Eastern remedies and treatments to positively influence health and wellbeing
Dr Mary-Jo Bevin is an experienced Doctor of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, specialising in women’s health. From her Four Gates Chinese Medicine practice located on the premises of leaps & bounds health in Malvern, Dr Bevin provides effective treatment for a range of ailments and women’s health problems including:
- period pain, pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)
- irregular periods, amenorrhea
- hormonal migraines, acne
- endometriosis, fibroids, heavy periods
- polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- infertility – for women and men
- pregnancy and post-natal care
- urinary tract infections, thrush
- menopausal symptoms
In Chinese medicine, gynaecological issues are viewed within the framework of the whole body’s functioning. A regular and harmonious menstrual cycle is thought to reflect a woman’s overall health – ideally periods should be pain-free and unaccompanied by bloating, mood swings, skin outbreaks, breast tenderness or any other symptoms that many women endure monthly. Close attention is paid to the regularity, amount and colour of the menstrual flow and any accompanying symptoms as this provides useful information for diagnosing the underlying imbalance and individual treatment plan.
A course of acupuncture and herbal medicine accompanied by appropriate lifestyle and dietary changes can help to regulate the menstrual cycle and balance hormone levels, reduce stress and restore health and vitality. Chinese medicine provides effective treatment for a whole range of women’s health issues from period pain, PMS, hormonal acne or migraines to Western-diagnosed conditions including fibroids, endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). It is particularly important to address these issues if you are trying to conceive.
Being in good health before conception results in a healthier pregnancy and healthy baby, so spending a few months preparing your body is recommended. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are used to improve general health as well as enhance fertility, regulating the menstrual cycle and preparing the endometrial lining of the uterus (important for implantation and nourishment of the foetus), promoting ovulation and egg quality, balancing fertility hormones, and reducing stress.
Treatment is often continued in early pregnancy to support and maintain maternal and foetal wellbeing. Because it treats the individual person and their particular pattern of symptoms, Chinese medicine is also able to help in many cases where the diagnosis is “unexplained infertility”.
Chinese medicine has been improving fertility naturally for thousands of years, and today is safely used to support Western medical treatment. A course of acupuncture and herbal medicine is recommended in the months before commencing an IVF cycle to regulate the menstrual cycle and balance hormone levels. By treating the root causes of infertility, patients may conceive during this preparation time, while the chance of a successful IVF cycle is increased.
Many studies have found that acupuncture can significantly improve success rates of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) by up to 65 per cent.
Clinical experience suggests acupuncture helps in the following ways
- increases blood flow to the uterus and thickens uterine lining
- improves ovarian function and egg quality
- regulates and balances hormone levels for improved follicular response
- relaxing the body to decrease stress and anxiety
- reduces the side effects of drugs used in IVF
- lessens the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation in women with PCOS
- decreases the chances of miscarriage
Initial studies showed that success rates of IVF almost doubled when acupuncture was incorporated on the day of embryo transfer. More recently it has been found that acupuncture in the weeks before egg collection and transfer has a beneficial effect on stress hormone levels, as well as a higher pregnancy and live birth rate.
Chinese medicine can also help to treat male reproductive health, improving sperm count, quality, morphology and motility, as well as general wellbeing through what can be a stressful process. Initial studies in Sydney have found statistically significant increases in sperm count, motility and normal forms using Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture.
Pregnancy and post-natal care
Acupuncture is safe and effective during pregnancy to help relieve morning sickness, boost energy, treat fluid retention, digestive issues, and muscular aches and pains.
Later in pregnancy, acupuncture can assist with turning breech babies and gradually preparing the body for labour. Weekly acupuncture treatment from 36 weeks helps to prepare emotionally and physically for childbirth, encouraging optimal foetal positioning and a timely birth with less intervention.
If overdue, acupuncture can be used for gently inducing labour, optimising the chances of an uncomplicated labour and natural birth.
Chinese medicine is traditionally used in postnatal care, and can be used to treat any breastfeeding issues, postnatal depression, or just help recovery and boost energy.
Activate the body’s natural healing ability with Chinese herbal medicine to effectively treat a wide range of women’s health and general health conditions, with little to no side effects.
A herbal formula will typically contain up to 20 individual herbs – natural medicinal substances including plant bark, leaves, roots, seeds, and some minerals – working in synergy for best results. The herbal prescription can be modified according to the individual patient’s presentation and progress.
Traditionally, raw herbs are cooked at home, and while this method requires more effort it is the most potent and effective.
Herbs can also be taken in the form of powders, tinctures, capsules or pills – sometimes a more convenient and palatable solution.
Chinese herbal medicine is also effective treatment for:
- Stress-related issues – anxiety, insomnia, low energy
- Digestive issues – constipation, diarrhea, IBS, weight management
- Respiratory health – asthma, hayfever, stubborn colds, sinusitis
- Skin conditions – eczema, psoriasis, acne, rosacea
To make an appointment call Dr Mary-Jo Bevin on 0417312800