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February 5, 2014

Acupuncture and Herbs in the treatment of Ovarian Cysts

Ovarian cysts can range from asymptomatic to severe pelvic pain and can cause infertility. From a Western medical perspective ovarian cysts are often treated with birth control pills to regulate hormone levels or a cystectomy to surgically remove the cyst from the ovary in more serious cases.

From a Chinese medical perspective, cysts are said to come from either an excess or deficiency in the pelvis. Deficiency patterns can come from an over-taxation of the system leading to a build up around the ovaries due to a lack of resources needed to address their specific organ system needs. Excess patterns develop from an accumulation of cold, phlegm, or blood stasis in the pelvis causing a blockage and therefore a cyst. Regardless of the underlying pattern, the presence and related symptoms of an ovarian cyst are usually detected through pulse palpation with a cross reference to the known Western medical symptoms. With a proper diagnosis and treatment plan a Norwegian study entitled, “Can Acupuncture Prevent Cystitis in Women?” concluded that acupuncture is a valid alternative treatment for the prevention and dissipation of frequently recurring female cystitis.

To fully understand the application of acupuncture and Chinese herbs in the treatment of ovarian cysts consider the following case study from a recent patient success story of ours:

A 35 year old female patient came to our office in late November 2013 with a chief complaint of a 5cm cyst on her right ovary diagnosed by a Western MD via ultrasound and mittelschmerz, or pain during ovulation. She was treating her pain with over the counter Ibuprophen and regular stretching. Her OB/GYN wanted her to go back onto birth control pills to treat the cyst but she was hesitant for numerous reasons and so she sought out eastern medicine as an alternative method of addressing her health concern.

After the initial intake and taking her pulse, it was apparent to that her ovarian cyst was phlegm based, so I treated her as such. For 7 treatments we dispersed phlegm with acupuncture points in her arms and lower legs in addition to treating the phases of her menstrual cycle. She was also prescribed a carefully balanced Chinese herbal formula that treats fibroids and cysts which contains herbs that both move blood and reduce phlegm. After weekly acupuncture treatments and taking daily doses of Chinese herbs she had her follow up ultrasound approximately 8 weeks after her initial treatment. The results were phenomenal. Her cyst had reduced by 84% from 5 centimeters down to 8 millimeters and her radiologist was thrilled with her progress and recommended she continued her current therapy.

With her body's success in achieving a greater state of health, we have plans for reducing the frequency of her acupuncture treatments and modifying her herbal formula over the course of the next 3 months so that at her follow up ultrasound appointment in 12 weeks her body has been given the optimal chance to resume a state of normal and healthy ovarian functionality.

If you or someone you know has an ovarian cyst that they would like to address with acupuncture and Chinese herbs, please have them call Mountain Spirit Acupuncture at 303.929.7334 and book an appointment with Jenna, our Female Health and Wellness expert, today.  Be well.

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