top of page

Endometriosis- A Chinese Medicine Approach

Endometriosis affects 1 in 9 women in Australia, which is more than 11% of women and girls who suffer from it, and often starting in the teenage years.

Endometriosis occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (endometrium) grows outside of the uterus. They can be found on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, tissues that hold the uterus in place, or the outer surface of the uterus. This misplaced endometrial tissue behaves like the uterine lining, and responds to the interplay of hormones during the menstrual cycle. When these tissues are not properly discharged when they the endometrial tissue sheds, they form masses and lesions which can affect organ function.


Symptoms:

  • Pain- menstrual cramps, chronic pain in the lower back and pelvis, painful bowel movements/ urination during menstrual periods

  • Bleeding or spotting between menstrual periods

  • Infertility

  • Digestive problems


Conventional treatment options include pain relief medications, hormonal treatments and hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus). However, some treatments may only provide short-term relief, may cause side-effects, and in some cases endometrial tissue can still grow back after the surgery.



How Chinese Medicine Can Treat Endometriosis-Related Symptoms

In Chinese medicine, endometriosis is seen as Blood stagnation, however, to treat it properly, a good practitioner will also diagnose and treat the root cause of the Blood stagnation. The most common patterns we see in clinic are:

  • Qi stagnation with Blood stagnation

  • Yang Deficiency with Blood stagnation

  • Qi sinking with Blood stagnation

There are other Chinese medical diagnoses as well depending on the individual body type, so it is a good idea to meet with the practitioner to explain your case.


"Chinese medicine has two advantages over Western medicine in treating ovarian endometriosis, which are low recurrence rate and high pregnancy rate."

A systematic research review of Chinese medicine for ovarian endometriosis (International Journal of Pharmacognosy and Chinese Medicine, 2017) showed that Chinese medicine treatment for ovarian endometriosis has the advantages of reducing recurrence rate and promoting pregnancy rate, when compared to Western medicine. However, larger scales and increased quality of research are needed to prove the efficacy and safety of Chinese medicines for ovarian endometriosis.


How Does Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine & Moxibustion Relieve Endometriosis Symptoms

According to current research, acupuncture appears to promote blood circulation, regulate hormones and has an anti-inflammatory effect. It is effective for pain relief because of its effect on blood chemistry, and specifically endorphin levels. Here at Y & Li Integrative Centre, we combine a number of systemic acupuncture points to treat the patient's underlying condition.


Chinese herbs are most helpful when they are combined as part of a formula by a skilled trained herbalist to treat the patient's specific condition. Below are some herbs that we commonly use to relieve endometriosis symptoms:


STOP EXCESSIVE BLEEDING

  • Pu huang – bulrush

  • San qi – pseudoginseng


REDUCE PAIN

  • Yan hu suo – corydalis

  • Tao ren – persica

  • Mo yao – myrrh

REDUCE MASSES

  • E zhu – zedoaria

  • Zao ci – gleditsea spine

  • Xia ku cao – prunella

MOVES QI

  • Chai hu – bupleurum

  • Xiang fu – cyperus

  • Chi shao – red peony


IMPROVES BLOOD CIRCULATION

  • Chuan xiong – cnidium

  • Dang gui – Tang kuei

  • Dan shen – salvia


WARMS

  • Gui zhi – cinnamon

  • Gan jiang – ginger

  • Xu duan – Dipsaci

RELIEVES INFLAMMATION

  • Mu dan pi – moutan

  • Zhi zi – gardenia


Moxibustion is a form of heat therapy in which dried herb material called Ai Ye (Artemisia mugwort) is burnt close to the surface of the skin, to warm and improve Qi (energy) flow through the body and expel pathogenic factors. This can be combined with acupuncture treatment to enhance the overall treatment effect. A recent study has shown that moxibustion can improve dysmenorrhea (period pain) symptoms and reduce the days of pain for patients with ovarian endometriosis.


How Can I Help Myself?

  • Regular acupuncture can improve blood circulation, reduce inflammation and decrease pain.

  • Chinese herbs prescribed by qualified herbalists have been shown in clinical trials to reduce endometrial pain and prevent further abnormal growth of endometrial tissue.

  • A heat pack/ hot water bottle can relieve abdominal pain.

  • Since endometrial tissue is affected by oestrogen, and the liver is responsible for metabolising excess oestrogen, it is important to support good liver function as part of a holistic strategy to treat endometriosis. Patients should limit alcohol consumption and caffeine.


For more information about our treatments and how we can help, feel free to contact us on 0450 536 028 or email yli.tcmlcinic@gmail.com.

1 view0 comments
bottom of page