Studies Suggest that Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Are More Effective Than Drugs in Amenorrhea Cure

Defined as the absence of menstruation in pre-menopausal women, amenorrhea is a condition that can be resolved with acupuncture treatment and other forms of Chinese medicine. There are two types of amenorrhea. Primary amenorrhea is diagnosed when the woman has never experienced menstruation months or years after reaching 16 years of age. Secondary amenorrhea is the cessation of menses for at least three months when no breastfeeding is involved, when there is no menopause, or when there is no confirmed pregnancy. This type of amenorrhea may be due to several possible factors like improper ovary functioning, psychological disorders, stress, eating disorders, extreme weight loss, intense exercising, hypopituitarism, hypothyroidism, or elevated androgens or prolactin. Typical symptoms include goiters, headaches, swollen breasts, nausea, and the stoppage of menstruation.

The response of the lining of the uterus to stimulation and the feedback system between the ovaries, pituitary gland, and the hypothalamus are the two factors that determine normal menstrual cycles. When amenorrhea develops, the aim of the treatment then is to bring back this feedback system. Several hormones are responsible for ensuring normal menstruation. They include GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone), androgen, progesterone, estrogen, prolactin, LH (luteinizing hormone), and FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone).

Amenorrhea Cure Using Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture

The kidneys, spleen, and liver are the most important body organs that normalize menstruation and blood, according to Chinese medicine. The kidneys govern egg quality, conception, and reproduction while the liver and spleen regulate the smooth flow of the hormones and the amount of nutrients in the body. Acupuncturists treat patients suffering from amenorrhea according to the individual evaluation of their patient’s specific condition and design a customized plan of treatment that is both effective and appropriate.

Regulating the ovarian-hypothalamus-pituitary axis and bettering hormonal balance, acupuncture stimulates circulation of blood to the brain and reproductive organs. The treatment also comforts the body and lowers levels of stress (high stress levels can disrupt menstruation by obstructing blood flow to the reproductive organs and causing hormonal production imbalance).

To adjust the ovarian-hypothalamus-pituitary axis and aid in the building of the uterine lining, Chinese herbs are prescribed to the patient according to the patient’s symptoms and constitution. The restoration of balance leads to the normalization and improvement of the natural hormonal production of the body that in turn results in a normal menstrual cycle. Moreover, Chinese herbs upgrade reproductive health by nourishing the kidney, liver, and spleen systems of the body.

A specialized type of physiotherapy, reproductive organ massage (ROM) is a type of therapeutic massage that aims to establish a better connection between the ovary and the pituitary and boost blood flow to the ovaries by the manipulation (massage) of the fascia of the pelvic cavity. ROM can also enhance the function of the endocrine system and improve blood flow to the pelvic region.

For the treatment of amenorrhea, nutritional therapy is also important. This type of therapy is uniquely designed for each patient based on the health of her spleen, liver, and kidney functions. These organs are all responsible for a woman’s reproductive health and they support her metabolic processes as well. Amenorrhea sufferers are required to eat a high quality diet consisting of lean meats, organic fruits and vegetables, and whole grains and avoid eating junk food and sugar to help restore balance to their hormones and bring back normal menstrual function. Moreover, amenorrhea patients need to augment their intake of essential fatty acids, B6, selenium, zinc, boron, vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and calcium.

Western Medicine Treatment of Amenorrhea

Western conventional medicine uses a protocol of birth control pills and hormone therapy to help normalize the menstrual cycle of an amenorrhea patient. However, Western medicine cannot cure this condition, only treat its symptoms.

Related Articles and Studies on Amenorrhea

The Thousand Buddha Mountain Hospital in Jinan, China was the site where a clinical study was conducted to test the effectiveness acupuncture in the treatment of amenorrhea over drug therapy. The study had 95 participants all suffering from amenorrhea for six months and more who developed the condition due to birth control pill usage. Acupuncture treatment was administered to 57 of the patients while drugs were given to the rest. There were a total six courses with each course having 20 treatments with five-day breaks between the courses. The patients given drug treatment were first given Stilbestrol, then an injection of Progesteronum. A month after the end of the study, the average effective rate of the patients treated with acupuncture was 96.5% while that of the drug therapy group was 97.4%. But six months after the end of the study the drug therapy group’s effective rate dropped to almost 79% while the acupuncture group’s rate slightly dropped to just 94.7%. These outcomes show that the long-range benefits of acupuncture in treating amenorrhea was much superior to that of medications.

China has done several studies that show the superiority of Chinese herbal medicine, moxibustion, and acupuncture over Western conventional modes of treatment in the treatment of menstrual conditions, especially amenorrhea.

