PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome, is a condition where women produce higher than normal male hormones causing an imbalance. This imbalance can cause issues with the menstrual cycle, weight management, insulin sensitivity and a number of other issues. PCOS is a common endocrine and metabolic disorder that can be hard to treat. Typical treatment includes hormonal birth control and metformin; however, there are alternative treatment options for those wanting to manage their PCOS naturally. One of the most promising natural treatments for PCOS is Acupuncture.
Based on recent studies, when it comes to PCOS Acupuncture can help:
- Improve insulin sensitivity
- Decrease testosterone
- Improve ovulation
- Improve menstruation rates
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a time-tested, natural healing treatment that originated in China more than 5,000 years ago. It is an entire system of health and healing predicated on the concept that energy or the vital life force (Qi or chi) flows throughout the body via 12 major energy pathways or meridians.
The philosophy of acupuncture is based on the concept that disease emanates from troublesome — excessive or inadequate — energy flow through a meridian. This problematic energy flow causes disease and/or dysfunction of organs and tissues along that meridian. By inserting needles into the skin and stimulating them manually or electrically, acupuncture helps to reset these meridians, allowing energy to flow properly again.
How Does Acupuncture Help PCOS?
Acupuncture helps PCOS by decreasing male hormones in females and restoring the hormonal balance. During acupuncture treatment for PCOS, needles are inserted into the skin along the meridians related to the reproductive system, such as the abdominal muscles and the back of the knee.
The stimulation of the needle causes the muscle to send new information to the brain. When the needle is placed in the area that send sensory information about the ovary to the brain, this stimulation leads to a decrease in the release of male hormones from the ovaries. The stimulation of acupuncture needles also causes the brain to decrease the amount of luteinizing hormone it releases, which leads to a decrease in releasing male hormones from the ovaries as well.
What Does The Science Say About Using Acupuncture To Treat PCOS?
Multiple studies have found that acupuncture is a promising technique to naturally treat PCOS and it’s symptoms.
During a 16-week small Swedish study, 9 women with diagnosed PCOS underwent regular acupuncture treatments. The study found that acupuncture treatments resulted in more regular menstrual cycles, reduces testosterone levels, and reduced waist circumference.
4 studies in a systematic review of acupuncture and PCOS, looked at fasting insulin levels in women diagnosed with PCOS. They found evidence of an improvement in fasting insulin levels in women who received true acupuncture compared to those that received sham acupuncture.
2 studies in a systematic review of acupuncture and PCOS, compared women with PCOS receiving acupuncture to those receiving no treatment. The evidence showed an improvement in ovulation rates, monthly menstruation rates, and testosterone levels in the group that was receiving acupuncture.
6 studies in a systematic review of acupuncture and PCOS compared the results of using traditional medication to treat PCOS to using acupuncture to treat the condition. The evidence showed acupuncture improved monthly menstruation rates better than metformin. Testosterone levels were the same between those receiving medication and those receiving acupuncture.
Further, 12 studies in a systematic review of acupuncture and PCOS found that a combination of acupuncture and medication gave patients the best results. The evidence showed improvement in Luteinizing hormone levels, Luteinizing hormone/follicle-stimulating hormone ratio, testosterone levels, fasting insulin levels, and pregnancy rates.
In summary, Acupuncture shows promising results to improve the symptoms of PCOS and equalize the underlying hormone issue. If you’re looking for a more natural way to find relief from PCOS symptoms, Acupuncture may be a great option for you.
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