As it’s Endometriosis Awareness Week, we are bringing you some top tips on how to cope with the painful symptoms of Endometriosis, from our lovely therapists. Today, it’s our resident Acupuncturist, Nicola Price’s turn…
Acupuncture for Endometriosis
Nicola Price Acupuncturist
In Chinese medicine, the uterus and the liver are closely related. The liver maintains free flow of the Qi (‘chi’) or vital energy of the body. The liver, spleen, and kidney channels run through the pelvis and all can effect menstruation. If any of these channels is blocked, congested or deficient, this will usually manifest in women as some sort of menstrual problem. Acupuncture works on unblocking these channels and rebalancing the hormones, helps to relieve pain, regulate circulation and correct Qi energy imbalances.
Acupuncture helps to rebalance the body, opening up blocked channels and allowing the free-flow of Qi to help balance hormones and improve painful symptoms. Acupuncture can also be helpful if you are affected by infertility due to Endometriosis.
Nicola recommends the following Chinese Medicine beliefs for helping to cope with the symptoms of Endometriosis:
Eat Warm Food.
In Chinese Medicine, stagnant Qi is to blame for reproductive problems. Qi can be interpreted as the “life energy” or “life force,” which flows within us. If the Qi becomes stagnant and damp, the energy cannot flow freely. Eating cold foods and beverages can encourage damp, so a healthy diet of warm foods is recommended. Try to avoid drinking too much liquid and especially cold liquids with meals. Alcohol and sugar should be avoided around the time of menstruation, but don’t replace sugar with artificial sweetener! Try to keep to natural, whole foods.
Try to avoid stress, anger and fear, as all of these feelings can cause Endometriosis to be worse. In Chinese Medicine, the belief is that by maintaining a free flow of even feelings you will encourage an even flow of blood and Qi, which in turn will help to ease painful menstrual symptoms. If you have a busy lifestyle, try to slow down around your time of menstruation. Easier said than done, but even just cutting back for a few days can really make a huge difference. Try meditating, even for a few minutes each day to calm the mind and relieve stress.
Exercising for 30 minutes at least every other day can speed up a sluggish metabolism and increase production of Qi and blood, increases circulation and body temperature, and aids digestion, appetite, mood, energy and sleep. Although the last thing you may feel like doing is exercising, it can really help to reduce the severity of Endometriosis pain or any other symptoms associated with stagnant Qi.