A woman’s abdominal cavity, or the peritoneum cavity, contains most of her intestinal organs and also the uterus. As the digestive tracts, uterus and other reproductive organs are situated right next to one other, when one organ has an inflammation, other organs nearby have a high chance of developing similar problems.
Treating Gynecological Problems
In Traditional Eastern Medicine, we provide three main therapies: Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, and Moxibustion. Of these, Moxibustion is used to eliminate pathological coldness or to rebalance internal temperature disorders.
Moxibustion is performed by placing a cone-shaped ‘moxa’ on a specific meridian point of the body, lighting up the tip, and leaving it to slowly burn through. As the cone burns, the heat of the moxa cone is slowly absorbed through the patient’s skin and results in a light chemical reaction that signals and activates the immune reaction of the body, while increasing blood circulation around the moxa.
When the cone is 2/3 burned through, it is removed before the heat causes the patient too much discomfort. Mugwort, the main and only herbal ingredient of the moxa, is a common edible herb used in East Asian countries such as Korea and Japan. In Traditional Medicine, we value Mugwort for heat qualities and its distinct scent, which eliminates the pathological coldness of internal organs, the main cause for most gynecological and obstetric ailments.
Abdominal Moxa Acupressure
The uterus is located within the peritoneum cavity of the lower abdominal area. Because it is located below the abdominal muscle tissues, even when you do core muscle exercise or stretching, the uterus is mostly unaffected by it.
Most uterine diseases are a direct result of the accumulation of toxins within the uterus muscle walls, and our AMA to enhance blood circulation in the uterine structure by stimulating and stretching it. Just as exercise and stretching helps heal and rejuvenate your abdominal muscles, it is extremely healing for your internal organs as well.
Vagina Moxa Steam
Moxa cones have different shapes depending upon how they’re being used. For general purposes the moxa cones are produced in small cones for easy usage. But for more specific treatments the moxa cones are different.
The Moxa-shower kit is made for pelvic wall exposure. It is an effective modality for various gynecological symptoms such as infertility, menstrual symptoms, yeast infection and other pelvic wall related ailments.
Acupuncture increases IUF & IVF success rate up to 40%
Integrative IVF-Acupuncture program
Our Integrative IVF-Acupuncture program is designed to be compatible with your IUF and IVF schedule. The program consists of two weekly acupuncture sessions, combined with AMA (Abdominal Moxa Acupressure) therapy and Home Moxa-Shower therapy until the day of either the insemination for IUF or the insertion of the fertilized egg for IVF.
Research has shown that acupuncture increases the success rate of IVF sessions up to 40%. Acupuncture stimulates the Qi of the uterine meridian and helps fertilized egg to correctly anchor onto the endometrium of the uterus. Moxibustion further complements the treatment by strengthening the overall condition of the uterus.
Our Pre-Pregnancy program is recommended for couples who are preparing to get pregnant. As with a wise farmer who plows the field and nurtures it before she sows, it is as important to prepare your body before the actual pregnancy. Changing your dietary habits and doing regular exercise is a good idea. We take a holistic approach to your whole lifestyle.
The Healthy Diet could be a great way to start this program, since it is a very effective way to lose fat mass in a short period of time, while steering your diet in a healthier direction. Once per weekly acupuncture sessions will regulate your general well being and reduce stress hormone levels in your system, which is seen to negatively affect the fetus. And herbal medication may also be prescribed to eliminate unhealthy blood toxins from the body, which might be the cause of dysmenorrheal, myomas or even atopic pregnancies.
Postpartum Healthy Mother Program
While the newborn will require most of your attention after birth, it is important not to overlook your own health condition. A woman’s body is in a precarious state, especially after childbirth. Loose joint ligaments increase chances of injury; hormonal imbalances cause mood disorders; breastfeeding, taking care of the baby, and recovering from the taxing process of childbirth or a C-section causes physical and mental duress.
In some cultures such as East Asia, South America, an Africa, the mother is kept from physical activity for the first three weeks after birth. In the case of South Korea, after birth centers with full room service and 24-hour newborn daycare with licensed pediatric nurses are in high demand to provide new mothers with the best care.
Our Healthy Mother Program provides acupuncture, herbal medication, AMA therapy and postpartum acupressure therapies to specifically help women recover from the rewarding but intense experience of giving birth. Through our program, women may focus on their newborns while our practitioners help take care of the mother’s physical and mental wellbeing.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Premenstrual Syndrome is the most common disorder a woman experiences during her reproductive years. Symptoms include bloating or weight gain, breast tenderness, anxiety, irritability, food cravings or changes in appetite, poor concentration, sleep disturbance, or depression.
From a Western Medicine perspective, PMS is understood as an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone levels. However, from a Traditional Korean Medicine perspective, the most important factor is emotional strain such as, anger, frustration, and resentment. This leads to the stagnation of Liver Qi, which is the main cause of PMS.
Western Medicine Diagnosis
Vitamin B6 deficiency
Elevation of Prolactin levels
Excessive levels of aldosterone
Traditional Korean Medicine Diagnosis
Liver Qi stagnation
Phlegm heat harasses the heart
Liver blood deficiency
Liver and Kidney Yin deficiency
Spleen and Kidney Yang deficiency
Most premenstrual syndromes are caused by disruptions in the blood circulation of the body. In Traditional Eastern Medicine, PMS is caused by stagnation of the blood while menstrual cramps are caused by blood deficiency. So our PMS treatments focus on invigorating blood circulation and eliminating blood stagnation from the body.
