Treating Hormonal Imbalance

In our clinic we use the protocols of Dr Manaka, Nagano Sensei, Kiiko Matsumoto, and the Toyo Hari style of acupuncture to address imbalances in the endocrine system. This includes the pituitary, adrenals, thyroid, parathyroid, pancreas, ovaries, and testes.

In Kiiko Matsumoto's Clinical Strategies it states an imbalance in the endocrine system is not usually restricted to one  gland and target organ. Clinical presentations can include a wide array of signs and symptoms. Many patients present with normal or sub-clinical changes in their blood test yet complain about many symptoms.

Hormonal treatments using the methods of traditional East Asian medicine are often sufficient to prevent the intake of medications and some endocrine surgery. Such examples include partial or full thyroidectomy in the case of Grave's Disease, or eliminate the need for pills to stabilise blood sugar in non-insulin dependent diabetics or thyroid hormone in hypothyroidism. But in other cases, which require the intake of medication on a regular basis, the hormone balancing treatments reduce the intake and keep the patient stable with far less side effects. This is an important aspect of East Asian medical treatments. A good example are patients who are insulin dependent diabetics but present with a very unstable blood sugar profile. These patients are often stabilised with blood sugar balancing treatments and they can avoid complications such as peripheral neuropathy, kidney damage, etc. Patients that already present with these problems are helped by the balancing effect of these treatments on the blood sugar and are able to recover much faster. The acupuncture given to these patients regarding their symptomatic presentation will only be effective if the endocrine system is balanced.

Pituitary Gland Treatment : the pituitary gland  is considered the control tower of the hormonal glands. The most common factors leading to a pituitary gland imbalance are chemical disturbances, anatomical disturbances, and disturbances to the pituitary gland reflex zones.

Chemical Disturbance - drug therapies like birth control pill, steroid hormones, HRT, oestrogen patches, etc.
Anatomical Disturbance - chronic sinusitis, sphenoid bone shifts, and trauma to the nasal, occipital, and frontal bones.
Trauma to Reflex Zones - accident or surgery related trauma and scarring to the eyebrow region, including piercings.

After assessing the reflex zones treatment is applied to points on the hands, eyebrows, occiput, and the head. Depending on other presenting symptoms needling and moxa can be applied elsewhere all over the body.

Thyroid Imbalance Treatment : a thyroid imbalance can underlie various diseases. The imbalance may be the result of chronic diseases or medications or the cause of presenting signs and symptoms. In Japan the thyroid is considered the shock absorber of the body. Trauma, extreme stress or shock can lead to thyroid imbalance.

Chemical factors leading to thyroid dysfunction include a lack of oxygen (and many of us do not breathe properly), pituitary gland problems, anti-depressant medication, weight loss medication, herbal or chemical stimulants, birth control pills, and lithium. Many patients present with a genetic predisposition to thyroid diseases and autoimmune disorders of the thyroid gland. Very often patients with pressure pain on the thyroid reflex zone will have a family history of thyroid problems.

Treatment for an under active thyroid is delivered to points behind the ears, at the neck, the wrists, arms, and the back. For an over active thyroid points on the abdomen, the legs and arms, and the back. Moxibustion, magnets, and Chinese herbs can also make up part of the treatment regime.

Sugar Imbalance (adrenals, pancreas, & liver) : any patient with a sensitivity to sugar or adverse reactions to sugar is an indication for this treatment. Also Diabetics, cases of hypoglycaemia, and a pancreatic abdomen.

Treatment strategies use Kidney points for the adrenal signs, Spleen points for pancreatic signs, and Liver, Pericardium, Heart, Spleen, and Kidney points for the Liver signs.

Overall, using acupuncture, moxibustion, and Chinese herbs can provide a return to homeostasis for the body's endocrine system or reduce signs, symptoms, and medication use for those which require ongoing treatment of genetic conditions and permanent dysfunction.