Endometriosis is a very common complaint we see at City Acupuncture. Unscientifically, I'd say it accounts for about 25% of all of our fertility support cases. It's tricky to get a good number because many women have endometriosis without any of the common core symptoms, while other women will have the symptoms but do not have endometriosis on full exam with a doctor.
Regardless of what the diagnosis officially is, acupuncture can very effectively help to alleviate this very painful condition. Here is a run down of how acupuncture theory explains endometriosis.
The chief symptoms we are talking about when we talk about endoetriosis are:
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Painful periods
- Painful sex
- Excessive menstrual bleeding
Acupuncture theory has a couple of understood patterns of imbalance that can lead to these symptoms. However, all of the patterns lead to something called blood stasis. Ultimately, to understand this condition, we have to understand blood stasis.
What is Blood Stasis?
One thing that gets difficult when trying to explain acupuncture theory in English (it originated in China) is when translating the texts you have to use the best possible English equivalent word in order to get your meaning across. However, since China is really a very different culture that developed totally independent from any western influence, there is never an exact parallel word. So we use the best word we can, but it brings a lot of misunderstanding.
Blood is a good example. When I talk about blood stasis, the word blood is not exactly right. Yes, of course your blood is the red stuff that you see pouring out of people in horror movies. But in acupuncture theory it is more than that. The acupuncture version of blood provides nourishment to the your organs, bones, muscles, tendons, skin and hair. With it's partner qi (another post for another time!), blood also provides the foundation for all mental activity.
In a healthy body the blood flows easily through its course. But certain factors can inhibit the blood's easy movement, and when blood movement gets slow enough we consider that blood stasis.
So for example if cold is allowed into the body (either by diet or by environmental cold, like an A/C unit in the summer), that cold can stagnate the blood. This is a very common cause of endometriosis.
Another factor that can slow the blood is phlegm. Phlegm is another of those words that is not the same in English as it is in acu-English (yes, I made that up, too). In this case, phlegm arrives from a poor diet.
A third factor that can lead to blood stasis is heat. Just as cold can enter, so can heat. And if there is too much heat in the body it "cooks" th efluid of the blood, leading to slow moving circulation.
I know this is a lot of info to digest. This post is really just meant as an intro, to get you thinking. If you have any questions about acupuncture, or blood, or stasis... Use this link and ask us! One of our licensed acupuncturists will get back to you in 24 hours, for FREE. It's all a part of our mission to bring this amazing medicine to the mainstream.