How Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine Can Be Used to Treat Pelvic Pain
Pelvic pain can be difficult to talk about, difficult to diagnose and difficult to treat. This is primarily due to the fact that modern care practitioners often apply rigid, invasive treatments to health issues that aren't fully understood within the scope of traditional medicine. The "cures" provided to women often range from insufficient treatments that merely cover up symptoms without addressing underlying causes to highly invasive procedures that can alter function and fertility. Some doctors even skip right to prescribing antidepressants without running tests because they assume that this taboo type of pain is "all in a woman's head."
The experience of getting help for pelvic pain doesn't have to be so bleak. Breakthroughs in our understanding of pelvic pain are making it easier to get relief. Frustrated by a lack of answers after visiting their doctors, many women are turning to holistic options for pain relief.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can be part of an integrative approach that focuses on treating the underlying imbalances behind pelvic pain and dysfunction.
What Types of Pelvic Pain Can Acupuncture and Herbal Chinese Medicine Treat?
Holistic, integrative treatments featuring acupuncture and herbal medicine are commonly used to treat general pelvic pain stemming from a wide variety of pelvic disorders, hormonal imbalances and reproductive issues. In addition, studies support the recommendation that acupuncture can provide specific relief for painful endometriosis symptoms caused by the endometrial lining that grows as scar tissue outside of the uterus.
For women with endometriosis, the healing benefits of acupuncture and herbal medicine hold the potential to remove blockages to fertility that may be preventing conception. While forms of manual stimulation like acupuncture treatments have been proven to be safe and effective for treating pelvic pain, herbal treatments can help to bolster the positive results. In studies, Chinese herbs have been shown to reduce pain while also boosting chances of conception. Chinese herbs commonly used for reproductive health are thought to work by regulating pelvic blood flow while providing anti-inflammatory benefits that support the immune system.
Women suffering from a painful condition called dysmenorrhea that causes severe, frequent cramping during menstruation can also find relief using acupuncture. In a 2018 study, acupuncture was found to be more effective at reducing menstrual pain in women with primary dysmenorrhea when compared to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The efficacy of acupuncture treatments was sustained during follow-up visits.
For women living with conditions that cause painful sex, acupuncture and herbal remedies hold much promise. One case study published by researchers in 2019 detailed the successful treatment of a woman who has been able to sustain a complete resolution for 19 years following an integrative medicine approach involving acupuncture. Relief was achieved through all-natural, noninvasive treatments that didn't require expensive, time-consuming maintenance or recovery. The concept seems entirely unfeasible for the millions of women who have been told that they will be battling pelvic pain and dysfunction for the rest of their lives by their doctors.
Getting Lasting Help for Pelvic Pain
Treatments that mask pelvic pain don't treat pelvic pain. When women experience pelvic pain, there's a need to restore natural balance to help clear up scar tissue, promote blood flow and support hormonal activity. Building a relationship with a trusted acupuncturist/herbal practitioner can be the first step in getting lasting relief from debilitating, life-altering pelvic pain symptoms.
The Berkley Center for Reproductive Wellness has been successfully treating pelvic pain and infertility for 23 years. Find out more by calling 212-685-0985.