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Would acupuncture help adenomyosis?

Q:  I have been diagnosed with adenomyosis and am in pain about 85% of the time with little relief from pain killers. I have been fitted with the coil to help with swelling but this had not done anything to help the pain at the moment. Instead of constantly taking drugs I am looking for a healthy, helpful alternative - would acupunture help?


A:  There is very little research on the use of acupuncture for the treatment of adenomyosis, or indeed for the wider category of endometriosis with which it is often lined up. There is nothing we can point to, therefore, which means that we cannot give you a definite recommendation for treatment.
However, the strength of Chinese medicine is that it uses a very different conceptual and theoretical basis to understand the symptoms which people experience. Symptoms such as yours are not a new phenomenon, and acupuncture treatment has been used for over 2000 years to try to help all of the ailments for which conventional western medicine is the now first choice. The underlying premise of Chinese acupuncture is that the energy of the body, called 'qi', flows in specific channels which connect all physical, mental and emotional systems in a complex weave whose balance and flow are essential to good health. The symptoms which a person experiences, along with the signs with which they present and the observations a skilled practitioner would make, all point to specific imbalances which inform the treatments which might be used to try to restore balance.
The Chinese had a very clear understanding of the physiology of the reproductive organs, and many well-defined syndromes which describe the patterns of symptoms which someone suffers. If your case 'fits' with one of these syndromes it would mean that a practitioner had a very clear idea of what needed to be done, and very clear protocols for follow. For this you would need to seek the advice of a BAcC member local to you, and we are confident that most would be happy to spare you a little time to discuss with you, based on a face to face assessment, whether acupuncture would be of benefit to you.
As with all treatments there is no guarantee of success, and with conditions like yours it is very important, if you do decide to go ahead with treatment, to try to set measurable targets for improvement, in fact deciding what would count as an improvement. Equally important is to build in very well-defined reviews; it is all too easy to run up a very large bill pursuing treatment as weeks pass by quickly. We often use four or five sessions as a unit of treatment after which it is worth checking that someone is happy to continue. Some conditions can take a while to help to move, and if this is clearly explained and understood it reduces the chances for disappointment and disagreement.



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