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Sticking it to Endometriosis with Acupuncture | Treating your Endometriosis

Sticking it to Endometriosis with Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been practiced for more than 4000 years, and it is a celebrated from of Chinese medicine.  It has been, and is used to treat many medical conditions including endometriosis.  Its purpose is to bring order and balance to the life force that flows within the body.  Essentially, acupuncture is used to encourage physical health and relieve pain and suffering.

The Chinese medicine of acupuncture is based on the principles of qi (pronounced “chee”).  Qi is the life force that flows within the body throughout 14 invisible meridians (channels).  Acupuncture has been used as an alternative therapy to treat endometriosis for many years.  According to traditional Chinese medicine, endometriosis is a blood stasis problem, or a qi stagnation in the pelvis area that is preventing vital energy the freedom to move throughout the body.

To help improve the flow of qi in the abdomen, acupuncture treatment is applied by inserting tiny needles into precise acupoints in the body.   Also known as trigger points, the acupoints are specific areas of the body where meridians surface has penetrated deep into organs and tissues.

Extremely thin and disposable needles are used for acupuncture.  They are much smaller than a standard hypodermic needle and are solid, not hollow.  Thus, they do not draw blood.  The needles are individually inserted into different acupoints.  Needles may be inserted a ¼ inch to a full inch deep.  How deep the insertion depends on how thick the skin or muscle of the area is. 

After the needles are applied, they may then be twirled or linked to an electric current to aid in the stimulation of the targeted area.  In the case of endometriosis the targeted area would be the abdomen. Acupuncture needless are usually left in a patient anywhere between 20 minutes to an hour. 

If you are not familiar with acupuncture, you are likely wondering if getting stuck with a bunch of mini needles hurts.  The vast majority of people who have undergone acupuncture feel mild tingling, or a little numbness or aching in the affected area.  In fact many describe it as a mosquito bite.  Despite what one feels, all sensations that are felt during acupuncture subside once needles are removed.

It usually takes several sessions of acupuncture before a patient who suffers from persistent and chronic pain begins to feel the positive effects of the treatment.  However, for some who have acute pain, the positive effects may be felt after one treatment.  In the beginning, treatment is usually 2 – 3 times a week.  When symptoms show improvement, acupuncture then becomes a weekly or monthly therapy.

It is believed by Western medicine that acupuncture is an effective form of treatment because the insertion of needles cause inflammation which triggers the release of endorphins; natural pain killers in the body.  The theory is that the endorphins take the edge off of the pain, and in the case of endometriosis sufferers, it blocks the release of prostaglandin which is one of the leading causes of pain for the condition.
   
Acupuncture isn’t for everyone.  If you are taking anticoagulants, there is a significant risk that acupuncture can cause bleeding.  Furthermore, it is essential that you go to an experienced acupuncture specialist.  Improper use of acupuncture can lead to infection, serious bleeding due to the piercing of large blood vessels, nerve damage, and bowel perforation (abdominal acupuncture).

If you don’t like the thought of your body being pierced by many tiny needles, there is another interesting alternative remedy that may suit you better - Interferential Electro-Therapy.

For more information on all aspects of endometriosis please visit Treating Your Endometriosis.

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