Acupuncture Plays an Important Role in Women's Health

Acupuncture, a traditional, complementary, alternative, or integrative medicine therapy (TCAIM), has gained significant recognition and popularity in Australia and New Zealand. Among its various applications, acupuncture plays a crucial role in promoting women's health. A survey conducted recently revealed that 93% of practitioners have provided acupuncture treatments specifically tailored for women's health within the past 12 months. These findings highlight the widespread use of acupuncture in addressing women's unique health concerns.

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) style of acupuncture, which incorporates principles of balancing energy flow and promoting overall well-being, emerged as the most commonly employed acupuncture style, accounting for 86% of treatments. This approach aligns with the holistic perspective of TCM, focusing on restoring balance and harmony within the body to alleviate symptoms and enhance health.

The survey further revealed that acupuncture treatments for women's health typically occurred on a weekly basis, with 75% of practitioners recommending this frequency. This consistent and regular approach allows for the gradual but steady improvement of symptoms and overall health.

Menstrual health conditions were the primary focus for 92% of practitioners, with dysmenorrhea (period pain), irregular periods, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and menstrual headaches being the most commonly treated issues. Acupuncture has shown promising results in reducing menstrual pain and regulating menstrual cycles by influencing hormonal balance, promoting blood circulation, and reducing inflammation.

Fertility-related conditions constituted a significant portion of acupuncture treatments for women, with 76% of practitioners addressing these concerns. Many women seek acupuncture to support their general fertility health or alongside in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and other assisted reproductive technologies. Acupuncture has been found to enhance fertility outcomes by improving ovarian function, regulating hormone levels, and reducing stress and anxiety associated with infertility treatments.

Moreover, acupuncture has proven effective in managing pregnancy-related conditions, with 85% of practitioners offering treatments for various issues. Nausea during pregnancy, back/hip or pelvic pain, breech presentation, and pre-birth preparation were the most frequently addressed concerns. Acupuncture can help alleviate pregnancy discomfort, reduce nausea and vomiting, and promote optimal fetal positioning. Additionally, pre-birth acupuncture sessions have been associated with shorter labor durations and reduced rates of medical interventions during childbirth.

In conclusion, acupuncture has emerged as a popular and effective therapy for women's health in Australia and New Zealand. With its emphasis on holistic healing and personalized treatment plans, acupuncture offers a valuable approach to address menstrual health conditions, fertility-related issues, and pregnancy discomfort. As more women seek natural and integrative healthcare options, acupuncture continues to play a significant role in promoting women's overall well-being and enhancing their quality of life.

Sandro Graca et al BMC Complement Med Ther. 2022; 22: 94.

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