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Curing Amenorrhea with Chinese Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture

A female who has reached 16 yrs of age and above and has still not begun to menstruate or one who has skipped three menstrual cycles in a row is considered to be suffering from amenorrhea. One type of amenorrhea called primary amenorrhea means that a girl aged 16 yrs and above has not yet begun menstruating. The other type of amenorrhea called secondary amenorrhea is a condition in which a woman who has had previous menstrual cycles skips three periods in a row. Another type of amenorrhea known as hypoestrogenemic amenorrhea is caused by a hormonal imbalance. Amenorrhea can also be caused by the body’s overproduction of prolactin, a hormone that causes the body to produce milk.

Signs and Symptoms

Primary amenorrhea symptoms and signs may include:

-Sometimes an extremely tall stature or a stubby, short physique
-Excessive growth of hair
-Acne
-Poor vision
-Irregular blood pressure
-Headaches

The symptoms and signs of secondary amenorrhea are:

-Kidney problems
-Disease of the liver
-Alcoholism
-Severe loss of weight
-Darkening skin
-A swollen thyroid gland; goiter
-Unusual thirst
-Poor eye function
-Headaches
-Breasts that are swollen
-Nausea

Signs and symptoms of estrogen deficiency can include vaginal dryness, depression, mood changes, and hot flashes.
What Causes It?

Typically amenorrhea can be the result of endocrine dysfunctions, body structure abnormalities, and certain genetic defects. Certain causes may include.

-Substance abuse
-Very strenuous or rigorous exercise (ex. Long-distance running)
-Obesity (severe weight gain)
-Anorexia nervosa, too much loss of weight, malnutrition
-Psychological disorders or stress
-Tuberculosis, diabetes and other kinds of disease
-Stoppage of oral contraceptives
-Breast feeding or pregnancy
-Menopause, often around the ages of 40 to 55
-Endometriosis or intrauterine infection
-Poor functioning of the ovaries
-Too much production by the body of the male hormone testosterone
-Imbalance of the hormones produced by the endocrine system
-Problems in the development of the sexual or reproductive parts of the body such as the absence of the vagina or uterus
Acupuncture

One of the treatments, conventional medicine or otherwise, touted to help regulate the endocrine system and address hormonal imbalances related to amenorrhea such as PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome, is acupuncture. Some small-scale studies of women suffering from fertility problems (that are frequently related to amenorrhea) have demonstrated acupuncture’s helpfulness in improving ovulation. Women suffering from amenorrhea are treated by acupuncturists in accordance with an individualized evaluation of the deficiencies and excesses of qi flowing in different meridians. Acupuncturists believe that deficiencies in the kidney and liver are often the reasons for amenorrhea, which then entails treatment that is often aimed at enhancing the function of these organ systems.
Another Chinese modality is Chinese herbs which can treat blocked menstruation and normalize a woman’s menstrual cycle if she is not pregnant. Consult with a licensed Chinese herbalist before attempting to use any kind of Chinese herb for any menstrual blockages you may have.

Chuan Niu Hsi

Also known as cyathula, chuan niu hsi helps to boost flow in the uterus. It also is able to treat painful periods, irregular menses and amenorrhea. Another health benefit that this herb can provide is that it is also really helpful in treating acute nose bleeds, urinary tract infections and musculoskeletal pain.

Hong Hwa

This herb is more commonly known as safflower. It can help stimulate the uterus as well as boost blood flow, resolve menstrual pain and cure amenorrhea. A leading Chinese herbologist stated that hong hwa is one of the most widely applied herbs in China for treating gynecological and obstetric problems. If applied in large amounts, this herb can help boost menstrual flow and remove stagnant blood. Hong hwa is also helpful in preventing and reducing ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids.

Yi Mu Cao

This is a motherwort herb and is very much used to treat menstrual disorders. Yi Mu Cao can activate and normalize blood flow in the uterus that makes it very helpful in curing irregular menses and amenorrhea. It’s also potent enough to relieve postpartum and menstrual pain. Studies indicate Yi Mu Cao has anti-platelet qualities that can help prevent the development of blood clots.

Tao Ren

This herb is also known as peach seed and is a potent herb to remove stagnant blood and strongly stimulate the flow of blood making it very helpful for the curing of amenorrhea and the improvement of menstruation. Studies demonstrate that tao ren can also break up and prevent blood clot formation. It also is able to regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle and alleviate menstrual pain. Tao ren’s other benefit is that it is rich in essential fatty acids that can moisten the intestines and address constipation.

Hse Lan

Also called lycopus, hse lan, is good for boosting blood flow and contains warming qualities that can benefit the reproductive organs. It also relieves postpartum stomach pain and menstrual pain, cure irregular menses and amenorrhea and boost menstrual blood flow. Moreover, hse lan is also helpful in treating swellings, sores, bruises and pain. It also has a diuretic quality that can help decrease swelling and edema.

 

Linda Lesperance is a licensed acupuncturist and the founder of The Lotus Center of Oriental Medicine in Boca Raton, FL.