We specialise in the treatment of common female health issues using acupuncture, herbs, supplementation, diet and lifestyle advice.
With today’s women being busier than ever, many find it challenging to continue with their daily lives when symptoms such as painful periods, mood swings, hot flushes, night sweats, irregular periods, infertility, weight gain, low libido, fatigue or insomnia are common occurrences when experiencing hormonal changes and imbalances.
From the very early days of Traditional Chinese Medicine it was noted that ‘disorders of women are ten times more difficult to cure than those of males’ (Sun Si-Miao, 581-681AD). This still rings true today, as the physical and psychological effects the female reproductive system, and its fabulous hormones, can cause much distress and discomfort.
At Spring we use acupuncture, herbs, supplementation, diet and lifestyle advice to regulate female hormones with a gentle and natural approach. Our techniques softly guide the body to a new state of hormonal balance by addressing the root cause of the symptoms.
There are a number of reasons a women might be experiencing menstrual irregularities. Stress, PCOS, endometriosis, previous contraceptive use, diet and lifestyle choices are just a few of the more common causes. Most women don’t tend to mind having a cycle that doesn’t present as ‘normal’ until they are wanting to have a baby or their symptoms begin to affect their daily lives.
Clinical trials have shown that acupuncture can regulate the frequency of menstruation, promote menstruation in women experiencing ammenorrhea (absent menstruation) and assist with anovulatory disorders (1).
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is becoming more prevalent with an estimated 12-21% of Australian females living with this condition (8). PCOS can present with varying symptoms and appears to have a higher incidence in women who are overweight and obese (9). Some of the more common symptoms of PCOS include:
- Abnormal hair growth (hirsutism) and male pattern balding consistent with increased female testosterone production known as hyperandrogenism
- Irregular or absent menstrual cycles
- Subfertility or infertility
- Psychosexual dysfunction
- Eating disorders
- Dyslipidaemia (a disorder of lipoprotein metabolism)
Research into the use of acupuncture for PCOS has found that in animal studies ovarian function normalized in response to electro-acupuncture (10). Furthermore, studies have indicated that acupuncture for PCOS sufferers can (11),(12),(13),(14):
- Improve luteinizing hormone/follicle-stimulating hormone ratio
- Reduce hyperandrogenism
- Improve menstrual frequency
- Regulate activities of leptin, the thyroid gland and the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal cortex axis
- Regulate endocrine, glucose and lipid metabolism function
With these positive clinical finding the use of acupuncture has been proven to be a safe, nonpharmaceutical treatment for sufferers of PCOS.
Endometriosis/Dysmenorrhea (Painful Periods)
Pain at the time of menstruation is the result of disturbed menstrual flow that can be caused by one or more of the following:
- an excess in inflammatory prostaglandins
- hormonal imbalance
- disrupted blood flow to the area
Furthermore, one of the major diseases associated with painful menstruation is endometriosis. In Australia 10% of women suffer from this disease and as symptoms can vary a diagnosis often delayed. Endometriosis can have severe effects on a woman’s reproductive organs as well as bowel, bladder and in rare cases, muscles, joints, lungs and brain.
Clinical trials of acupuncture for dysmenorrhea has shown a positive effect in decreasing the severity and frequency of pain (2). Acupuncture points used in these trials have demonstrated the ability to increase uterine blood flow assisting with menstrual pain relief.
Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Pre-menstrual syndrome is a combination of emotional and physical imbalances that are triggered by hormonal changes in the lead up to menstruation. Symptoms of PMS may include:
- abdominal bloating and/or fluid retention
- depression and lowered mood
- difficulties in concentration, memory lapses
- drop in self-esteem and confidence
- changes in libido
- feelings of loneliness and paranoia
- food cravings
- headache and migraine
- hot flushes or sweats
- increased appetite
- increased sensitivity to sounds, light and touch
- angry outbursts
- mood swings
- excessive sleepiness
- Swollen and tender breasts
A recent review of the use of acupuncture for the treatment of PMS found acupuncture to be beneficial for its sufferers (5). Acupuncture’s effect on body’s neurotransmitters, serotonin and dopamine, can assist with reducing the frequency and severity of painful symptoms such as headaches and migraines, as well as have a positive effect on any emotional and sleep changes (3,4,6).
