The broad heading of women's problems encompasses a wide variety of conditions and ailments. These include gynaecological problems such as PMT (Premenstrual tension, or PMS), Dysmenorrhoea (period pains), irregular periods, vaginal diseases such as Candida (thrush), discharge, and inflammatory diseases of the reproductive tract. Menopause and all its related symptoms is also commonly treated by Chinese Medicine.
PMT is usually treated in Western medicine using hormones.
Acupuncture has been proved - through controlled trials - to be an effective treatment for primary dysmenorrhoea and morning sickness. Acupuncture has also been shown to have a therapeutic effect on premenstrual syndrome and female infertility according to the World Health Organisation*.
Chinese Medicine has recognised and treated Gynaecological problems as a specialist field for over 2000 years. The Chinese Medicine theory understands female physiology directly in relation to the functional relationships between the internal organs, meridians (the channels through which the body's essential energy – Qi - flows), and reproductive organs. According to CM theory treatment is therefore dependent on diagnosing the condition of your internal organs and checking the flow of blood and Qi through specific meridians.
According to Chinese Medicine theory Chinese herbs and acupuncture can be prescribed to treat a variety of women's problems and other co-morbidities.
Treatment for irregular menstruation, for example, will usually involve first ensuring that the Heart, Liver, Kidney, Spleen and Lung functions are working normally. According to CM theory, any imbalance that causes these organs to function inefficiently can lead to irregular menstruation. Once these organs are strengthened and the flow of blood and Qi is unblocked, menstruation will return to normal.
According to Chinese Medicine, PMT is caused by the body's inability to adapt to the stresses related to loss of blood. This can manifest itself in many symptoms such as emotional sensitivity, headaches, diarrhoea, restlessness, insomnia, pain and dizziness. The type and severity of the symptoms depend on how the body reacts to the blood deficiency. Treatment involves diagnosing which bodily functions and organs are being adversely affected by the loss of blood and strengthening these areas to reduce and eventually prevent PMT.
Similarly, menopause can bring with it a variety of conditions such as hot flushes, palpitations, insomnia, irritability, tinnitus. These symptoms are due to the fact that certain meridians empty during menopause which causes major imbalances in the body and many women find it hard to restore balance alone. A herbal and acupuncture treatment can be prescribed to help tune the body to be accustomed to the physiological changes brought about by menopause, which can alleviates the symptoms, according to CM theory.
For personalised advice on diet and lifestyle, please ask the doctor during your consultation. Please be reminded that we offer free online health advice.
Helms JM. Acupuncture for the management of primary dysmenorrhea. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1987, 69:51-56.
Shi XL et al. [Acupuncture at SP 6 in the treatment of primary dysmenorrhoea.] Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion, 1994, 14(5):241-242 [in Chinese].
Dundee JW et al. PC 6 acupressure reduces morning sickness. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 1988, 81(8):456-457.
De Aloysio D, Penacchioni P. Morning sickness control in early pregnancy by eiguan point acupressure. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1992 80(5): 852-854.
Bayreuther J, Lewith GT, Pickering R. A double-blind cross-over study to evaluate the effectiveness of acupressure at pericardium 6 (P6) in the treatment of early morning sickness (EMS). Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 1994, 2:70-76.
Fan YJ. Observation of the therapeutic effect of moxibustion for treatment of pregnant vomiting. World Journal of Acupuncture-Moxibustion, 1995, 5(4):31-33.
Li J et al. [Treatment of 108 cases of premenstrual tension by head-acupuncture.] Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion, 1992, 12(3):245-246 [in Chinese].
Yu J et al. [Relationship of hand temperature and blood b-endorphin immunoreactive substance with electroacupuncture induction of ovulation.] Acupuncture Research, 1986, 11(2):86-90 [in Chinese].
Chen BY. Acupuncture normalized dysfunction of hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis. Acupuncture and Electro-Therapeutics Research, 1997, 22:97-108.
Ji P et al. [Clinical study on acupuncture treatment of infertility due to inflammatory obstruction of fallopian tube.] Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion, 1996, 16(9):469-470 [in Chinese].
"When I first visited AcuMedic I was very sick. I had been diagnosed with polycystic ovaries and had recently had 4 fibrocystic breast lumps biopsied in hospital. I had chronic acne and years of scarring over my entire back and my hair was thin and lifeless. My career as a professional opera singer was being jeopardized by my ill health.
Over a course of intensive visits for acupuncture and many mugs of disgusting tasting herbs, I gradually got considerably better. During my treatment I took no drug medication from my western doctors, indeed I did not visit them at all as they had done nothing to help me. I did not change my dietary habits (there were and are balanced and healthy). All I did was religiously follow the instructions given to me by the doctor, herbs, acupuncture, various teas, shampoo, royal jelly concoctions and anything else she might suggest. It was not a quick process (nor an inexpensive one) but I could definitely tell a gradual, persistent improvement in my overall health. As I had years of disruption in my body I knew it was not going to be a quick process, but eventually the skin recovered and now I have no scarring on my back at all and I can confidently wear strapless dresses for my singing. My hair is better and has regained some of its natural colouring. The breast lumps have diminished in size and give me no more pain.
