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Understanding Menopause and TCM

15 Feb 2024

By: Lee Hui Min

Blog, Acupuncture, Article, Physician Lee 李医师, TCM Herbs

What is Menopause? Menopause is a natural biological process that marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years. It is defined as the permanent cessation of menstrual periods and is usually diagnosed after a woman has gone 12 consecutive months without a period. Menopause typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, with the average age of onset being around 51.Menopause is typically divided into three stages: perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause.Perimenopause: This is the stage leading up to menopause when a woman’s ovaries gradually produce less estrogen. Perimenopause can last anywhere from a few months to several years and can begin as early as a woman’s 30s or 40s. During this time, a woman may experience irregular periods, hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and other symptoms of hormonal fluctuations.Menopause: Menopause is defined as the point when a woman has gone 12 consecutive months without a period. At this point, the ovaries have stopped releasing eggs, and estrogen and other reproductive hormone levels have significantly declined. Menopause typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, with the average age of onset being around 51.Postmenopause: Postmenopause is the stage that follows menopause and lasts for the rest of a woman’s life. During this time, a woman’s hormone levels stabilize at a low level, and she may experience symptoms such as vaginal dryness, reduced sex drive, and bone loss. What are Menopausal Symptoms? During menopause, a woman’s ovaries gradually produce less estrogen and other reproductive hormones, which can lead to a variety of physical and emotional symptoms. Some common symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, vaginal dryness, and sleep disturbances. These symptoms can vary widely in severity and duration, and some women may not experience any symptoms at all. Some of the common symptoms are as follows:Irregular periods: As a woman’s hormone levels fluctuate, she may experience changes in her menstrual cycle, including irregular periods, heavier or lighter periods, and shorter or longer periods.Hot flashes and night sweats: These are sudden, intense feelings of heat that can cause sweating, flushing, and rapid heartbeat, and are often accompanied by chills and shivering.Sleep disturbances: Menopause can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting restful sleep.Mood changes: Hormonal fluctuations during menopause can cause mood swings, irritability, anxiety, depression, and other emotional symptoms.Vaginal dryness and discomfort: Declining estrogen levels can cause vaginal dryness, itching, burning, and discomfort during sexual activity.Loss of libido: Hormonal changes can also lead to a reduced sex drive and decreased interest in sexual activity.Urinary problems: Menopause can increase the risk of urinary tract infections, incontinence, and other urinary problems.Joint pain and stiffness: Some women may experience joint pain and stiffness during menopause, which is thought to be related to hormonal changes and inflammation. How is Menopause diagnosed? Menopause is typically diagnosed based on symptoms and medical history. If a woman has not had a period for 12 consecutive months and is experiencing symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood changes, and sleep disturbances, she may be diagnosed with menopause.In some cases, a doctor may also order blood tests to measure hormone levels, such as follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and estrogen. FSH levels increase as the ovaries produce less estrogen, so elevated levels of FSH may indicate that a woman is in menopause. However, hormone levels can vary widely from day to day and may not be reliable indicators of menopause on their own.It’s important to note that other conditions can cause symptoms similar to menopause, such as thyroid disorders or certain medications, so it’s important to work with a healthcare provider to rule out other potential causes of symptoms. What is TCM perspective on menopause? Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) views menopause as a natural transition in a woman’s life, marking the end of her reproductive years. According to TCM principles, menopause is associated with a decline in kidney essence, which is believed to be responsible for reproductive function and overall vitality. This decline in kidney essence leads to changes in hormonal balance and the symptoms commonly associated with menopause, such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and dryness.In TCM, the kidney is considered the foundation of yin and yang energies in the body, and its imbalance can manifest in various symptoms related to menopause. The decline in kidney essence is often accompanied by a decrease in yin energy, leading to symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. Additionally, a