A 2015 meta-analysis of the use of acupuncture on menopause-related symptoms confirmed that acupuncture improves:
- hot flush frequency and severity (7),
- menopause-related symptoms (7), and
- quality of life (in the vasomotor domain) in women experiencing natural menopause (1).
With gentle acupuncture, herbs and natural supplementation support, your transition through menopause will be symptomatic and stress free, allowing you to get on with your day and enjoy life.
Research References On This Page
- Cai C. Acupuncture and moxibustion treatment of amenorrhea. Medical Acupuncture. 2013;25(3):205–208 (Link to research)
- Li YM, Bu YQ, Hou WJ, Chen SZ, Gao SZ. Observation on immediate analgesic effect of acupuncture at Shiqizhui (EX-B 8) only or multi-acupoints in patients with dysmenorrhea: a randomized controlled trial. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2011;31(3):199–202. Chinese. [PubMed] (Link to research)
- Yu YP, Ma LX, Ma YX, et al. Immediate effect of acupuncture at Sanyinjiao (SP6) and Xuanzhong (GB39) on uterine arterial blood flow in primary dysmenorrhea. J Altern Complement Med. 2010;16(10):1073–1078. [PubMed] (Link to research)
- Kashefi F, Ziyadlou S, Khajehei M, Ashraf AR, Fadaee AR, Jafari P. Effect of acupressure at the Sanyinjiao point on primary dysmenorrhea: a randomized controlled trial. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2010;16(4):198–202. [PubMed] (Link to research)
- Guo ZR, Ma LX. Acupuncture treatment for premenstrual syndrome. Medical Acupuncture. 2013;25(3):200–204 (Link to research)
- Zhu X, Hamilton KD, McNicol ED. Acupuncture for pain in endometriosis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011;(9):CD007864. [PubMed] (Link to research)
- Chiu, Hsiao-Yean RN, PhD1; Pan, Chieh-Hsin RN, MSN1; Shyu, Yuh-Kae RN, PhD2; Han, Bor-Cheng PhD3; Tsai, Pei-Shan RN, PhD1,4 Effects of acupuncture on menopause-related symptoms and quality of life in women in natural menopause: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (Link to research)
- March WA, Moore VM, Willson KJ, Phillips DI, Norman RJ, Davies MJ. The prevalence of polycystic ovary syndrome in a community sample assessed under contrasting diagnostic criteria. Hum Reprod 2010;25:544–51. (Link to research)
- Teede H, Deeks A, Moran L. Polycystic ovary syndrome: a complex condition with psychological, reproductive and metabolic manifestations that impacts on health across the lifespan. BMC Med 2010;8:41. (Link to research)
- Manni L1, Lundeberg T, Holmäng A, Aloe L, Stener-Victorin E., Effect of electro-acupuncture on ovarian expression of alpha (1)- and beta (2)-adrenoceptors, and p75 neurotrophin receptors in rats with steroid-induced polycystic ovaries. (Link to research)
- Pastore LM, Williams CD, Jenkins J, Patrie JT. True and sham acupuncture produced similar frequency of ovulation and improved LH to FSH ratios in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011;96(10):3143–3150. [PMC free article] [PubMed] (Link to research)
- Raja-Khan N, Stener-Victorin E, Wu X, Legro RS. The physiological basis of complementary and alternative medicines for polycystic ovary syndrome. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2011;301(1):E1–E10. [PMC free article] [PubMed] (Link to research)
- Feng Y, Stener-Victorin E, Chen B. Acupuncture in polycystic ovary syndrome: potential and challenge. In: Xia Y, Ding G, Wu GC, editors. Current Research in Acupuncture. New York, NY: Springer; 2013. pp. 487–515. (Link to research)
- Li MY, Wei DY, Wu JM. Analysis on the interrelation between acupuncture-induced weight reduction and menstruation. Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2007;32(2):142–144. Chinese. [PubMed] (Link to research)