PCOS, TCM and acupuncture

by Asmara Faith
(Los Angeles, California)

Hi Amelia,
How can TCM and acupuncture help a women diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome?

Thanks!
Asmara

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PCOS, TCM and acupuncture
by: Amelia Hirota

Hi Asmara,
Acupuncture is one branch of TCM or traditional Chinese medicine. The other branches include Chinese herbal therapy, qigong (meditation practices), dietary therapy, tuina (massage) tai chi (martial arts & exercise), astrology and feng shui. In the clinic, I primarily use acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and dietary therapy.

In treating PCOS I find the 4 prong approach of acupuncture, herbs, dietary therapy and lifestyle counseling to be effective. Acupuncture helps to balance hormones and regulate the cycle. Chinese herbs help to clear dampness (cysts), nourish the reproductive system and regulate insulin and glucose.

Diet is extremely important in treating PCOS. Because there is invariably some insulin resistance going on with PCOS, it's important to significantly reduce sugars and simple carbohydrates like breads, pasta, and snack foods.

There are two types of PCOS from a TCM standpoint. In one case, the woman is overweight with most of the weight falling around the midsection. In the other case, the woman is not overweight, but has other symptoms of PCOS. This second presentation without the weight gain is more rare and more difficult to treat.

If you're overweight and find that your body has more of an apple shape, than a pear shape (weight collects on the hips), losing weight will help tremendously in resetting ovulation and regulating the menstrual cycle. One of my lifestyle recommendations for PCOS is 1 hour of cardio exercise a day. It's very important to exercise to burn off some fat and reduce insulin levels. Studies have shown that the process of losing weight is more effective than drugs like Metformin.

I would recommend finding an acupuncturist in Los Angeles, who's board certified in Chinese herbs to help you with your PCOS. Generally, I find that 1 treatment a week is sufficient and that personalized herbal formulas are needed for PCOS.

Please post a comment here if you have further questions. Good luck to you!

Sending Baby Dust Your Way,
Amelia Hirota, Licensed and Board Certified Acupuncturist and Herbalist


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