Acupuncture and PCOS

facial acupuncture

Since finding out that I have PCOS (nearly a year ago), I feel like I tried everything under the sun to help control my symptoms and help me get my period back. After about 5 months of no period, I finally took another step in this journey – giving acupuncture a try. I’ve done acupuncture years ago but it hurt quite bad (that shouldn’t have happened) so my delay in trying this for my acupuncture was understandable.

After searching for a doctor, quite a few people recommended Dr. Prinisha Jugroop from Blissful Acupuncture. I immediately made an appointment to see her and after just 2 sessions, my period returned! I’ve now been seeing her for the past 5 months and she has helped me treat issues like pain, anxiety, inflammation, help me to increse my fertility and get my period back more regularly. I chatted to her about some of the common questions I got regarding these treatments which you can read more about below:

What is acupuncture?

“Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine and a component of Traditional Chinese medicine in which thin needles are inserted into the body. Traditional Chinese medicine explains Acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force — known as chi or qi (pronounced as chee) — believed to flow through pathways in your body known as meridians. By inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, Acupuncture will bring about re-balance to the body”.

How does acupuncture work for fertility issues like PCOS?

“Acupuncture has a whole host of benefits for women with PCOS, ranging from regulating periods and ovulation to calming down those annoying acne breakouts.  

Acupuncture needles are inserted into particular areas of the body, which causes the underlying muscles to send nerve signals to the brain via the spinal cord especially to trigger responses of balancing hormones.  This becomes especially important if specific fertility acupuncture points are used that send information about the ovary to the brain. Acupuncture treatment for PCOS, assists by ncreasing of blood flow to the ovaries, reducing of ovarian volume and the number of ovarian cysts, controlling hyperglycaemia through increasing insulin sensitivity and decreasing blood glucose and insulin levels, reducing cortisol levels and assisting in weight loss and anorexia.”

For best results, one needs to do acupuncture quite often, why is that?

“Acupuncture, like any other health treatment, needs to be personalized to each individual’s needs.  The first thing to consider is the nature of the ailment that’s bringing you to the consultation in the first place. If it’s conditions such as a sprain, sports injury or if you’re just getting started with acupuncture, you’ll likely need more sessions.

“This is because these conditions can be treated in a more expedient manner. You will probably be advised to have one to two sessions a week for the first two to four weeks. According to your progress, it’ll be decided if you need to continue at this pace or if you can be switched to once a week. Another thing to consider is that when treating conditions in a natural way it may take longer as we are using natural remedies to help the body trigger its natural mechanism to heal itself.

“Once the condition is resolved, you will be able to suspend the acupuncture sessions. In most cases, maintenance sessions are in order, which can take place once a month or once every few months.”

What is moxibustion and how does it work with acupuncure and PCOS?

Moxibustion is a form of heat therapy in which dried plant materials called “moxa” are burned on or very near the surface of the skin. The intention is to warm and invigorate the flow of Qi(energy)  in the body and dispel certain pathogenic influences.

Moxa is usually made from the dried leafy material of Chinese mugwort (Artemesia argyi or A.vlugaris), but it can be made of other substances as well.

Practitioners generally hold a burning moxa stick close to, but not touching, the surface of the skin. In this method, the moxa material is compressed into a stick or pole, looking not unlike an oversized cigar that can be lit and allowed to burn, producing a unique form of very penetrating heat.

The burning moxa stick is held over specific areas, often, though not always, corresponding to certain acupuncture points

Moxibustion is used for:

  • Pain due to injury or arthritis, especially in “cold” patterns where the pain naturally feels better with the application of heat
  • Digestive problems and irregular elimination
  • Gynaecological and obstetrical conditions, including breech presentation in late term pregnancy
  • Protection against cold and flu strains

How important is a good diet when one is doing these treatments?

A healthy diet is the foundation of good health. It is fundamental that we pay conscious attention to our diet – it is such a powerful way to improve almost any health condition you can think of and so important for the maintenance of good health.

The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) approach to diet, much like its approach to everything else, is not ‘one size fits all’. For optimal health, healing and growth, one’s individual diet needs to take into account a wide range of factors, including internal (e.g. your current state of health; your current stage of life; your individual constitution), and external (e.g. the season; the time of day; the energetics of foods and cooking methods). When you have a consultation and treatment, dietary advice is suggested and nutritional guidance will form part of your healing plan.

What are some of the illnesses that you have managed to treat with acupuncture?

  1. Respiratoruy tract infections like cold and flu
  2. Hypertension and diabetes
  3. Cosmetic conditions
  4. Circulatory conditions
  5. PCOS and fertility
  6. Muskuloskeletal disorders
  7. Strokes
  8. Sprains
  9. Fibroids, endo, menopause
  10. Excessive sweating
  11. UTI’s
  12. Cancer, HIV, TB and post op conditions
  13. Low libido
  14. Stress and anxiety

So people are wanting to try alternative forms of but are scared about pain levels or just don’t quite believe in it yet, do you have any advic

Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to start doing these kinds of treatments but are afraid of the pain or needles?

Because Acupuncture does involve using sterile needles, people usually assume it is painful and associate it with the size of an injection needle however the size of an Acupuncture needle is thread-like. Most people report feeling no pain as the needle is inserted. The needle is inserted to a point that produces a sensation of a “tingly”, “electric”, or dull pressure feeling which usually lasts 1-2 seconds of the initial insertion, other than that you would usually forget that the needles are in your body. Some people report acupuncture makes them feel energized and others say they feel relaxed. There is a lack of knowledge of Alternative Medicine and people are not aware that there are alternative therapies that may help them with many conditions. I always suggest trying Acupuncture/Cupping as well as a natural approach to healing to know the benefits it will bring to your body.

Stay tuned to the blog for the next part in this series which will be all about cupping!

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