The hormones of our body exist in a fragile state of balance with one another and it takes some skills to rectify imbalances. We need to take a closer look at our bodies’ messaging system, the endocrine system, In order to know exactly what we are dealing with. Later on, we will examine further how we can balance the female hormones with Chinese Medicine in order to treat the varied forms of women health conditions.
The Functions of the Endocrine System
The endocrine system of the body is a complex and fascinating thing to look at. It’s made up of a series of glands responsible for the manufacture and distribution of hormones. One of the body’s main messaging systems, the hormones coordinate the physiological activities of our body. Some people tend to see hormones as acting like a symphony conductor coordinating all the musical instruments to create a blend of harmonious musical sounds.
The pituitary gland and the hypothalamus are the most important players of the endocrine system. These two glands normalize the body’s other glands including the sex organs, thyroid, and adrenals. The pituitary and hypothalamus work together with various key glandular players to form multi-functional teams that serve to regulate or normalize extremely vital processes of the body. Listed below are the three major teams and their functions:
Pituitary-Hypothalamus- Adrenal (For Stress & Digestion)
This team is responsible for a number of diverse activities including energy, emotions, immunity, digestive function, and stress response. Issues with this team may manifest as alcoholism, emotional problems, insomnia, IBS, fatigue or other organ functional disorders.
Pituitary -Hypothalamus -Thyroid (For Metabolism)
This team is responsible for the regulation of energy use and production and metabolism. Any problems here may manifest as heart palpitations, insomnia, anxiety, emotional disturbances, weight gain, and fatigue.
Pituitary – Hypothalamus –Gonad (For Reproduction0
This team normalizes the male and female reproductive systems. When issues arise in this team, they may present as menopausal conditions, sexual dysfunction, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), endometriosis, menstrual irregularities, and infertility.
Hormonal Effects from the Viewpoint of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
Chinese Medicine has a different perspective when it comes to hormones and their development. In TCM, the endocrine system is basically the equivalent of the Kidney system. The endocrine system is the system that helps maintain the functions of the central nervous system, blood, bone, endocrine, urinary, and genitals. The organ of the body that’s mainly responsible for growth, the body’s development, and reproduction is the kidney, which is also the body’s most basic energy source.
How Can Chinese Medicine Resolve a Woman’s Hormonal Imbalance?
If a woman suffers from a hormonal imbalance, she can try Chinese medicine treatment as it is an excellent option for restoring balance in the body as well as for addressing infertility, treating menopause symptoms, and regulating menstrual problems. Chinese medicine is also very effective in treating low energy, weak libido, stress, and mood swings.
Treatment starts with a thorough physical examination whose results will determine the Chinese medical diagnosis. The treatment proper will proceed from there. Each woman has a unique body and constitution and so the practitioner needs to devise a unique form of treatment that specifically addresses the patient’s needs. This approach is very different to Western medicine in which a certain health condition is treated the same with each patient. An erratic menstruation, for example, can be caused by multiple different patterns depending on what is going on with you and the constitution of your body. Chinese medicine practitioners will identify a patient’s unique pattern and treat it in a customized manner.
The plan of treatment usually includes a combination of customized herbal preparation and prescription and acupuncture treatments. Your practitioner will provide you with a good understanding of what your condition is, how he/she is going to treat it, and the number of treatments you will need.
Hormonal Imbalance Treatment Using Herbal Remedies
Chinese herbal medicine has been clinically proven to be extremely effective in influencing hormone levels in the body. An herbal remedy known as Rhemmania Six is a popular herbal treatment for menopause. This formula changes the female sex hormones by influencing directly the adrenal glands, adrenal cortex, or both.
The Rehmannia Six formula, from a biomedical viewpoint, has been reported to lower the levels of cortisol (the hormone that deals with stress) in the body as well as lower LH (luteinizing hormone) and FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), increase plasma levels of cortisol (our stress-dealing hormone), and increase estradiol (a derivative of estrogen). It is also known to significantly elevate estrogen receptors. What does all of this mean? The changes in the hormones caused by Rehmannia Six indicate a restoration of hormone balance resulting in a decrease of menopausal symptoms.
Your practitioner will formulate an herbal remedy for you based on the symptoms you’re presenting. From the viewpoint of TCM, the practitioner would addresses imbalances related to the Kidney system. Your practitioner will concoct a formula customized for your body based on your Chinese medicine diagnosis. This formula is made up of powdered herbs that are usually mixed together to resolve both the underlying cause of your condition, which, in this case is the imbalanced hormones, and your symptoms.
Your acupuncturist will focus on restoring balance the bodily systems that are unbalanced. This is done by imposing a powerful homeostatic effect using the hormonal and nervous systems. He/she will most probably treat any imbalances in the Liver and Kidney systems in order to balance endocrine function and sedate your nervous system.
You probably will be prescribed with weekly therapies at least until the symptoms have been relieved. Afterwards, a monthly treatment schedule will be recommended as maintenance treatments to prevent the recurrence of your symptoms.