|Endometriosis is a condition suffered by women of reproductive age and affects an estimated 89 million women around the world, regardless of background or race–Learn more about Endometriosis Treatment with Acupuncture. The word endometriosis is derived from the word “endometrium,” which is the lining inside of a woman’s uterus. The uterine endometrium (sometimes called endometrial tissue or lining) is normally shed during each menstrual period. Every month when a woman has her menstrual period, if the ovulated egg is not fertilized, the endometrial tissue along with blood and the unfertilized egg are shed from the uterus resulting in menstruation. Endometriosis Treatment with Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are a safe and effective natural treatment for endometriosis.
With woman suffering from endometriosis, the endometrial tissue normally found in the uterus is also present on the outside of the uterus, in the pelvic cavity. The endometrial tissue outside the uterus responds to the hormonal changes that occur each menstrual month in women but unlike the uterine endometrial lining, this tissue is not expelled from the body during menstruation. Instead, the endometrial tissue lingers and is slowly absorbed into the body which then inflames the surrounding tissues.
Women with endometriosis usually experiences lower abdominal pain 5-7 days before menstruation, during menstruation or with ovulation. Many women who are suffering from endometriosis experience irregular menstruation with excessive bleeding and clotting during their menses, low back pain, nausea, vomiting,intestinal upsets, fatigue, pain with sexual intercourse, discomfort with urination or bowel movements, and infertility. It is estimated that 30 to 40 percent of women who report infertility problems have endometriosis.
“After undergoing two pelvic surgeries that led to adhesions which caused more pain than the fibroid or endometriosis I had the surgeries for, I was despondent. Pain medication left me unable to function during the day and the alternatives the medical community offered me: a hysterectomy, nerve blocks or hormones, held no guarantees, had risks and were just unacceptable to me. My personality changed as I was in constant, unrelenting pain.
The only relief I had was the sleep I feel in to every night after taking prescription pain killers. I stopped making plans with friends, did not want to socialize and just counted the hours until I could medicate and go to sleep. One day, I was on an endometriosis website and one of the bloggers was singing the praises of acupuncture. I decided I had nothing to lose and found Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac., Herbalist in her NYC office. At my first appointment I told her that I was just looking for relief, not a cure, and while she made no promises Juliette made it clear that her goal was to cure me of all pain. I knew then how serious, professional, caring and dedicated she is.
With acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, supplements such as fish oils and B-complex, and heat lamp therapy, Juliette Aiyana, has literally given me my life back and she achieved her goal; I am pain free. I continue to see Juliette pro-actively, although I can honestly state that I was “cured” after about two months of treatment. I don’t like to think about what would have happened to me if I had not found Juliette”. – Caroline, Age 47.
Read more success stories from Juliette Aiyana’s patients.
Call 646-504-2251 for an appointment.
Western Diagnosis and Treatment
Although the causes of endometriosis remain unknown, several different theories have been put forward as to what the cause(s) may be. The most commonly accepted theory is retrograde menstruation, also known as “backward menstruation.” Normally during the menses the menstrual blood is shed and comes out. In some women, a small amount of blood flows backwards down the fallopian tubes and into the pelvic cavity. This blood contains cells from the uterine lining (endometrium). It is not known why in some women this might implant and lead to endometriosis, it may have something to do with a particular woman’s immune response and ability to fight off and remove these cells. Another theory suggests that endometrial tissue is distributed from the uterus to other parts of the body through the lymphatic system or through the blood system. A genetic theory suggests that it may be carried in the genes in certain families or that some families may have predisposing factors. If your mother or sister has endometriosis, you are six times more likely to get the disease than other women.
The Western diagnosis and treatment for this condition are invasive and include surgery and drug therapy. A laparoscopy or laparotomy is usually performed to diagnose the condition. For laparoscopy surgery, a lighted optical tube is inserted through a small incision in the navel, and is often referred to as “bellybutton surgery.” Laparotomy is a more extensive procedure where there is a full incision and a longer recovery period. Radical surgery, which may be necessary in severe cases, involves hysterectomy, removal of all growths, and removal of ovaries.
