Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, a corporate boss babe, an artist, or an entrepreneur, there’s no denying the fact that women today are seemingly being pulled in more directions than ever before. But, fact is — no matter what today’s woman looks like, our basic needs haven’t changed, and if we aren’t careful, we can suffer from burnout, anxiety, depression, and a myriad of health complications that can bring down your powerhouse ship a lot quicker than you probably realize. The good news?
Whether it’s menstrual pain, infertility, menopause, migraine headaches, chronic stress, anxiety, depression, or you are simply “not feeling right” and know something is lurking beneath the surface, acupuncture could help to balance out and restore your symptoms without risky drugs. Read on for the top 5 benefits of acupuncture treatments for women, and how it can help to improve and restore mind, body, and spirit.
First, what is acupuncture? And how does it work?
Acupuncture is a type of ancient East Asian Medicine that can help to relieve certain kinds of pain and treat certain medical conditions that were otherwise considered unfixable. Acupuncturists believe that certain medical conditions result from a blockage or imbalance in the natural flow of your energy channels (called “Qi”), and they work to release, unblock and thereby restore your natural Qi via your body’s main pressure points. It does this by stimulating homeostasis, which serves as your body’s internal regulation and checks and balances system.
After learning your symptoms, previous treatments, and medical history, an acupuncturist will insert fine needles (as fine as a piece of hair) into “acupuncture points,” (pressure points), which stimulate the body’s nervous system and release certain chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. Other chemicals and hormones are released in the body as a result, which can help to improve pain and other medical complaints. Treatment takes about an hour, and patients are advised to undergo at least six sessions, usually once a week.
5 Ways Women Can Benefit From Acupuncture Treatments
1. Improves Menstrual Disorders
Chinese medicine has a long history treating premenstrual syndrome, menstrual pain, cramps, irregular periods, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), heavy bleeding, and amenorrhea. If you are suffering a chronic hormonal or menstrual disorders and have already sought a standard doctor, acupuncture is an effective, low cost, and side-effect-free therapy than may help to alleviate, improve, and better manage your conditions than pharmaceutical approaches.
2. Reduces Stress and Signs of Aging
Research proves that neglected stress can wreak havoc on our minds and bodies, leading to all kinds of health issues ranging from digestive problems, chronic pain, hormonal imbalances, allergies, blood pressure spikes, insomnia, fatigue… and that’s only what’s happening on the inside. Externally speaking, wrinkles, grey hair, thin saggy skin, and dark under eye circles inevitably show up as the result of an extremely stressed body. Acupuncture has been proven to help decrease stress, which in tune helps to promote a more youthful, energetic self from the inside out. Acupuncture can help to soften fine lines and wrinkles, reduce acne, increase collagen production, minimize age spots and dark circles, and improve skin tone and color. If you’re looking for a safer and more cost effective treatment than Botox to encourage your facial muscles to relax, flatten out wrinkles, and generate beautiful skin, acupuncture could be your (no-stress) answer.
3. Dulls persistent migraines and headaches.
A common initial reaction to a headache or similar pain is to reach for over-the-counter painkillers for relief, but overuse of certain medicines such as ibuprofen can lead to chronic health problems. For millions of Americans suffering from debilitating migraines and frequent headaches, the pain can be so intense that relief may seem impossible, especially after trying numerous solutions that fail to alleviate the pain. However, doctors and scientists are increasingly looking to acupuncture as a way to reduce the frequency of migraines and perhaps, prevent them altogether.
When acupuncture needles are inserted into different pressure points and nerves in your body, the needles stimulate the nerves to release hormones, such as endorphins, that trigger the release of other nerves built up within the brain and body. Studies have shown that this immune and circulation system stimulation can work to relieves migraines and tension headaches.
4. Helps improve fertility and regulate pregnancy.
Acupuncture, frequently combined with herbal medicine, has been used for centuries to treat common causes of infertility, and may also help to increase your odds of getting pregnant. According to this source, several studies have found that women who get acupuncture treatments –whether to treat conditions that can interfere with getting pregnant (such as polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS) or to increase the chances of a successful IVF — have a higher rate of pregnancy and births.
Some doctors recommend acupuncture to help lower overall stress levels, because stress hormones can lower fertility hormones like progesterone. “I’ve referred patients to acupuncturists to do acupuncture in conjunction with a number of fertility treatments,” says Kathleen M. Brennan, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist at UCLA Fertility and Reproductive Health Center.
Of course, always consult your doctor first before trying acupuncture treatments. We also advise you to ask your doctor for a referral to an acupuncturist who treats women’s fertility issues, as not every practitioner is trained in this area. Avoid taking Chinese herbs unless your doctor gives you the go-ahead, as some of them could potentially hurt your fertility, or endanger an existing pregnancy.
5. Helps you to understand your body and mind better overall.
Acupuncture can work to help you see yourself in a whole new light. It can help you better understand why you are the way you are, why your body may be acting the way it’s been acting, and how you can better regulate your internal and external systems as a whole. Acupuncturists are trained to treat not only the symptoms but the root causes, which can help you make changes on deep fundamental levels of your being. In addition to balancing your internal processes and helping your natural energy flows get back in sync, an acupuncturist can also offer suggestions for your diet and lifestyle that may help you make the changes you want to see in your life.