Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition where tissue that only grows within the uterus grows outside of it. The main symptoms are pain and infertility but can also include fatigue, constipation and headaches. According to Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) there are 4 diagnoses for endometriosis based upon clinical presentations. They are Qi and Blood stagnation, Cold in the uterus, Heat from blood stagnation and Qi deficiency.

Photo by Andres Rodriguez

Photo by Andres Rodriguez

Traditional Chinese medicine treats endometriosis with acupuncture occurring once to twice a week for the first half of the menstrual cycle then once a week during the second half. The point protocol is constructed each treatment taking into account the TCM diagnosis, what part of the menstrual cycle the patient is in and any other ailments occurring at the time. Chinese herbs are often administered and are an important component to successful treatment. Just like the acupuncture treatments the herbs are based upon the diagnosis and can be rotated during the 4 phases of the menstrual cycle.

Mayan abdominal massage is very useful to increase blood flow, decease inflammation and add elasticity to the pelvic organs.  It is recommended after menstrual bleeding and before ovulation.  In addition, TCM treatment included dietary and exercise recommendations. Generally, treatment lasts for 3-9 months.

In 2011, a Cochrane System Database Review was performed by an Australian team which found that acupuncture and Chinese medicine improve pain due to endometriosis and do not cause harm. Although research is limited and further studies are encouraged.