Bleeding between periods which is sometimes called spotting should be reviewed by a doctor in case it is due to uterine fibroids or polyps of the cervix or uterus. Hormone levels may need to be checked or the cervix checked to see if there is an infection. Sometime contraceptive medication or blood thinners could be causing bleeding between periods. This type of bleeding occurs in mid cycle and can last 1-2 days but sometimes may be longer. In modern medicine the mid-cycle is called the ovulation phase and in ancient Chinese medicine texts, it was referred to as the “heat” phase.
Acupuncture for bleeding between periods can be an effective treatment to help this.
The kidneys play an important part in the regulation of the menstrual cycle according to Chinese medicine. This connection may seem odd to some people but if you simply think of the kidneys being connected to the bladder and the urine comes out the sexual organs, you may understand why ancient Chinese physicians made these assumptions. There are two kidneys and one is allocated to the yin, and the other the yang and these two forces are at work during the ovulation phase.
There are a number of causes that may complicate the kidney balance function to help control the heat phase and this includes irregular diet and over work.
Another cause of bleeding between periods is excessive physical exercise.
Too much exercise in a person who has a constitutional weakness or underlying kidney deficiency will only damage their reserves of vitality even more and cause an imbalance in their menstrual cycle.
Laura Callaghan, a well-known acupuncturist in Wellington working from the Newtown Acupuncture Centre sees many women’s related health problems says “Some women can’t believe it when I advise them to take it easier and cut back at the gym. Of course physical aerobic type exercise and weight bearing exercises are important, but they are not the be all and end all of exercises to achieve optimal health. Shaolin monks train very hard but then still meditate every day and have acupuncture and Chinese herbs to help them rectify any imbalances”.
When the acupuncturist sees a patient and makes a diagnosis for the traditional medical cause of the bleeding between periods, all other accompanying signs and symptoms need to be considered. There may be back pain or mid cycle headaches associated with the bleeding so different acupuncture points may be selected. The blood may be a fresh, bright or a dark clotted colour which will mean different acupuncture points or herbs will be selected.
The study of women’s health problems and their treatment with acupuncture has always been a major component of the four year full time degree course at the New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medline.