Research* has show that acupuncture can be beneficial to women with endometriosis by reducing pain and regulating the menstrual cycle.
Endometriosis is a condition in which small pieces of the womb lining, known as the endometrium, are found growing outside the womb in places such as the fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder and bowel. It is surprisingly common, affecting one in seven women of child bearing age.
Many women with endometriosis have found that a course of treatment with a BAcC registered acupuncturist can greatly relieve symptoms and, in some cases, improve fertility. In addition to relieving pain, acupuncture can help balance the monthly hormonal cycle which may help regulate periods.
Charlotte Steed, acupuncturist at the London Acupuncture Space and British Acupuncture Council member explains: 'I treat many women with endometriosis, some are seeking pain management, others are trying to conceive.
'The endometrial tissue responds to hormonal changes, and may bleed during the menstrual period. Trapped blood can lead to inflammation, and the formation of adhesions and scar tissue or cysts. Using acupuncture points on the lower abdomen can move trapped blood; acupuncture can also act as an analgesic by elevating levels of endorphins in the blood.
'For women with endometriosis, making some simple lifestyle changes in combination with acupunctrue can also be very helpful in managing the condition. These may include increasing physical activity, getting adequate rest, managing stress and healthy eating."
Acupuncture is a tried and tested system of traditional medicine, which has been used in China and other eastern cultures for thousands of years to restore, promote and maintain good health. Its benefits are now widely acknowledged all over the world and in the past decade traditional acupuncture has begun to feature more prominently in the UK, working well in conjunction with western medicine.
Endometriosis awareness week runs from 8th-14th March 2010. To find a practitioner in your area call the British Acupuncture Council on 020 8735 0400 or visit www.acupuncture.org.uk
Endometriosis SHE Trust (UK) works towards a future position where women's lives and relationships are no longer adversely affected by endometriosis. BAcC are working with the Endometriosis SHE Trust to help support women with endometriosis.
*Acupuncture can relieve pain by stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues, encouraging the release of endorphins (Zhao 2008, Han 2004, Zijlstra 2003).
Acupuncture can reduce inflammation by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors (Kavoussi 2007, Zijlstra 2003). (Kavoussi 2007, Zijlstra 2003).
Charlotte Steed, MBAcC practises at The London Acupuncture Space www.londonacupuncturespace.com
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