deficiency in kidney yang can result in symptoms such as fatigue, cold intolerance, and decreased libido. How does TCM manage menopause? TCM treatment for menopausal symptoms typically focuses on nourishing kidney yin and yang energies to restore balance in the body. This may involve acupuncture, herbal medicine, dietary therapy, and lifestyle modifications.Herbal medicine is a common TCM treatment for menopause symptoms. Some herbs, such as dong quai and black cohosh, which are believed to have phytoestrogen may help relieve hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and other symptoms. Other herbs, such as ginseng and licorice, are believed to have adaptogenic properties that can help the body cope with stress and promote overall health.Acupuncture, which involves the insertion of fine needles into specific points on the body, is often used to regulate the flow of qi (vital energy) and balance yin and yang energies. Dietary therapy in TCM for menopause typically involves consuming foods that nourish yin and yang energies, such as soups, stews, and warm, cooked foods, while avoiding excessive consumption of spicy, greasy, or overly stimulating foods.Overall, TCM takes a holistic approach to menopause, aiming to address not only the physical symptoms but also the underlying imbalances in the body’s energy systems to promote overall health and well-being during this transitional phase of life. It’s important to note that individual experiences of menopause can vary, and TCM treatment plans are tailored to each person’s specific symptoms and constitution. What is the current evidence for the efficacy of TCM on menopause? There is some evidence to suggest that Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can be effective in treating certain menopause-related symptoms, although more research is needed to confirm these findings. Here are some examples:Hot flashes: Several studies have found that acupuncture may be effective in reducing the frequency and severity of hot flashes in menopausal women. A systematic review and meta-analysis of 12 randomized controlled trials found that acupuncture was more effective than no treatment or placebo in reducing the frequency and severity of hot flashes.Vaginal dryness: A small study found that a TCM herbal formula called Er-Xian decoction was effective in improving vaginal dryness in postmenopausal women. Another study found that a TCM herbal formula called Liu Wei Di Huang Wan was effective in improving vaginal dryness and reducing other menopause-related symptoms.Insomnia: A randomized controlled trial found that acupuncture was effective in improving sleep quality and reducing insomnia in menopausal women.Anxiety and depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis of 10 randomized controlled trials found that acupuncture was effective in reducing anxiety and depression in menopausal women.While these studies suggest that TCM may be effective in treating some menopause-related symptoms, more research is needed to confirm these findings. Conclusion Menopause is a natural and inevitable part of aging, and while it can be challenging for some women, it does not typically indicate a significant health problem. However, menopause can increase the risk of certain health conditions such as osteoporosis, heart disease, and urinary incontinence. It’s important for women to take steps to maintain their overall health and well-being during and after menopause, such as exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and getting regular medical check-ups.It’s important to note that menopause is a highly individualized experience, and not all women will experience the same symptoms or progress through the stages at the same rate. Women should work with their healthcare provider to develop a personalized plan for managing menopause symptoms and maintaining their overall health during this time. ReferencesKim, T. H., Lee, M. S., Kang, J. W., Kim, Y. J., & Myeong, S. L. (2010). Acupuncture for hot flushes in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women: a randomized, sham-controlled trial. Menopause, 17(2), 269-278.Tzeng, C. R., Chang, Y. H., Chang, S. L., & Liu, W. M. (2014). Clinical effects of Er-Xian decoction on menopausal syndrome: a randomized, controlled trial. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2014.Chen, M. N., Lin, C. C., Liu, C. F., & Huang, Y. T. (2008). Effects of Liu Wei Di Huang Wan on menopausal symptoms of quality of life in menopausal women: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 14(5), 651-656.Huang, M. I., Nir, Y., Chen, B., Schnyer, R., Manber, R., & St John, B. (2016). A randomized controlled pilot study of acupuncture for postmenopausal hot flashes: effect on nocturnal hot flashes and sleep quality. Fertility and Sterility, 106(6), 1580-1588.Lee, M. S., Kim, J. I., & Ernst, E. (2010). Is acupuncture a useful intervention for depression? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders, 111(2-3), 125-134.
Unexplained Infertility and TCM

