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Chinese Medicine For Hormonal Imbalance

Hormones play a very important part in a woman’s body. They support some of the very crucial functions of the body such as growth development, metabolism, reproduction, digestion, mood as well as cell and tissue growth. It is normal for hormones to change over time, hormones shift during menopause, increase during pregnancy and decline as we age, just before menopause. 

Hormones are known as the chemical messengers that influence how our organs and cells behave. A hormone imbalance occurs when a body produces too much or too little of a certain hormone. In Chinese Medicine this is when Yin and Yang are no longer in balance. In western medicine this is known as estrogen and progesterone to balance however, in Chinese Medicine this is referred to as Yin and Yang. 

When a body is experiencing hormonal imbalance it will exhibit symptoms such as: 

  • Unexplained weight gain or weight loss 
  • Moodiness, Fatigue and low energy levels
  • Digestive problems 
  • Chronic Acne 
  • PCOS 
  • Irregular period 
  • Amenorrhea (no periods)
  • Infertility 
  • Headaches, insomnia and anxiety 
  • Food cravings  
  • Low sex drive 

Hormone Imbalance doesn’t occur overnight. It takes a while before the symptoms become visible

One of the primary factors that blocks the chance of conceiving naturally is hormonal imbalance. There are a number of hormones that need to be harmonised in order to maximise the possibility of pregnancy. These include Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), Lutenising Hormone and Progesterone.

What is the regular hormone change observed in women? 

It is completely normal for a women to experience fluctuation in hormones. When a woman is menstruating estrogen and progesterone ( Yin and Yang ) are in imbalance as they prepare for ovulation. The production of hormones decrease and your menstrual cycle begins (unless you are pregnant). As a woman ages naturally the production of hormones declines as she enters menopause. 

Which lifestyle habits contribute towards  hormone imbalance according to Chinese Medicine?

Hormonal balance is a very delicate matter which can be easily disrupted. Body’s natural changes and external factors can cause a hormonal imbalance. External factors such as diet, stress, exercise, consuming excessive caffeine and smoking as well as medicine such as the pill.  The goal with Chinese Medicine treatment is to eliminate toxic exposure, decreasing physical toxins and psychological toxins that cause a disruption in hormones.

 

For example the 2 major culprits are :

Excess exercise with little or no rest means body will be stressed and will result in too much Yang causing an imbalance and leading to symptoms such as fatigue, low energy, poor sex drive. 

Unhealthy diet, especially processed foods contains harmful toxins which will result in too much Yin causing disruption in the hormone balance. 

 

If the body produces a lower than normal level of hormones (Yin deficiency), it can lead to hormonal imbalance. This could possible lead to absent period (amenorrhea) or infertility due to issues with ovulation.

Western medicine seeks to provide relief from the symptoms arising from hormonal imbalance rather than treating the root cause of the hormonal imbalance. Chinese Medicine adopts a more natural and holistic approach where it seeks to treat the root cause of hormone imbalance, which in turn provides relief from the symptoms not just temporarily but long lasting relief. 

The goal of Chinese Medicine for hormonal imbalance

Jing (essence), which is often known as 3 treasures due to its 3 major energy components, of which 1 is related to hormones. Jing is incharge of keeping your body balanced. Yin is the cooling energy which balances blood and fluids in your body and Yang is the balancing warming energy.

In Chinese Medicine Jing is stored in the Kidney. Kidney is one of the organs that is responsible for regulation hormones, it is closely related to the endocrine system. The Kidney system consists of sex glands hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal and thyroid.  

Along with the Kidney, Liver is intimately connected to hormone balance and also responsible for metabolism and emotions. When Liver becomes congested is no longer able to function properly, i.e it cannot process hormones efficiently, the body will be in hormonal imbalance. 

Jing is responsible for nourishing the organs, cells and tissues so when hormones are imbalanced it is because Jing is depleted. Therefor the goal in Chinese Medicine for hormonal imbalance is to restore Jing and balance Yin and Yang. 