Our Uterine Care Therapy does this by focusing on intestinal balanace acupuncture and heat therapy, to increase blood flow to the uterine organ. Acupuncture and herbal medication are prescribed to tonify the blood energy of the body and provides immediate relief. Our blood tonic also addresses related symptoms such as, menstrual depression or PMS hot flashes.
Peri-menopause, Menopause and Beyond
Additional shifts in a woman’s physiology occur during the perimenopausal years. Menopause is a gradual physiological process - a natural life transition. A woman is born with roughly 600,000 follicles. By the time she reaches puberty, she has only 300,000. The number of follicles decreases to about 10,000 by the time she experiences menopause. The experience of menopause is predicated on the health of the woman up to that point in her life. It is quite possible to achieve a later menopause with few symptoms.
Unfortunately, if a woman previously experienced problems related to hormonal imbalance during the course of her reproductive years, she may continue to experience disruptive symptoms as the body shifts into this new stage of life. These symptoms may include acne, sleep disorders (such as frequent waking), migraines, hair loss, hot flashes, mood swings, bloating, weight gain, digestive problems, decline in libido, and high cholesterol.
Because peri-menopause and menopause are a natural transition, it is not necessary for every woman to use hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Instead, the body can be gently induced to produce a more balanced mixture of hormones through the use of Chinese herbal formulas and acupuncture without the health risks associated with HRT. These natural therapies establish a healthy foundation for permanent results and future well-being. Additionally, if a woman and her M.D. decide that HRT is the best choice, then Chinese medicine is a powerful tool to optimize the body’s ability to integrate the HRT and minimize any side effects.
Although commonly called a bladder infection, a urinary tract infection (UTI) may be caused by bacteria in any part of the urinary tract, including the kidneys, ureters (the tubes that carry urine to the bladder from the kidneys), urethra (the tube that empties the bladder during urination), or bladder (the sac that "holds" urine before it is released through the urethra). The bacteria that cause UTIs most often enter the urethra and travel up through the urinary tract.
Although men can experience infections of the urinary tract, women are much more likely to get them, for a number of reasons. First, because a woman's urethra is shorter than a man's, bacteria can more easily reach the bladder. Second, expectant mothers may be at higher risk for infections of the kidneys because a fetus can put pressure on the ureters. Finally, the act of sexual intercourse can push bacteria into the urethra. Wearing a diaphragm can put pressure on the urethra and make it harder for a woman to completely empty her bladder, causing bacteria to collect and flourish in the uneliminated urine.
The symptoms of UTI are the same for men and women: Frequent, painful urination and some difficulty when urinating (you feel the urge to go, but are able to void only a small amount). UTIs can be acute or chronic. A number of factors increase a person's risk of UTI, such as a new sexual partner, a diet high in carbohydrates and low in protein, and not drinking enough water.
The underlying pattern of chronic UTIs in traditional Chinese medicine is usually kidney yin deficiency. Other symptoms include a red tongue with very little coating, and, possibly, irritability and night sweats. With the cooling aspect of the kidneys depleted, the heat generated by yin deficiency can lead to a chronic inflammation.
Western medicine treats UTIs with antibiotics, but unless the underlying yin deficiency is rectified, as soon as a person gets rid of one infection with antibiotics, another one sets in. This cycle can be repeated over and over, causing other problems from the side effects of the drugs. In Chinese medicine, the standard treatment for chronic UTI is to tonify yin and clear heat with a formula such as Zhi Bai Di Huang Wan.
The most common pattern associated with an acute UTI is damp heat in the urinary bladder. Symptoms are fever, possibly chills, burning urine, pain in the back or lower abdomen, an urgent need to urinate frequently, a red tongue with a thick yellow coat in the back, and a full, slippery pulse. An infection at this stage is best treated by a practitioner, since the infection can easily become more serious and spread through the kidneys.
A patent medicine that sometimes works at this stage is Long Dan Xie Gan Wan. A strong decoction using the traditional formula known as Ba Zheng San ("Eight Ingredient Powder to Correct Urinary Disturbances") is often recommended.
Acute cases often respond very quickly to acupuncture and herbs, sometimes in just a few days or even sooner. The most effective acupuncture point is Ren 3 ("Middle Summit"), located directly over the urinary bladder. Another important point is Spleen 9 ("Yin Tomb Spring"), located below the knee along the inside of the tibia bone. This point is often sensitive to pressure if there is a UTI, and it is very useful for all types of imbalances of the urinary tract. Its traditional functions are to transform damp stagnation and benefit the lower burner. During therapy for UTIs, it is important to avoid sweets completely. Eat a protein source at every meal to make the urine more acidic and less hospitable to bacteria. Wear cotton underwear to ensure that air circulates and prevents a damp environment. Abstaining from sexual activity is advised, but if not feasible, both partners should shower before having intercourse to avoid further infiltration of bacteria into the urinary tract.
BY BILL SCHOENBART & ELLEN SHEFI HEALTH | TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE