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.
Several conditions that impact women more frequently than men include:
Cardiovascular Disease: As the number one threat to women's health, cardiovascular disease is not just a man's disease. According to the American Heart Association, an estimated 44 million women in the U.S. are affected by cardiovascular diseases, causing 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year. They also state that women have a higher lifetime risk of stroke than men, and 90 percent of women have one or more risk factors, with fewer women than men surviving their first heart attack. By integrating acupuncture and Oriental medicine into your heart-healthy lifestyle, you can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
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 to 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. Some scientists believe it may be hereditary and caused by a combination of factors, including hormones, 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.