15 Feb 2024

By: Lee Hui Min

Blog, Acupuncture, Article, Fertility, Physician Lee 李医师, TCM Herbs

What is unexplained infertility? Unexplained infertility is a diagnosis given to couples who have been trying to conceive for at least 12 months without success and where no specific cause for their infertility can be identified after a thorough medical evaluation. In other words, it is a situation where a couple is unable to conceive despite having regular unprotected sex and no medical problems have been identified that could explain why they are not able to conceive. Unexplained infertility is a relatively common diagnosis, accounting for approximately 10-30% of all infertility cases. It is more common in women over the age of 35 and in couples who have been trying to conceive for longer than 12 months. The exact cause of unexplained infertility is not fully understood, and it is considered a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning that no identifiable cause of infertility has been found after a thorough evaluation. Despite the absence of a clear explanation for why a couple is unable to conceive, several factors may contribute to unexplained infertility, including:Abnormalities in sperm function or qualityOvulatory dysfunction, including irregular or absent ovulationFallopian tube dysfunction or blockagesEndometriosis or other reproductive disordersHormonal imbalances that affect fertilityImmune system issues that may impact fertilityLifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, or obesityIt is believed that a combination of these factors may play a role in unexplained infertility, but further research is needed to better understand the condition. What are the treatment options for unexplained infertility? Unexplained infertility can be a frustrating diagnosis, but there are several treatment options that may help couples conceive. Treatment for unexplained infertility will depend on various factors such as the couple’s age, duration of infertility, and any additional medical conditions that may be present. Here are some of the treatment options: Fertility drugs: These medications are used to stimulate ovulation in women and increase the chances of conception. They work by regulating hormones that are involved in the menstrual cycle and can help to increase the number of eggs that are released each month. Intrauterine insemination (IUI): This involves placing washed sperm directly into the uterus during the woman’s ovulation cycle, increasing the chances of fertilization. In vitro fertilization (IVF): This is a process where the woman’s eggs are fertilized with sperm outside the body and the resulting embryos are then transferred to the woman’s uterus. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI): This is a procedure that involves injecting a single sperm into an egg to facilitate fertilization, which is often used in conjunction with IVF. Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct anatomical issues such as blocked fallopian tubes or endometriosis. Lifestyle changes: Some lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol and caffeine intake, and managing stress may also help to increase fertility. How does TCM view unexplained infertility? Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been used for centuries to promote fertility and improve reproductive health. TCM may be a helpful option for couples with unexplained infertility, as it can help address underlying imbalances in the body that may be contributing to infertility. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) views unexplained infertility through the lens of imbalance within the body’s systems, particularly the reproductive system and related meridians (energy pathways). In TCM, infertility is often seen as a manifestation of underlying disharmonies rather than a specific diagnosis. Here are some key perspectives from TCM on unexplained infertility:Qi and Blood Stagnation: TCM believes that the smooth flow of Qi (vital energy) and Blood throughout the body is essential for optimal health, including fertility. Qi and Blood stagnation, which can be caused by factors like stress, emotional disturbances, or lifestyle habits, may obstruct the flow of energy and nutrients to the reproductive organs, leading to infertility.Kidney Deficiency: In TCM, the Kidneys play a vital role in reproduction and are often considered the foundation of reproductive health. Kidney Deficiency, whether in terms of Yin, Yang, or Jing (essence), can contribute to infertility by affecting hormone balance, ovulation, and overall reproductive function.Liver Qi Stagnation: The Liver is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi throughout the body. When Liver Qi becomes stagnant due to factors like stress, emotional issues, or poor diet, it can lead to disruptions in the menstrual cycle, ovulation, and overall reproductive function.Spleen and Stomach Imbalances: The Spleen and Stomach in TCM are responsible for the transformation and transportation of nutrients and fluids in the body. Imbalances in these organs, such as Spleen Qi Deficiency or Dampness, can affect the body’s ability to nourish the reproductive organs and support a healthy menstrual cycle.Blood Deficiency or Stasis: In TCM, Blood is considered a vital substance that nourishes the body, including the reproductive organs. Blood Deficiency or Stasis, which can result from factors like poor diet, excessive menstrual bleeding, or emotional stress, may impair the quality of the endometrial lining or disrupt the menstrual cycle, leading to infertility.Emotional Factors: TCM recognizes the influence of emotions on overall health, including fertility. Emotional imbalances such as stress, anxiety, or unresolved emotions can affect the flow of Qi and Blood in the body, contributing to infertility. What can TCM do for unexplained infertility? TCM management of unexplained infertility typically involve a combination of acupuncture, herbal medicine, dietary therapy, lifestyle modifications, and stress reduction techniques to address the underlying imbalances and promote overall health and well-being. By restoring balance within the body, TCM aims to support natural fertility and improve the chances of conception. However, it’s important to consult with a qualified TCM practitioner for personalized diagnosis and treatment recommendations.Numerous research studies indicate that Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can be a promising option for treating unexplained infertility, whether used on its own or in conjunction with Western medical approaches like IVF. However, further investigation is necessary to gain a deeper understanding of this matter.Acupuncture, in particular, has been found to be effective in treating infertility by regulating the menstrual cycle, improving blood flow to the reproductive organs, and reducing stress and anxiety. Several studies have suggested that acupuncture may increase the success rates of IVF and IUI in women with unexplained infertility. A meta-analysis published in 2018 found that acupuncture improved pregnancy rates and live birth rates in women with unexplained infertility who underwent in vitro fertilization (IVF) compared to control groups who did not receive acupuncture.Herbal medicine may also be prescribed by a TCM practitioner to address underlying imbalances that may be contributing to infertility. These herbal formulas are tailored to the individual’s specific pattern of symptoms and may include herbs that help to regulate the menstrual cycle, improve ovarian function, and support the health of the reproductive organs. Another meta-analysis published in 2017 found that herbal medicine was associated with a significant increase in pregnancy rates and live birth rates in couples with unexplained infertility compared to control groups who received either no treatment or placebo.Dietary therapy and lifestyle modifications, such as stress reduction techniques and exercise, may also be recommended by a TCM practitioner to support fertility.The best course of action for unexplained infertility will depend on several factors, including the age and overall health of the couple, as well as their personal preferences and financial resources. Couples with unexplained infertility should consult with a healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment for their individual needs. References Qian, Y., Xia, X., & Cui, Y. (2018). Acupuncture for uterine fibroids. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (8). https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD007221.pub4Ried, K., Stuart, K., & Travaglia, J. (2017). Efficacy of Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine in the management of female infertility: A systematic review. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 34, 137-142. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctim.2017.07.008
Balancing Act: TCM Approaches to Easing Rheumatoid Arthritis Discomfort