Learn more about Traditional Chinese Medicine directly from our TCM experts!

Hormonal Imbalance from a Chinese Medical Perspective

 

According to Chinese Medicine theories, the balance of our hormones is closely tied to the balance of of Yin and Yang and if there is too much or too little of either hormonal imbalances may occur. Although Yin and Yang are opposite in nature they depend on one another to function properly –  think about how when one side of a see-saw rises the other side comes down! If hormones such as oestrogen and progesterone are to to be balanced Yin and Yang needs to be balanced. A number of imbalances may occur over the menstrual cycle leading to many problems associated with menstruation.

 

Irregular or absent periods 

From a Chinese Medicine perspective, irregular periods are the result of stress, overwork, trauma, exposure to cold, heat or damp and a variety of lifestyle factors such as exercise and diet. Eating food that is difficult to digest can create Phlegm and Dampness- instead of being digested properly food is transformed into toxic waste that creates unwanted fluid retention and gas, creating Kidney Yang Deficiency which exacerbates the problem further. Emotional factors and also excessive sexual activity may also play a role in irregular or absent periods.

 

Heavy periods and difficult flow

Our Spleen Qi regulates the movement of blood inside the vessels. If this Qi is weak, the blood cannot be held in the vessels, and heavy menstrual bleeding can result. A number of factors including Stress and diet can cause Excess Heat to enter the Blood. This Heat can disturb the Chong channel which is known as the Sea of Blood and cause a heavy period or spotting between periods.

Blood Stasis may also be responsible for heavy or difficult menstrual flow by preventing new Blood from entering into the Conception Meridian. Blood Stasis can be caused by delivering a baby, having a termination or experiencing a miscarriage or though External Cold.

 

Painful periods

In Chinese Medicine menstrual pain is caused by Qi Stagnation and Blood stasis. These factors can also make it difficult to conceive. The Liver meridian is always involved in this pattern, but other meridians such as the Conception Meridian ( which runs along the front of the body along the centre) Kidney Meridian and Stomach Meridian are also involved. In addition Yin Deficiency, Spleen Qi Deficiency, or Blood Deficiency can contribute to menstrual pain. 

 

Hormonal Imbalance Symptoms

Pregnancy and Hormonal Imbalance 

Hormonal Imbalance 

One of the primary factors that blocks the chance of conceiving naturally is hormonal imbalance. There are a number of hormones that need to be harmonised in order to maximise the possibility of pregnancy. These include Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), Lutenising Hormone and Progesterone.

The Pill

Many women take the contraceptive pill as a means of birth control. Once she stops taking the pill it will take time for her body’s hormone levels to adjust. Research suggests that acupuncture and Chinese Herbal medicine are helpful at regulating hormone levels

Miscarriage 

After suffering a miscarriage a woman’s hormone levels are disrupted. There are many reasons for this including Stress. Research suggests that balancing the levels of hormones in a woman who has suffered a miscarriage can improve their chances of having a baby.

There are a number of other factors that can impact negatively on hormone balance and can contribute to irregular periods. These include lifestyle, overwork and fatigue.

Chinese Medicine for hormonal imbalance 

When you visit a Chinese Medicine practitioner, they will examine your day to day lifestyle, diet as well take your pulse and look at your tongue. This examination will allow them to diagnose the cause of hormonal imbalance and pinpoint the deficiencies that are causing this imbalance. 

 

1.Acupuncture to hormone balance 

Acupuncture is a natural method in Chinese Medicine for hormonal imbalance and in fact it has a direct effect on hormonal production. It helps to control the production of Oestrogen, where it is produced in too high quantities, promotes the production of Progesterone where it is deficient, and also Acupuncture has none of the side-effects or toxicity

Acupuncture works by promoting organs to work at their optimum level and restores hormonal balance by eliminating excess heat and targeting Liver which is responsible for the metabolism and emotions. Along with balancing hormones naturally acupuncture provides other benefits such as reducing anxiety, reducing stress and promoting relaxation. 

