Treatment of Endometriosis and Fibroids
Randine Lewis, Ph.D., Lic.Ac.
What do endometriosis and fibroids have in common? They both have their place in preventing conception, and both are responsive to estrogen fluctuations. There is no western cure for either, except hysterectomy. Eastern medicine, however, gives them a common denominator - they are both considered processes of inhibited, stagnated uterine blood which doesn't flow freely. The menstruate has become blocked, and the normal process has become obstructed. Women with either of these conditions often experience a sediment-like menstrual flow with dark, brown, clotted, blood which has been allowed to oxidize. The rest of the body responds and the immune system reacts to this silty, old blood. Our neuroendocrine awareness is heightened. Remember, our body's immunologic priority is to keep us safe from external or internal insults. It recognizes the toxic state and mounts chemicals to clean up this debris. It knows that a fetus won't survive in this environment.
Luckily, both conditions respond very well to Chinese medicine. Given time and the proper treatment, the blood flow will improve, the sediment will clear, and the body will overcome its immunologic protective mechanisms. Our psycho-neuro-endocrinologic system will settle down. Our body can relax and allow conception to take place.
Uterine Fibroids or myomas are benign tumors found in approximately 20% of women over 35 years of age. Uterine myomas are the most common neoplasm of the female reproductive organs, and are associated with menstrual pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, and fertility problems.
Fibroids may impair conception if they obstruct the uterine cavity or the entrance into the uterus from the fallopian tubes.
One Chinese study conducted by Zhongli and Shurong used Traditional Chinese Medicinals to treat 223 cases of uterine fibroids. All patients had conspicuous symptoms and were diagnosed clinically by pelvic examination and confirmed by ultrasonography.
Treatment was provided according to the diffentiation of the pattern of imbalance, involving the principles of invigorating the blood and eliminating blood stasis, clearing heat, and suftening the induration.
Those diagnosed with yin deficiency and liver fire were also given herbs to supplement the yin and clear liver fire.
Those diagnosed with spleen qi vacuity were also given herbs to supplement the spleen qi such as codonopsis and astragalus.
Medicinal herbs were added for qi and blood stagnation.
The herbs were administered after menstruation. The authors reported a 72% reduction in the quantity of menstrual blood. Symptoms like abdominal pain, leukorrhea, and backache were improved in 58.8%. The overall effectiveness rate was 92.4%. Myomas completely disappeared in 13% of the cases, were markedly diminished in 29%, slightly reduced in 19%, and unchanged in 28%.
Acupuncture and acupressure are also recommended in the treatment of fibroids, using those points recommended for blood stasis and the uterus. The stimulation provided by the acupuncture has been found to induce the regression of pathologic proliferating cells locally. Humoral factors at a distally stimulated acupoint which control and prevent local overgrowth of regenerating and proliferating cells (those that invigorate the blood) also systemically affect the growth of distant tumors.
As with all Chinese Medical treatments, however, the most efficacious results will result from treating the pattern. I treated a woman for a large fibroid (the size of a grapefruit), and the tumor shrunk, only in response to tonifying her spleen and resolving dampness. When I tried to invigorate the blood, I got no effect at all.