02 Feb 2024

By: Kang Ting Tan

Blog, Acupuncture, Article, Autoimmune Disease, General Health, Pain management, Physician KT 陈医师

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)  is a chronic inflammatory disorder that causes joint inflammation and pain. RA commonly affects the hands, knees, ankles and usually the same joint on both sides of the body. In some people, RA can affect other parts of the body as well such as skin, eyes, lungs, heart and circulatory system.  Unlike the wear-and-tear damage (degeneration) of osteoarthritis, RA is an autoimmune disease. The immune system mistakenly attacks the synovium, the lining of the membranes that surround the joints. The immune system considers the body’s own cells, particularly those in the synovium, as foreign invaders, leading to chronic inflammation. Synovium is the tissue lining around a joint that produces fluid to help the joint move smoothly. The chronic inflammation results in  red, warm, tender and painful swollen joints that can eventually cause bone erosion and joint deformity. In addition to the joints, RA can affect other organs in the body.  Rheumatoid factor (RF) is an antibody that is often present in the blood of individuals with rheumatoid arthritis. Its presence is one of the diagnostic markers for RA, but not everyone with RA has detectable levels of RF, and some people without RA may have elevated RF levels. The exact cause of RA remains unclear, but researchers believe that a combination of genetic and environmental factors plays a role in its development. It is thought that individuals with specific genetic predispositions may be more susceptible to RA, and certain environmental triggers can activate these genes. These triggers may include viral or bacterial infections, physical or emotional stress, or other external factors (for e.g. being constantly in a cold or humid environment). The reasons behind a higher prevalence of RA in women compared to men remain unclear, and the condition typically manifests during middle age (25-50 years old). The likelihood of developing RA is higher for individuals with a family history of the condition. Early stage of RA Often affect smaller joints (wrists , certain joints (particularly the 2nd and 4th finger) in the hand and feet ) first  Muscle aches or joint pain worsens during humid or rainy days Disease progression Affect other bigger joints like wrist, elbows, shoulders, hips, ankle and knee Joint pain and deformity affecting daily activities  Anemic  About 40% of people also experience symptoms that do not involve the joints.  The inflammation associated with RA can damage other parts of the body as well such as:  Eyes: Dry eyes, redness or sensitivity to light  Mouth: Dryness and chronic gum inflammation  Skin: Rheumatoid nodules near joints (formed due to the accumulation of inflammatory cells and fibrous tissue) Lungs: Chronic inflammation and scarring can lead to progressive shortness of breath How TCM views Rheumatoid arthritis  RA belongs to the category of “ 痹症,Bi Zheng” in Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). 《素问·痹论》说:“风寒湿三气杂至,合而为痹也。” TCM believes that the pathogenesis of RA is related to external causes and internal causes. External cause: Wind, cold, heat and dampness pathogen Internal cause: Deficiency of qi, blood, spleen, liver and kidney RA etiology in TCM perspective  其人平素体虚或劳倦内伤过甚,腠理空疏,元气不足,导致风寒湿邪(或郁而化热,或风湿热邪)流注于关节。 Experiencing chronic over-exhaustion or having a weaker body constitution may make one more susceptible to the invasion of wind, cold, or dampness pathogens targeting the joints. Extended inflammation leads to the buildup of heat and dampness within the joints. 若反复发炎则诸邪内损,可损及肝脾肾,亦能深伏于骨关节,筋脉,而血停为瘀,湿凝成痰,然后痰热互结,最总导致关节中肿胀,僵硬变形,而关节周围发生结节,皮肤色素沉着。 In the TCM  framework, chronic inflammation has the potential to harm the liver, spleen, and kidneys over time. This persistent inflammatory state can lead to either blood stasis or heat dampness, eventually giving rise to symptoms like swollen and deformed joints, the formation of rheumatoid nodules, or discoloration of skin. TCM approach to treating RA TCM employs a holistic approach to health and often utilizes a combination of therapies to treat RA. RA are generally categorized into three stages based on factors such as the duration of the condition, the type of pathogen involved, and the individual’s body constitution. Herbal medication, acupuncture and dietary restrictions are common methods to treat and manage RA. 1.Initial stage (早期:Wind and cold dampness Type  风寒湿型)   Symptoms:  Shorter duration 病程短 Generally weaker body constitution 多体虚 Morning stiffness and joint pain , especially during cold, humid or rainy environment or emotional triggers 晨僵,痛处受寒或气候潮湿或情绪波动时加重 No redness or warm joints 患处不发热发红 Aversion to cold or heat 恶寒发热 Floating and tight pulse 脉浮紧或沉弦带紧 Herbal prescription commonly used: 麻黄加白术汤加减 (麻黄, 桂枝,炒白芍,炙甘草,炒白术,姜黄,鸡血藤,忍冬藤等。)  