Sally treats a variety of women's conditions with acupuncture, including but not limited to, period pain, PMS, infertility, menopause and IVF support. Herbal medicine is a very important component of treating women's conditions and formula's are prescribed to meet the specific needs of the person.
Infertility and acupuncture
Sally understands that for many people the quest to have a baby is often a difficult journey. Sometimes natural conception is not possible and assisted reproductive technologies such as IVF are recommended. Sally is experienced in providing treatment and support for couples and singles using fertility treatments such as IVF. See more...
If you have the misconception that period cramps, irregular bleeding, period pain, heavy bleeding and absence of periods are all quite normal, forget it! Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS), breakthrough bleeding, tiredness and headaches associated with your period don't have to be conditions that you need to suffer through either.
PMS relates to the physical and emotional symptoms that some women have in the one to two weeks before their period. PMS may be due to changes in hormones that occur during the menstrual cycle, combined with life's tensions. Physical symptoms may include:
- Aches and pains
- Fluid build up (e.g. bloated abdomen, swollen ankles)
- Weight gain
- Sleeping problems
- Skin problems (e.g. acne, pimples)
- Food cravings
- Tender, swollen breasts
- Constipation or diarrhoea
Emotional symptoms include:
- Mood changes
- Change in libido
- Trouble concentrating
- Less interest in social life and work
The timing of the symptoms can help decide if they are due to PMS. Symptoms mostly occur about 1 - 2 weeks before your period starts and settle within three days of bleeding. Recording daily symptoms on a chart over 2 - 3 months can help your Chinese medicine practitioner determine whether the symptoms are PMS. Taking medication to ease the pain and discomfort of your period will not get to the real cause of the problem. Remember acupuncture is a drug free, natural and effective way to restore mental, physical and emotional balance and great for regulating an abnormal menstrual cycle.
PAINFUL PERIODS are very common. A cramping pain often occurs across the lower abdomen and may spread to the lower back and legs. There may also be symptoms of nausea, vomiting, dizziness and the symptoms of PMS. Symptoms may occur a day or two before the period and slowly settle once the bleeding starts.
PERIOD PAIN may be due to higher body levels of prostaglandins that occur with menstruation. Prostaglandins are hormone like body chemicals that can make the uterus muscle contract which can cause pain. They can also affect bowel and stomach muscles. It's no wonder so many women feel so uncomfortable!
PERIOD PAIN can also be caused by medical conditions such as endometriosis, fibroids or pelvic inflammatory disease. In order to provide correct treatment for your particular gynaecological problem your acupuncturist will ask you to provide a complete case history so that they can make an accurate assessment and diagnosis. An individual treatment plan will then be devised depending on the kind of problems you are experiencing.
HEAVY BLEEDING is common. Heavy periods can be caused by many factors including hormone disorders, endometriosis, polyps, fibroids and contraceptive devices known as IUDs. Often no cause can be found but your acupuncturist will do their best to get to the root of the problem. It is hard to know how much bleeding is too much, but if bleeding interferes with your everyday life, this could indicate a problem. For example, if you pass a lot of large blood clots or have periods that last longer than 7 days there may be a problem. Treatment depends on the cause of the heavy bleeding and your TCM doctor can help with this.
ABSENCE OF PERIODS can be due to pregnancy, breast feeding and during menopause. They may also stop, or be irregular, for other reasons including low body weight, too much exercise, stress, travel and certain medications. Your acupuncturist can help find the reason why periods have stopped or been irregular. It is important to note that if a girl has not had her period by age 16 she must check with her doctor.
Acupuncture provides a drug free alternative for the treatment of gynaecological and obstetric conditions. The release of "Happy Hormones" (endorphins) provide quick and effective pain relief. Some conditions are treated via hormonal function regulation. The great thing about acupuncture is that it is likely you will experience a great feeling from your very first treatment. Just remember that acupuncture is not a miracle cure that works in just one treatment. While some conditions do respond very well to a single treatment it is most likely that a course of treatment will be prescribed. The duration and frequency of treatment will vary according to the individual. Your acupuncturist will be very happy to explain all of this to you and do ensure your acupuncturist is registered with the right accreditation bodies. Examples of questions you will be asked in relation to your PERIOD PAIN:
- Do you have period pain? If so, what kind of pain is it? Is it stabbing, sharp, twisting, gripping or crampy?
- Where is the pain and what makes it feel better or worse? For example, does pressure, heat or cold relieve the pain?
- Do you have regular periods?
- Do you get cranky, uptight and irritable before, during or after your period?
- Do you suffer from light, heavy, irregular or absence of menstrual flow?
- Do you sometimes have menstrual clotting?
- When you have your period do you suffer from regular headaches?
Traditional Chinese medicine is extremely effective in managing many of the discomforts experienced during menopause. Herbal medicine, along with acupuncture, is wonderful for menopausal symptoms.
For every woman menopause can be a time in their life which they dread, hearing about hot flushes and all the associated symptoms. Though it is a natural part of the ageing process this doesn’t mean it has to be unpleasant.
For most women - around the age of 47 they notice their periods becoming lighter and their cycles getting longer. Some can develop minor hot flushing during this time whilst others don’t develop symptoms until their periods have stopped entirely. In Western Medicine it’s a time when your ovaries stop producing eggs, which slows the release of oestrogen into the blood. This is what slowly stops your menstrual cycle and causes hot flushing, night sweating etc due to the imbalance in the hormones. For some women these symptoms can be quite severe and debilitating, whilst others have very mild or no symptoms at all. It's amazing how many women you hear say “I’m past menopause”, when in actual fact it is a process which never stops, only the symptoms disappear. Menopause should only occur to a women in her late 40's although some cases may be diagnosed in the mid 30's.
In Chinese medicine, the symptoms associated with menopause are considered to be a result of the natural decline in the Kidney energy of the body. The most common symptoms are:
- Hot flushes
- Night sweats
These symptoms can be extremely debilitating and uncomfortable for a woman. A combined approach of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine is always recommended when treating menopause.
Again, the severity of the symptoms will be key in deciding how many treatments are necessary. The more severe the symptoms - the more treatments are generally required. Your Chinese medicine doctor will be happy to answer all your questions.