Eastern Endometriosis Treatment with Acupuncture and Diagnosis
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), groups of symptoms, or syndromes, are typically classified into patterns that involve the internal organs and/or energy pathways of the body. In TCM, the primary pattern or mechanism which causes endometriosis is Blood stagnation.
If there is a free flow of qi and blood, there will be no pain, but if there is no free flow of qi and blood, there will be pain.
This means that if the blood and qi are stagnant and not flowing freely (specifically in lower abdominal region), there will be pain.
Spleen qi deficiency and blood stasis: The cause of this pattern is chronic illness or constitutional weakness. Some of the signs and symptoms of this pattern include lower abdominal pain, fatigue, abdominal tenderness that may feel better with pressure, pain during or after periods, preference for warmth, prolapsed bearing down feeling in the uterus, a feeling of anxiousness and worry, loose or soft bowel movements, bruising easily, pale complexion, menstrual periods that are either heavy or scanty and contain blood clots, thick-pale tongue body with tooth-marks on the sides and visible red dots, and a thin-wiry or weak pulse.Blood stagnation can be caused by emotional disturbance, chronic illness, exposure to cold temperatures, surgery, and genital infections. Although blood stasis is the primary pattern in endometriosis, it is often combined with other patterns such as spleen qi deficiency, kidney deficiency, liver qi stagnation, cold stagnation or heat obstruction. The TCM diagnosis is differentiated based on the clinical manifestations associated with each case of endometriosis. The timing, location, nature, and severity of pain are taken into account, along with associated symptoms. The following syndromes are the most commonly seen patterns in women who are suffering from endometriosis:
Liver qi stagnation and blood stasis: The cause of this pattern lies in emotional stress and anxiety. Some of the signs and symptoms include severe lower abdominal pain, abdominal tenderness with an aversion to pressure, breast distention and tenderness before periods, feeling of frustration, distending pain under the rib cage, aversion to pressure on the abdomen, bitter taste in the mouth, menstrual periods that contain a lot of blood clots, menstrual pain relieved after the periods, a dark purple tongue with red spots, and a wiry-choppy pulse.Kidney deficiency and blood stasis: The cause of this pattern is either a constitutional weakness, or a history of surgical procedures. Some of the signs and symptoms of this pattern include lower abdominal pain, lower back weakness and aches, sore knees, fearfulness, ringing in the ears, a feeling of pressure and pain during or after menstrual periods, dizziness, irregular periods, scanty periods or spotting that include blood clots, a history of infertility or habitual miscarriage, a pale tongue color that has red spots, and a deep-thin-choppy pulse.
Cold stagnation and blood stasis: The cause of this pattern is a history of exposure to cold – either cold temperatures (externally), or the chronic consumption of cold foods (internally), especially during menstruation. Some of the signs and symptoms of this pattern include lower abdominal pain and tenderness, pressure and pain before or during periods with a preference for warmth, an aversion to cold, watery menstrual period with blood clots, menstrual pain relieved after the periods, nausea, loose stools, pale complexion, a pale, bluish/purplish tongue with red spots, and a wiry-tight pulse
Heat obstruction and blood stasis: The cause of this pattern is a history of genital infections (in TCM this is considered to be an accumulation of heat toxins in the body). Some of the signs and symptoms of this pattern are, lower abdominal pain and tenderness that are worse with pressure, a fever before, during, or after periods, preference for cold temperatures and foods, bitter taste in the mouth, dry throat, feeling of frustration, constipation, pain during intercourse, a red tongue with red or purple spots, and wiry-rapid pulse.
We advise you to come into the clinic 1 – 2 times per week for acupuncture and will usually combine a Chinese herbal formula for you to take as well. Effectively treating the root cause of endometriosis takes approximately three menstrual cycles. Some women will see a reduction in their symptoms right away while others may take a longer period of time. Stress levels, lifestyle, and general health are important factors involved in response time.It is important to note that most women suffering from endometriosis have more than one pattern diagnosis, therefore you may have symptoms from one or all patterns described above.
Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac. Herbalist