After about 18 months of treatment, I only popped into AcuMedic occasionally, if I felt run down and needed a Chinese boost or a relaxation therapy from the needles."
“I had a history of hormonal problems – being very unwell, mood swings, skin problems, heavy bleeding for 7 days, unwell also through ovulation. I have taken a six week course of acupuncture, herbs, teas and royal jelly. My periods are now 4 days rather than 7 and the bleeding is now controlled to half the level, amount and heaviness. I am continuing with the treatments.“
The patient suffered from Candida for six months before coming to AcuMedic for treatment. Her symptoms included: frequent urination, vaginal discharge, vulval itching, irritability and bitter taste in the mouth. Her cycle was basically normal, but she experienced pain in the lower abdomen before menstruation. The diagnosis was downward flow of damp-heat along the Liver Meridian. Treatment involved a specific Chinese Herbal Medicine, and acupuncture on two points twice weekly. After the first week of treatment, the vaginal discharge was decreased. After two weeks, all of the symptoms had disappeared.
Ms. T suffered from Dysmenorrhoea for over a year. Her menstruation was basically normal from onset to the first attack. After separating from her boyfriend, the patient felt depressed, and had no menstruation for several months. When it started again, it was accompanied by severe abdominal pain, and there was a feeling of fullness in the chest. The patient was diagnosed as suffering from stagnation of Qi and blood due to emotional depression. Treatment consisted of Chinese Herbal Medicine, which was taken before and during menstruation, and daily acupuncture on specific points. The therapy was effective in bringing the condition under control. After three months, the patient was cured.
"I first attended AcuMedic many years ago when I was 23. I had been diagnosed with endometriosis after a laprascopy and undergone hormone treatment for it. The treatment seemed to cause other problems and I had repeated viral infections, cervical abnormalities and developed rosacea on my face. I stopped the hormone treatment and went to see Dr. Lily. I had a course of acupuncture and took herbs.
The endometriosis symptoms went away and I also felt healthier than I had felt in years. Some time later, when I was in my early 30s, I became very run down and began getting repeated infections again, and the endometriosis came back very badly. I had large cysts inside both of my ovaries and my gynaecologist wanted to operate. She warned me that I may lose one or both of my ovaries. I decided to take an alternative route and I changed my diet and went back to see Dr. Lily. I was very afraid that the severity of the endometriosis would have left me infertile.
After changing my diet and taking the herbs that cysts went down and I became pregnant. I gave birth to a son in 2004 and the endometriosis has not come back.
The herbs Dr. Lily prescribed certainly also helped me to recover from the birth. I feel much healthier again and no longer suffer from recurrent infections. I am now pregnant for the second time.
I often think that if I had surgery, I may have lost one or both of my ovaries at 31 years old and would never have been able to have a child of my own.
I certainly found Dr. Lily’s herbal prescriptions to have profound effect on my overall feeling of health and always found her very encouraging and supportive. After the birth of my son I was able to enjoy him and get through all the sleepless nights without the constant ill health that ailed me before."
"I am being treated for fibroids and heavy menstrual bleeding. After the second treatment (acupuncture and herbs) I started to notice a real difference. Menstrual bleeding became a lot less, there was less blood clotting. Now my period is virtually normal again. My Western gynaecologist had suggested a coil hormonal treatment and even a hysterectomy before my treatment at AcuMedic. These were options I really wanted to avoid. I am very happy I opted for treatment at AcuMedic."
A 38-year-old woman was diagnosed as infertile (ovarian premature menopause) following 4 years of trying for a baby.
During a 7-month period she visited five different gynaecological consultants and practitioners of various complementary therapies and also received nutritional advice.
After identifying a dwindling egg reserve (F.S.H 70-85), some specialists strongly suggested that adoption was a most realistic alternative to bearing her own children.
She also had two cysts removed from her abdominal wall and right ovary. Patches of endometriosis were cleared up and her fallopian tubes and ovaries were freed from adhesion to the abdominal wall.
Throughout all of the 7 months, the patient saw Dr Lily at the AcuMedic Centre and received acupuncture, herbal medicine and holistic advice. The patient's symptoms included hot flushes, irregular menstrual periods and amenorrhoea.
