When a lady experiences zero monthly periods for over three to four months, she is suffering from a condition known as amenorrhea. A growing number of women are turning to acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine to have their amenorrhea treated.
Amenorrhea, according to biomedicine, is the absence of menstruation and other characteristics pertaining to sex (i.e., pubic hair and breast development) in females around the age of 14 or zero menstruation of females by age 16 years of age with normal development of secondary sexual characteristics. Amenorrhea can also be a diagnosis if a woman who is not pregnant, breastfeeding or lactating, who is not in menopause or has not been using birth control pills, has been having normal menstruation ceases to menstruate for three months and over.
Some of the Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) explanations for amenorrhea
- There is deficiency of blood in the female’s body
- There is not enough kidney energy
- Liver’s energy is not balanced
An acupuncturist will check the patient’s pulse exactly and in intricate detail if the patient is suspected of suffering from amenorrhea. The acupuncturist will always observe the patient thoroughly to know the root source of the patient’s condition.
There are patients that have been diagnosed with perimenopause by their gynecologist and some patients take birth control medications to normalize their menstruation. Women who are in perimenopause may still have the chance to experience menstruation.
Acupuncturists and TCM practitioners believe that a woman has very little chance in having a monthly period again if she has one or more of the following condition:
- If she has never experienced any period in her life.
- If she is over is 40 years old and had no period for over 14 years.
- If she is in menopause.
As an acupuncturist, I have treated several patients suffering from amenorrhea. One particular case was a woman around the age of 30. She had zero menstruation for more than a year. She was skinny, had a lifetime condition of being constipated, had sleeping problems, and had bad complexion and sensitive skin.
Initially, she was experiencing irregular periods and started to take birth control pills. After taking these medications, she experienced light bleeding which prompted her to take those pills. My diagnosis on her revealed that she was suffering from deficiency in blood and blood stasis. I examined her vital energy level (chi level) by using acupuncture and it was normal. Most of the patients with amenorrhea have weak chi level but this woman had adequate energy and so I could perform a better treatment on her with acupuncture.
The problem in her is that her energy communication was poor between the lower and upper body.
My first treatment of the patient already elicited a positive feeling in her. After a month she enjoyed a vast improvement in her symptoms. She began to sleep much better and her constipation was treated; but she still had no menstruation. After another 15 days, my patient reported some good news. At first, I thought it was merely some spotting, but after further observation, I saw that it was indeed a period. From then on she experienced normal and regular periods. The total length of treatment for her condition was six months. This case alone has proven that acupuncture indeed works for amenorrhea and every time someone calls me on the phone to ask if amenorrhea can be treated with acupuncture, I answer with an emphatic yes.
I always resolve amenorrhea with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.
One thing you need to know (if you suffer from amenorrhea) is that you need a minimum of five acupuncture sessions that will involve the use of Chinese herbal remedies and acupuncture.
Acupuncture is a proven treatment for a number of emotional and physical conditions. Some people may be very hard to convince that acupuncture can make them feel more vibrant and happy than they’ve ever felt before. Some patients describe the feeling after getting acupuncture saying that it felt like “floating in the air” for a week or even more and assuredly experiencing no stress at all. Besides acupuncture therapy, I would recommend to my patients with amenorrhea to:
- Not drink coffee or anything cold.
- Exercise everyday for at least 15 minutes each day.
- Not wear short skirt or tight jeans.
- Not drink alcohol or smoke.
- Follow the advice and dietary recommendations of the practitioner/acupuncturist.
Dr. Vickery is a licensed acupuncturist in Tarzana, CA., and the founder and clinical director of Vickery Health and Wellness.