Reproductive Conditions

The Ren Mai Channel, or Conception Vessel

Acupuncture for Hormonal Balance and Menstrual Regulation

Because acupuncture can improve the functioning of the internal organs and regulate menstruation, it is very helpful for cycle issues and hormonal imbalances. I have experience treating early, late, irregular, short, and long periods, as well as amenorrhea, heavy periods, painful periods, spotting, and PCOS. Acupuncture also has what we call a "harmonizing" effect, soothing emotions, evening out the flow of chi in the body, and releasing the build-up of energy that comes right before the onset of your period. In this way, acupuncture can address premenstrual symptoms like irritability, diarrhea, breast tenderness, bloating, and headaches. I also have experience treating different types of vaginal infections like candida.

Acupuncture for Infertility

Most women who come in for infertility show signs of depletion such as low energy, exhaustion, stress, or short or light periods. Often this is due to a combination of overwork and lack of time to rest and recharge, though age can also play a part. In Chinese medicine when we are depleted it is very difficult to conceive because there simply isn’t enough extra energy or substance around to nourish and grow a baby. The main treatment principle in these cases then is to “tonify,“ or replenish and strengthen. Another common cause of infertility is irregular cycles, which can be normalized with acupuncture so that everything is in sync once again and conception can occur. Some of the most useful acupuncture points for menstrual and reproductive conditions are located on the Ren Mai, the "Conception Channel," which begins in the uterus and travels up the midline of the body. Acupuncture can also be used alongside conventional treatments, like artificial insemination and IVF, to improve the rate of success of these types of medical procedures.
Acupuncture for Inducing Labor

Acupuncture for Pregnancy-Related Issues, Delayed Labor, and Post-Natal Care

Acupuncture is safe to do during pregnancy and can be helpful for conditions like morning sickness, anxiety, and lower back pain. It can even help increase the chances of carrying your baby to full term if there is a possibility of miscarriage. If you find yourself overdue, there are five points that specifically induce labor by unblocking energy in the abdomen and moving it down and out. First, I usually do the five points that induce labor with the mother semi-reclined. Then I do a second set with her lying on her side so I can access release points on the lower back. During the treatment, the baby may become a bit more active or mild contractions may be induced, but usually there is not a dramatic, immediate inducement. The full effect usually takes 24 to 48 hours and most women do two to three treatments. Another benefit of these inducements is that they can both shorten and ease the labor process. After the baby is born acupuncture can be helpful during the recovery phase, accelerating the healing process, replenishing energy reserves, and helping with other issues that may arise like postnatal depression, mastitis, and insufficient lactation.
True Heat vs. False Heat

Acupuncture for Menopause

In Chinese medicine, there are two main governing principles in the human body: yin (cold and wet) and yang (hot and dry). Our systems function most optimally when we can maintain a balance between these extremes of temperature and moisture. As we age, however, our yin becomes depleted and we tend to dry out, resulting in symptoms like dry skin, dry hair, constipation, and dry mucous membranes. With the shift of menopause, there can also be symptoms like night sweats and hot flashes. In Chinese medicine these symptoms indicate what we call "false heat," and they occur not because there is too much yang heating up the body, but because there is not enough yin to keep it cool. Over time, as the yin becomes more and more depleted, it eventually fails to ground the yang, which then rises up. One example of this is seen in hot flashes, where it feels like the heat is rising up in a wave. Acupuncture can help with these types of menopausal symptoms by building yin to cool and moisten your system, clearing the false heat, and redirecting the ascendant energy back down and anchoring it. It can also help with other symptoms like mood swings, fatigue, palpitations, anxiety, and insomnia.

Complementary, Supportive Therapies that Enhance Acupuncture

Chinese medicine is so much more than just acupuncture. I am also trained in herbal medicine, 5-element nutrition, and different types of traditional hands-on techniques. I find that these complementary therapies can help enhance the effects of acupuncture. For example, there are traditional herbal formulas for both pre-menstrual and menopausal symptoms. There are also formulas that regulate and normalize the menstrual cycle, and others that replenish and restore energy reserves, increasing your chances of conception. Nutritional adjustments can be beneficial as well, nourishing your system if you are depleted or cooling your system if it is showing signs of heat, like night sweats and hot flashes. Acupuncture is the fundamental therapy upon which all of my treatments are built, but my toolbox also includes Chinese herbal medicine, 5-element nutrition, ba guan (cupping), tui na (Chinese medical massage), zhi ya (acupressure), chi nei tsang (internal organ massage), gua sha (massage with jade and horn tools), and topical herbal formulas for pain. If your condition would benefit from any of these traditional techniques they are included at no extra charge. Please click here for more information about my combination treatments.
"Nancy's demeanor is professional. She creates a peaceful and comfortable atmosphere. I commend her expertise. My sciatica is much improved such that I have gone from 7 days a week of severe pain to maybe 2 days at the most of moderate to mild pain. I am continuing as I fully expect it to continue improving. I feel certain that when the leg pain is no longer an issue, I will continue for a 'tune up' on a regular basis. Her acupuncture skills enhance feelings of well being. Thank you, Nancy!" ~Barbara Duncan
West Asheville Acupuncture
Monday to Thursday 9:30 to 6:00
Friday 9:30 to 12:00
26 Fairfax Avenue, 28806
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