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Posted by Scott Stewart, MSAc., Dipl.Ac., LAc.
When it comes to Women’s health, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is quite amazing! TCM has been studying and treating gynecological and obstetric issues for over a thousand years. The earliest known Chinese work on the subject is titled, Jingxiao Chanbao (Tested Treasure in Obstetrics), and was written by Zan Yin during the Sui & Tang Dynasty (618 – 907 CE). Zan Yin finished compiling this 3 volume collection between 847 and 852 CE. The Chanbao, as it is sometimes referred to, was an impressive monographic collection of the clinical experiences and research of doctors who practiced prior to the Tang dynasty; as well as, the inclusion of Yin’s own clinical experience.
The content of the first volume covers topics such as: nourishing and protecting the fetus, miscarriage, threatened abortion, and hemorrhage. The second and third volumes give detailed discussions on gestation, parturition, postnatal care, diseases, prescriptions, and therapy. The section on therapy talks about the same types of treatment that are still prescribed today, such as tonifying the Qi, nourishing blood, and supplementing the Spleen and Kidneys.
Since the time of Zan Yin there have been many advances in the field of gynecology as it is practiced in TCM. In modern clinics we integrate both Eastern and Western medicine into a comprehensive understanding of women’s health, which includes many new diseases that weren’t seen in earlier times.
Today, we treat with great efficacy everything from menstrual irregularities, menopausal symptoms, fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, to infertility, PCOS, endometriosis and candida. With the advent of imaging technologies, and the use of blood chemistry interpretation we have many more diagnostic tools than before that we can use in consort with TCM diagnosis; giving us useful information that helps improve diagnosis and treatment plans, and supports better patient outcomes.
TCM provides a natural, non-invasive, and a more holistic approach to women’s health, which focuses on bringing the body's systems back into a homeostatic state. This can include balancing the peripheral nervous system (sympathetic and parasympathetic), the endocrine system and its hormones, restoring balance to metabolism, re-establishing a healthy ecosystem in the gut, fine tuning the immune system, resynchronizing communication between all systems; and of course, bringing harmony to the body, mind and spirit.
In essence, TCM provides all the necessary knowledge and tools to transform a woman’s life into an affirmative lifestyle that promotes health and longevity.