy menstrual bleeding, etc., consider Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture. TCM may eliminate or decrease the symptoms even if they may not be able to shrink the fibroids.
– Even with a combo of Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture it usually takes a long time to treat fibroids. I highly recommend (ultrasound) prior to commencing your TCM treatment, and then, if possible after three months, sonophaphy to determine the efficacy of the treatment. If still nothing happens after three months, talk to your TCM practitioner to discuss the continuation of your treatment.
– If you are not going to have menopause anytime soon and have a large fibroid that has been growing for years, I would advise that you seek treatment to hinder its further growth. One important thing to note is that fibroids grow by utilizing estrogen. So, when you reach menopause, they should shrink since by then your estrogen levels will have lessened.