As it is a natural and gentle treatment it can take time for your endocrine system and hormonal levels to achieve overall balance.

 

2. Cupping to hormone balance 

Cupping involves placing sterile cups onto the skin to create suction. This suction may facilitate healing and also stimulates blood flow through by promoting the flow of Qi through the body. Cupping helps to balance yin and yang and improves the body’s resistance to pathogens as well as its ability to reduce pain. Cupping is sometimes prescribed to complement acupuncture treatments. 

Not sure which treatment to choose? get help from our TCM specialists!

3.Herbs to hormone balance 

There are a range of herbs in Chinese Medicine for hormonal imbalance , at our clinics – GinSen we offer daily supplement version of these herbal. These food supplements are made from just natural ingredients nothing else. The benefit of starting an herbal supplement regimen is  that you carry on with the treatment even after your acupuncture session. We have included our most popular and effective natural hormone balancing supplements below along with herbs you may find useful.  

What Can You Do Yourself To Balance Hormones?

Exercise and Diet

Being overweight, being too sedentary and eating a poor diet can create heaviness and congestion (too much Yin) in the lower part of the body. When blood cannot circulate properly a buildup of fluids occurs causing problems such as back pain, varicose veins, heavy and aching legs and piles. Painful periods may also occur. If your work requires you to sit at a desk it is important to build some exercise into your working week and to make sure that you get up and stretch regularly during the day. 

It is helpful to add organic food and hormone free meats to your diet where possible: Pesticides, chemicals and hormones are frequently used in the production of our food and these can have negative effects on our organ and endocrine systems

  • It is helpful to add more cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts and cauliflower to your diet
  • Cut down or try to eliminate completely caffeine, nicotine and alcohol
  • Reduce your intake of junk food 
  • Supplements such as Zinc, magnesium, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C can be beneficial

 

Make time to Relax

A woman who exercises too much without sufficient rest will end up putting so much stress on her body she will drain her reserves, which are held in the Kidneys. When these reserves run low, symptoms such as tiredness, low libido and poor appetite result as the body produces a lower than normal level of hormones (Yin Deficiency). This can lead to hormonal imbalances which can result in amenorrhea or infertility due to ovulation problems. 

It is important that your reserves of energy – Qi – do not become depleted. Worry and overthinking can have an impact on these energy reserves which are also affected by our genetics. When our reserves of Qi are low we may experience frequent bouts of illness, waking frequently in the night, hot flashes but also feelings of cold. Women may find that their period starts early and produces watery menstrual blood.

Top 5 Herbs for hormonal imbalance

 

Bai Shao (White Peony root)

Nourishes the Blood and regulates menstruation, supplements the blood,  nourishes the Yin and calms the liver Yang. Assists with PMS, irritability, period cramps and headaches associated with hormones. Read more benefits here.

Dong Quai

Supports Estrogen Hormone Balance: If your estrogen levels are out of balance, Dong Quai may be able to help get them balanced whether you are dealing with levels that are too high or too low. This can be especially beneficial for women who experience hot flashes due to estrogen imbalance. Read more here. 

Goji Berry

 Goji Berry supplements have no added preservatives and offer a convenient alternative for people who struggle to add fresh berries to their diet or find the fruit to have a sour taste. Goji berry tablets/ capsules by GinSen contain natural sources of antioxidants and are rich in iron which provides nutrition to the blood, improves energy levels naturally, and has various benefits. 

Astragalus (Huang Qi

 This powerful herb has been a staple in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries. It promotes hormone balance in the body by stimulating the release of hormones. It also has a range of other benefits such as boosting immune system, reducing stress and great anti ageing properties. 

benefits of Astragalus

Wild Yam (Shan Yao)

 Chinese wild yam is a natural alternative to postmenopausal hormone therapy. It increases Qi and Yang energy, increase progesterone levels and also strengthens the digestive system.

wild yam chinese medicine

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our clinics website: GinSen where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.

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