Dr Lily diagnosed Kidney deficiency and disharmony between Liver, Spleen and Stomach. The diagnosis did not come as a surprise because the kidney is the foundation of all growth, development and sexual maturity. The Kidney is responsible for all the reproductive functioning of the body for a woman (and a man). The blood is the foundation of of all the physiological activity of the body and it is the Liver which stores the blood and regulates its amount and distribution. Hence the Liver is important in the menstrual cycle. The Spleen and Stoamch are responsible for producing blood (from food) which becomes the main source of menstruation.
After following the course of treatment prescribed by Dr Lily (which involved readjusting the acupuncture and herbal treatments accordingly), the patient's condition changed and improved. The treatment resulted in the patient getting pregnant.
"In August I was diagnosed as having premature menopause. Prior to that, I had uterine fibroids which were removed in February 2002.
After my blood test in August 2004 I was found to be pre-menopause. My GP told me there was nothing that can be done at this point, my hormone levels were all over the place. Even when I asked if there was someone else I could see for a different opinion. He said not in cases like these.
1) Oestrogen level = less than 100
2) FHS levels = 68.6
3) LH levels = 34.4
All this came about because of the unbearable stress which was work related. I was experiencing dizzy spells, headaches, sleepless nights and then hot flushes which when they started were relentless and coming in at 30 minute intervals every hour every day for 5 months. I missed my periods. I started gaining weight at an alarming rate. I was feeling depressed, fatigued and a loss of appetite.
At this point I went to see my doctor again to see if he might be able to help me. His response was nothing short of surprise as he told me there was nothing that can be done. I was so sad at the situation it felt so hopeless. I so wanted to have babies and now I felt I had lost the chance forever.
By the time Dr. Lily was recommended to me I was in my 4th month with no periods. I went to see a friend of mine Sibylla Wood who had been seeing Dr. Lily for the same thing and by that time she was pregnant. She didn’t know about my situation then until I started flushing in front of her and then I had to tell her. She immediately told me about Dr Lily, the Chinese herbs and how she helped her and gave me her details.
I didn’t call Dr. Lily right away by this time I was so afraid of being disappointed I daren’t call her. But when I did, I insisted on talking to Dr. Lily who was very busy at the time. She managed to squeeze an appointment for me for 3/9/04 even though she was fully booked as she was going away the following week.
When I first met her I was now in my 5th month without periods and I was very worried, scared and felt hopeless and was not sure if she would be able to help. Dr. Lily was very friendly, warm and she asked all the right questions as the meeting progressed. I felt relaxing and more willing to give more information. She examined me and explained the treatment she proposed to use on me in clear detail. She also said the recovery time for the ovaries was at least 12 weeks.
What a contrast to the experience I had with my GP as he informed me women in their menopause are more likely to get better results if they accept their fate and take HRT or similar drugs. I cringed, I panicked I couldn’t imagine myself on that in a million years. I felt my time of death pronounced, I felt I was losing my mind.
I felt there had to be a better way. In came Dr. Lily and after only three visits with her the acupuncture and the herb treatment in a 7 week period my system started to function again my periods came back beating the predicted ovaries recovery period of 12 weeks.
By November 30th I had another blood test I went to see my GP again to get the results. He was very surprised to see that my wayward body had changed its mind and was behaving normally again the results were:
1) Oestrogen levels = well over 100
2) FHS levels = 10.7
3) LH levels = 4.7
An incredible improvement to the last test results. The hot flushes disappeared along with the dizzy spells and everything else that came with it. He asked me what caused the change and I said Dr. Lily and Chinese medicines and her confidence and a lot of faith. Now all I need is a good clean sperm and I will be on my way to become a mother."
"I first saw Dr Lilly in 1999, at a time when I was suffering badly from my menopause and was not reacting well to orthodox HRT treatment (in fact, I felt very ill). Within just a few weeks of having acupuncture and herbs, I felt completely normal and well. Since then I have continued to see Dr Lilly on a regular basis, and have experienced the benefits of her treatment for a wide range of minor ailments."
"I have been treated at AcuMedic for menopause symptoms for several years. I have not taken HRT and rely solely on acupuncture and Chinese herbs. I am in great health and have almost no menopause symptoms. I am 53."
"I have been treated at AcuMedic Centre for just over one year. Since then my symptoms have greatly improved and I feel a lot better. I have been very pleased with the treatment I have received. My ovarian cysts have reduced in size and number."
"I was referred to Dr. Lily by the Integrated Medical Centre after approaching them about finding a complimentary programme to assist conception. After trying for a couple of years to fall pregnant it was time for me to start investigating my own fertility and seeing if I could help the process along in the most natural way possible.
Simultaneous to this I had scans at St Mary’s which showed that I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (I’d always had imbalanced hormone levels, problem skin and an irregular cycle I should have seen the signs were there but you don’t always know what you are looking for). In its most basic sense this means you ovulate less frequently than someone without it so the odds are more heavily stacked against you even though I was told I was lucky because at least I was still on the right side of 35.
Therefore I embarked on a programme of healthy diet, exercise as much as I could with a full time job in media and continued my acupuncture with Dr. Lily. Within 2 months of taking the Chinese herbs (which are vile but I find you will do anything to improve your chances) and having acupuncture every couple of weeks my cycle became absolutely regular and I felt much better in myself, even my skin seemed to improve. Dr. Lily looking at my tongue said she could start to see a difference already.
My partner also started a programme of acupuncture we both continued with it and taking the herbs for a year while further tests were carried out on myself and my partner. In the end both mine and my partner’s sub-fertility meant that we had to consider IVF which we did and we were recommended to try a cycle of ICSI. After much consideration we thought it was well worth it for the potential outcome. After our first ICSI cycle we found ourselves in the happiest of situation with our first baby on the way and due just in time for Christmas—it really was the best Christmas present we’ve both ever had.
If there is one single thing that I think was instrumental in our success it was the acupuncture and care and attention, and laughs even, we had with Dr. Lily at AcuMedic during this period. I would recommend her to anyone in this situation. For us personally we still needed that extra intervention of Western medicine for which we are very grateful but I don’t think we would have had such complete and timely success without rebalancing our lifestyle and embracing the benefits of Chinese complimentary medicine.
I mentioned my belief to the hospital where we had our IVF treatment and they reinforced the fact that recent statistics show there to be a direct correlation between pregnancy success rates and patients having acupuncture around egg removal and embryo implantation so finally we are getting the evidence to back up the fact that it’s not only working but is being recognised by a wider audience."
"Words cannot express how truly thankful I am with all your help over the past year – first with trying to get pregnant after trying for several months when diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, then once becoming pregnant with all the help throughout pregnancy, enabling it to be relatively stress free and problem free, thanks to the acupuncture, Chinese herbs and your kindness and encouragement – resulting in the birth of our gorgeous Harry – born on 22nd December 2009."
Aged 30, she had suffered from severe PMS (Premenstrual syndrome) for many years. She tried all of the treatments which her GP suggested, but nothing helped. Her GP suggested that she come to AcuMedic. Her verdict: "Really, it’s quite amazing. After two months’ treatment, I feel like a new woman!"
"I am a 38 year-old woman. I have been using Chinese medicine for more than 5 years. After years of depression (27 year-old and 30 year-old) and the involvement of the in heritage events which turned out to be dramatically negative, at 32 years I moved to London. I had to find a job and later on I had to buy a flat. When I first entered AcuMedic, I was lacking in energy and interest. The coating on my tongue was always white. I was suffering from tiredness, stress, fear, and paranoia. I also was extremely emotional. I always auffered from PMS (lack of energy before and while I had my period). Over the weekend I was always very tired and sometimes 'depressed'.
At the beginning I was using Chinese medicine on and off, but have been using it every day for more than 3 years now and lately alternate the tea with the capsules (2 days tea and 2 day capsules). I prefer the tea as it gives me loads of ebnergy and I sleep really well. However the capsules are quite convenient on holiday for example and has helped me a lot in the first years of my treatment.
Today, I still use the tea and capsules but the white coating on my tongue is significantly reduced. I sleep well almost every night and I can concentrate much more at work. Not too long ago I discovered that I'm pretty much in control of all my emotions. I'm not emotional any more. For the last year and a half I practice yoga, do meditation and some chanting."
A patient (22 years-old) had dysmenorrhea during her first menstruation period at the age of 14. It had been 9 years so far. Every time at the onset, she was given painkillers to relieve it. But the root of the disease had not been removed. Her menstruation cycle was quite normal, only with small quantity, pale colour and small blood clots. During the period, she felt distending pain in the lower abdomen, which was even worse when pressed. It was accompanied by nausea, anorexia and loose stool. After menstruation, she had thin leukorrhea, lumbar pain, fatigue. Pale tongue with whitish and slippery coating, deep and thready pulse. She was diagnosed as having a deficiency and cold of the spleen and stomach complicated with blood stasis, and meridian obstruction. The treatment focused on warming and invigorating the spleen as well as regulating Qi and blood, removing the stasis and obstruction. After a course of herbal and acupuncture treatment, the patient was cured.
The patient (49 years old) had suffered from paroxysmal attacks of hotness and sweating for one year, accompanied by coldness in the back, aversion to cold, abdominal distension, loose stool, edema of face and limbs, soreness and weakness in the low back and knees, profuse or scanty menses. She was very emotional, sometimes felt sadness, sometimes stress. She had red tongue with teeth marks on the margin with little coating, and thready pulse. She was diagnosed as suffering from an imbalance of Yin and Yang due to deficiency of the spleen and kidney, shortage of Qi and blood. Treatment focused on balancing Yin and Yang by tonifying Qi and blood, invigorating the spleen and kidney. After a series of herbal and acupuncture treatments, the patient recovered.