Hormone Imbalance and Chinese Medicine
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
- Irregular period
- Amenorrhea (no periods)
- Headaches, insomnia and anxiety
- Food cravings
- Low sex drive
Hormone Imbalance doesn’t occur overnight. It takes a while before the symptoms become visible.
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.
What causes 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.
Understand the goal of Chinese Medicine
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. There for the goal in Chinese Medicine is to restore Jing and balance Yin and Yang.
How Can Chinese Medicine help with Hormone Balance
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.
Acupuncture and herbal medicine is the most safe and effective form of natural treatment for hormone imbalance.
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.
There are a range of herbs which are effective in balancing hormones, 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.
Top 5 Herbs To Balance Hormones
- Gou Qi Zi (Goji Berry):
Goji berries, also known as wolfberries ( Chinese name: Gou Qi Zi ) have been used by Chinese medicine for thousands of years. These small, red fruits have a wealth of amazing benefits including being high in antioxidants, balancing hormones and boosting fertility. Read all its wonderful benefits here.
- Dang Gui
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.
- Shan Yao (Chinese Wild Yam)
Chinese yam is a natural alternative to postmenopausal hormone therapy. It increases Qi and Yang energy, increase progesterone levels and also strengthens the digestive system
- 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.
- Huang Qi (Astragalus)
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.