Common acupuncture points used 五虎穴  复原穴  三间穴 阴陵泉穴    2. Middle stage (中期: 久病化热伤阴型)   Symptoms: Pain in the hand and feet joints 四肢关节肿痛,僵硬 Morning stiffness worsens with inactivity 晨僵,屈伸不利 Other accompanying symptoms: Dry throat, heart palpitations, dizziness 咽干,心悸,眩晕 Tight, thin and fast pulse 脉弦细数 Herbal prescription commonly used: 桂枝芍药知母汤加减 (桂枝,白芍,炙甘草,知母,生石膏,白术,防风,生地,炮附子,石斛,姜黄,秦艽等。) Common acupuncture points used 五虎穴  复原穴  三叉三穴 四肢穴   3. Late stage (晚期: 肝肾气血亏虚,痰瘀痹阻型)   Symptoms: Chronic pain: persistent and intense joint pain 慢性疼痛,关节刺痛或僵直 Limited mobility 关节活动不利 Joint deformities: swelling, stiffness and changes in joint structure maybe more pronounced 关节变形 Rheumatoid nodules can be seen 可见类风湿结节 Decreased quality of life. Daily activities, social interactions, and mental well-being may be compromised. 生活素质变差。 Herbal prescription commonly used: 独活寄生汤合虎潜丸加减 (独活 桑寄生 秦艽 防风 黄芪 当归 生地黄 熟地黄 黄柏 知母 白薇 炒白芍 石斛 姜黄 淫羊藿 桂枝等。) Common acupuncture points used 五虎穴  复原穴  足三里穴 丰隆穴 太溪穴 Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate energy flow and promote healing. Here are some potential ways acupuncture might help individuals with RA: Pain Relief: Acupuncture may help alleviate pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis. The insertion of needles at specific acupuncture points is thought to stimulate the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, which may contribute to pain relief. Inflammation Reduction: Some studies suggest that acupuncture may have anti-inflammatory effects. By modulating the immune system and reducing inflammation, acupuncture might contribute to the management of RA symptoms. Improved Joint Function: Acupuncture may help improve joint function and mobility in individuals with RA. By promoting better circulation and reducing muscle tension, acupuncture might have positive effects on the range of motion in affected joints. Dietary restrictions Reduce consumption of  Sugary Foods, Cold Drinks, and Beer Excessive sugar consumption is associated with inflammation, and some people may experience allergic reactions or increased joint pain as a result. Raw and Cold Foods  In TCM, foods that are considered “cold” and “damp” are thought to obstruct the flow of yang energy, potentially leading to discomfort or achy joints. Peanuts, chocolate, millet, yogurt, glutinous or dairy products These certain foods possible due to their amino acid content  (tyrosine, phenylalanine or tryptophan), may contribute to production of inflammatory factors such as prostaglandins, leukotrienoic acid or IgE antibodies, potentially worsening joint inflammation or causing pain relapse  Too much sour food such as  sour plum, vinegar or lemon.  Sour foods are generally considered to have a contracting and cooling nature and may worsen joint pain. One is encouraged to consume more Chinese barley (reduce dampness), black beans, green beans, yellow beans, soy products, chestnut or sesame, Chinese yam, carrot, blueberry or turmeric powders (antioxidant properties). Early diagnosis and treatment in the earlier stages of RA can help prevent or slow down the progression to late-stage complications. Regular medical monitoring and adjustments to treatment plans are crucial in managing the disease effectively. Individuals with late-stage RA may benefit from working closely with a rheumatologist, TCM physicians and other healthcare professionals to optimize their care and improve their quality of life. Note: Information provided is not a substitute for a physician or any form of medical care. Individual symptoms differ due to different body constitutions and diagnosis. One should consult a licensed TCM practitioner for accurate diagnosis and treatment. Prices exclude GST. ^Treatments are done by certain physicians only
Role of TCM in easing pregnancy discomfort

02 Feb 2024

By: Sheryl Tay

Article, Acupuncture, Blog, Physician Tay 郑医师, Pregnancy

Easing Pregnancy Discomfort with Acupuncture Discover the holistic benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) throughout your pregnancy journey and beyond! TCM treatments aren’t just effective for improving fertility; they can also complement Western medicine, enhancing the chances of conception and supporting women through every stage of pregnancy and postpartum. Experience the natural relief TCM offers for common pregnancy discomforts and symptoms, providing a safe alternative to medications often contraindicated during pregnancy. Embrace the miraculous journey of pregnancy with TCM’s gentle and holistic approach, promoting maternal well-being and nurturing both mother and baby. Here’s how TCM can assist you:Alleviating Discomfort: While it is common to experience symptoms during pregnancy, it may be helpful to seek TCM treatments when it becomes too uncomfortable for you to ensure a more comfortable and happy pregnancy. TCM emphasizes the balance of vital energy (Qi) and blood circulation. Acupuncture and herbal medicine are usually prescribed to optimize these essential elements, promoting a harmonious environment for both you and your baby, thereby relieving the discomfort experienced during pregnancy. Common pregnancy symptoms include:Morning sicknessAcupuncture and herbal medication are effective ways to help relieve nausea vomiting Home tips to help relieve morning sickness: Massaging acupoint 内关 1-2 minutes every day helps to relieve nausea. Drinking ginger tea can also help alleviate some discomfort due to morning sickness. More severe cases of nausea vomiting, would require a consultation with a physician to diagnose your body constitution and prescribe acupuncture and/or herbal medication to treat. Common body constitution in ladies with morning sickness: ConstipationConstipation is described as infrequent bowel movements or difficulty in removing bowels. It has been estimated that approximately 11% to 38% of pregnant women experience constipation.  Pregnancy predisposes women to developing constipation due to physiologic and anatomic changes in the gastrointestinal tract. There is increased water absorption from the intestines, which causes stool to dry out. Decreased maternal activity and increased vitamin supplementation (eg, iron and calcium) can further contribute to constipation. Acupuncture can effectively re-regulate bowel movements by helping to get the circulation flowing again and bringing moisture to the area if needed. Acupuncture treatment can help open blockages, stimulate peristalsis, and bring on a bowel movement. Massaging 支沟 acupoint 1-2 minutes daily could help with pregnancy constipation. Insomnia and fatigueInsomnia describes the difficulty in falling asleep and not having restful sleep. A study done suggested that an average of 45.7% pregnant women suffer from poor quality of sleep. Sleep problems and changes in sleep patterns start during the first trimester of pregnancy, most likely influenced by the rapid changes in reproductive hormone levels. Sleep during the first trimester is also disturbed due to nausea or vomiting. In the third trimester, sleep disturbances are due to general discomfort caused by backache, urinary frequency, fetal movements, GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) and leg discomfort. Poor sleep translates to daytime effects including hypersomnia, fatigue and mood changes. Studies have shown that acupuncture can significantly improve the sleep quality in pregnant women, possibly through increasing melatonin secretion, and could be recommended as a low-risk alternative treatment to pharmacological therapies. Massaging 百会 acupoint could help with pregnancy insomnia. PainAcupuncture provides effective support for patients experiencing aches and pains, be it headaches, bodily aches such as neck pains and backaches. Pregnancy could be uncomfortable and experiencing aches and pain could worsen quality of life and daily functioning of pregnant ladies. Acupuncture is considered as a safe, non-pharmacological treatment option that is being increasingly used to provide relief from discomfort during the pregnancy. Acupuncture done by a licensed physician is safe. The physician would avoid some acupuncture points which are contraindicated for pregnant ladies Support pregnancy: TCM treatment after conception can help support the embryo’s attachment and reduce the risk of miscarriage. It can also reduce stress and anxiety, which can positively impact the success of the pregnancy.Supporting Mental and Emotional Well-being: Pregnancy often comes with a range of emotions. TCM takes into account the mind-body connection, offering treatments that help manage stress, anxiety, and mood swings. A more positive pregnancy experience may positively impact the baby’s development.Preparing for Labor: TCM can play a vital role in preparing your body for labor. Our physicians can provide guidance on exercises, dietary adjustments, and herbal support tailored to your specific needs.Even though TCM has its benefits, it is important to note that it should not substitute Western medical care during your pregnancy. It can provide complementary care, but it is vital to visit your gynaecologist regularly to monitor the progress of your pregnancy. Pregnancy can bring about various changes in your body, and TCM offers a holistic approach to address these changes naturally. Our experienced TCM physicians specialize in providing personalized care to expectant mothers, focusing on enhancing overall well-being and promoting a healthy pregnancy.