Managing PCOS Symptoms with Acupuncture and Traditional Asian Herbs
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that affects up to 10% of women of reproductive age. It shows an imbalance of reproductive hormones, which can lead to a variety of symptoms, including:
- Irregular or absent periods (menstrual irregularity)
- Hirsutism (excessive hair growth on the face and body)
- Weight gain
PCOS is a complex disorder with no known cure. However, various treatments are available to help manage the symptoms and improve quality of life. One such treatment is acupuncture and traditional Asian herbs.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body. These points connect to energy channels (meridians) that run throughout the body. By stimulating these points, acupuncture can help regulate energy flow and promote healing.
What are traditional Asian herbs?
Traditional Asian herbs have been used for centuries to treat a variety of health conditions, including PCOS. Some of the most commonly used herbs for PCOS include:
- Dang gui (Angelica sinensis)
- Yi mu cao (Leonurus artemisia)
- Xiang fu (Cyperus rotundus)
- Gui zhi (Cinnamon twig)
- Fu ling (Poria cocos)
These herbs work in various ways to help improve hormone balance, reduce inflammation, and promote ovulation.
How can acupuncture and traditional Asian herbs help with PCOS?
Acupuncture and traditional Asian herbs have been effective in treating a variety of PCOS symptoms, including:
- Irregular or absent periods: Acupuncture and traditional Asian herbs can help to regulate the menstrual cycle and induce ovulation.
- Hirsutism: Acupuncture and traditional Asian herbs can help to reduce the production of testosterone, which is responsible for excessive hair growth.
- Acne: Acupuncture and traditional Asian herbs can help to reduce inflammation and improve skin health.
- Weight gain: Acupuncture and traditional Asian herbs can help to improve insulin sensitivity and promote weight loss.
- Infertility: Acupuncture and traditional Asian herbs can help to improve egg quality and increase the chances of pregnancy.
What does the research say?
Several studies have investigated the use of acupuncture and traditional Asian herbs for PCOS. For example, a 2019 review of 10 randomized controlled trials found that acupuncture was effective in improving ovulation and pregnancy rates in women with PCOS.
Another study published in 2020 found that a combination of acupuncture and traditional Asian herbs was more effective in improving menstrual regularity and reducing acne in women with PCOS than either treatment alone.
How to get started
If you are interested in trying acupuncture or traditional Asian herbs for PCOS, it is crucial to find a qualified practitioner. A licensed acupuncturist or herbalist can assess your needs and develop a personalized treatment plan.
During an acupuncture session, the acupuncturist will insert thin needles into specific points on your body. The needles will remain in place for about 40 minutes. Most people find acupuncture to be painless or only mildly uncomfortable.
Traditional Asian herbs
You will take Traditional Asian herbs as a decoction, capsules, tablets, or teas. The dosage and duration of treatment will vary depending on the individual and the specific herbs. Dr. Kihyon Sohn, a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist in Beaverton, Oregon, treats various health conditions using customized herbal formulas, including PCOS
Acupuncture and traditional Asian herbs are generally safe for most people. Acupuncture and traditional Asian herbs can be an effective and safe way to manage the symptoms of PCOS. If you want to try either of these treatments, please make an appointment below.