TCM for Cysts & Fibroids
Uterine fibroid is a non-cancerous tumor that develops within or attach to the wall of the uterus. Fibroid tumors are benign tumors of the smooth muscle of the uterine wall and are common in younger women. A newly diagnosed fibroid tumor in a post menopausal woman should be an alarm signal and should be verified surgically.
Ovarian cysts are ovarian enlargements that are filled with fluid. They can be a simple fluid or contain complex internal structures. The term cyst is used to differentiate them from solid enlargements. Simple cysts are of less concern than those with complex structures or solid components. A sonogram or ultrasound test can determine if a cyst is simple or complex.
Statistics indicate that uterine fibroids develop most commonly in women who are in their 30s and 40s. About 30% of all women will develop fibroids by the time they reach 35. If the fibroids are surgically removed, there is a 10% chance they will grow back. This might be the reason that hysterectomies are so widely favored by doctors to treat uterine fibroids. Some complications of hysterectomy include hemorrhaging, eventual ovarian failure, loss of bladder function, urinary incontinence, depression, and infections. Some studies estimate that up to 70% of all hysterectomies performed in the US are either unnecessary or can be avoided by using alternative approaches. Traditional Chinese medicine therapy for uterine fibroid tumors, using acupuncture, is the oldest known form of medicine which is still in wide use today.
TCM views cyst or fibroid as a collection of stagnant fluid and blood. While usually not a life-threatening situation, it is nonetheless viewed as a disruption in the body's healthy processes. Women who have cysts have a hormone imbalance and are not ovulating optimally. Acupuncture can aid to reduce and eliminate ovarian cyst or fibroid by breaking up the blood stasis to secure the flow of blood, fluids and energy. Also acupuncture helps to bring balance to the endocrine system and hormones and can directly affect ovulation.
How it is done
At the start of the therapy, assessment and pulse and tongue diagnosis will be done by the TCM physician to understand your general state of health. Depending on different individual conditions, treatment may comprise of different TCM techniques such as acupuncture, castor oil therapy, auricular therapy etc. Each session can be 30min, 60 min or 1 and a half hours long.
A complete course of treatment is 6 to 8 sessions, 1 to 2 sessions a week. More frequent treatments are recommended initially (eg 2-3 sessions a week) to promote faster recovery. However, the measure of improvement also depends on the individual. Factors such as diet, exercise and lifestyle also contribute to the effectiveness of the treatments.
Hence it is also recommended that one observes some important lifestyle changes to promote recovery during treatments: