Women’s Health Issues

Everyone wants to be healthy in order to enjoy a sense of well-being and have the best quality of life possible. Oriental medicine has always addressed the special needs of women throughout their lives. Women are more susceptible than men to certain health conditions, which can make it more challenging to achieve optimal health. Fortunately, many health issues women face respond extremely well to acupuncture treatments.

Some of the top health issues that affect women include:

Heart Disease: According to the American Heart Association cardiovascular disease is the number 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined. The AHA also reports that sixty-four percent of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms.

Depression: The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) states that women are twice as likely to experience depression as men and one in eight will contend with major depression during their lifetime. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is the most commonly reported mental health problem among women.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS): Four times as many women as men develop chronic fatigue syndrome.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): Women are 2-6 times more likely to develop IBS. Acupuncture points can help relieve IBS symptoms, according to researchers from the University of York in the U.K., who found that integrating acupuncture into a treatment plan led to less severe symptoms.

Autoimmune Diseases: According to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA), about 75 percent of autoimmune diseases occur in women. As a group, these diseases make up the fourth-largest cause of health related disability among American women.

Some specific autoimmune diseases that affect women disproportionately more than men include:

Multiple Sclerosis (MS): Nearly half a million Americans have multiple sclerosis, and of that group two-thirds are women. According to the American Academy of Neurology, women with MS are nearly 1.5 times more likely to carry the gene associated with the disease, and are more likely to transfer the gene to female offspring.

Lupus: Ninety percent of all lupus patients are female. Lupus has no known cause, though it is believed it may be hereditary, and may also be triggered by stress, environmental toxins, sunlight, exposure to fluorescent light, and some medications.

Celiac Disease: An autoimmune disorder that affects the digestive system due to an adverse reaction to gluten, 60 to 70 percent of celiac disease patients are women.

From an acupuncture and Oriental medicine perspective, a health problem is never just in the body or in the mind. Whether an imbalance or disharmony began as a physiological or spiritual issue, ultimately, all aspects of the body are affected.