• Ava Thu Nguyen

Endometriosis and Acupuncture


Endometriosis. A condition that seems to be presenting more and more frequently in our Brisbane acupuncture clinic these days. With 1 in 10 women suffering from endometriosis this comes as no surprise.



What is Endometriosis?


Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to that which normally lines the uterus grows in other parts of the body, usually in the pelvic cavity. With each menstrual cycle, as the lining is shed, this tissue, which is outside the uterus also bleeds. This bleeding causes inflammation and from this; scar tissue, cysts and adhesions are formed. From a Western medicine perspective, the condition is not completely understood and as a result the root causes are not definitive.


What are the symptoms of endometriosis?


Symptoms of endometriosis can present differently for each individual, but here a few that can be linked to endometriosis:


  • Heavy periods

  • Infertility

  • Severe period pain (burning, stabbing, throbbing, aching)

  • Chronic fatigue

  • Spotting between periods

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Pain during bowel movements

  • Pain during and after sex

  • Headaches

  • Miscarriage


Endometriosis and Infertility

There is an increased amount of inflammatory markers within the pelvic cavity and reproductive organs in those who have endometriosis. This makes the uterus a less ideal environment for conception, impeding the chances of fertilisation, implantation and embryo growth.


Adhesions and lesions formed within the reproductive organs and pelvic cavity can also obstruct the pathway of an egg and sperm through the fallopian tubes, leading to reduced changes of fertilisation of an egg and reduced chances of conception.



Endometriosis in Traditional Chinese Medicine


The key pathological cause of endometriosis in Chinese Medicine is impeded flow of qi and blood within the pelvic cavities and reproductive organs. When qi and blood does not flow freely, this can present as pain and abnormal masses forming.


Although the surface presentation is the impeded flow of qi and blood, underlying causes of this occurring always points to underlying deficiencies that preceded this.


The treatment focus in Chinese Medicine would not only focus on promoting the smooth flow of qi and blood to relieve the presentation of pain and formations of lesions and adhesions, but also to address the underlying deficiencies that led to the body not functioning optimally.

How does Acupuncture support the treatment of endometriosis on the physiological level?


Emerging literature demonstrates that acupuncture can promote acupuncture-mediated analgesia (e.g. endogenous opioids such as ß-endorphin) and the alter hormone levels. It is also reported that acupuncture may induce signals that are transmitted to the central nervous system to induce an anti-inflammatory response.




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References


Hamilton, Z., McNicol, K.D. (2011). Acupuncture for pain in endometriosis (Review). Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews, 2011(9). 1-25. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD007864.pub2.


Maciocia, G. (2011). Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Chinese Medicine (2nd ed.). Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.


QENDO. (2022). Learn. Retrieved March 14, 2022 from www.qendo.org.au/learn


Ziegler, D. D, Borghese, B., Chapron, C. (2010). Endometriosis and infertility: Pathophysiology and management. Lancet, 376, 730-738. https://deziegler.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/1.-de-Ziegler-et-al-Lancet-2010-Ose-et-infertilité-1.pdf






Lang Acupuncture and Holistic Health


Lang Acupuncture and Holistic Health in Jindalee offers unique holistic services to help with rebalancing one’s mental and physical being. As an accredited Australian health practitioner and member of the Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association, we provide a safe and supportive environment throughout your holistic, healing journey.


Our Jindalee acupuncture clinic services women all over Brisbane with clients from a range of suburbs such as Jindalee, Mount Ommaney, Sinnamon Park, Middle Park, Jamboree Heights, Oxley, Seventeen Miles Rocks, Kenmore, Chapel Hill, Indooroopilly, Ipswich, Annerley, Graceville, Sherwood and beyond.