Prolapses are common and natural conditions that may occur to any person at any point of time. The condition refers to the incorrect positioning of the internal body organs. Prolapses seem to occur in about 50% of all women, within the 50 to 79 age bracket. As the normal support of the pelvis is lost, the nearby organs or structures in that region seem to drop down from its normal position. This results in the uterus prolapsing into the vagina, or the other prolapses. Usually a painless condition, the prolapses can be quite effectively treated by the traditional Oriental or Chinese medical theory of Acupuncture.
About Prolapse and Acupuncture
The term prolapse refers to shifting of an organ from its normal position. The common organs of the body that experiences a prolapse belong to the pelvic region. These are –
There are other forms of displacements as well that are included in the category of prolapses and thereby, are suitable for acupuncture therapy. These include –
- Hiatal hernia
- Incompetent sphincters that lead to acid reflux
- Mitral valve prolapse
- Inguinal hernia.
Organ prolapses are quite overwhelming in occurrence, but they are rarely talked about. The common causes are –
- Multiple vaginal births
- Previous history of hysterectomy
- Age, post-menopausal women
- Removal of Organs
- Weakened Physical Condition
- Organ Weakness
- Obesity or excessive weight
- Connective tissue disorder.
Apart from these physical conditions, there are certain external factors that can result in a prolapse in the body. These include –
- Lifting heavy weight
- Constipation and bowel straining as a chronic condition
- Chronic coughing
Acupuncture has proven to be a very effective treatment method for prolapses. If the prolapses are not too severe and do not require immediate surgical intervention, acupuncture has been proven to be effective. It prevents the prolapse from deteriorating. If done in an early stage, acupuncture may even completely rectify the prolapse.
The Traditional Chinese Medicinal (TCM) Theory and Acupuncture
The occurrence of prolapses has an entirely different, but a simple understanding in the Traditional Chinese Medicinal (TCM) Theory. According to TCM, it is believed that the prolapses are associated with sinking spleen referred to as ‘qi’. The normal direction of ‘qi’ is upwards. When it is weak, a feeling of bearing down is experienced by the body. That is the reason behind all sorts of feelings of weaknesses including –
The Acupuncture is one of the most significant treatment methods in the Traditional Chinese Medicinal Theory. By practicing pressure in certain pressure points of the body, the sinking ‘qi’ is elevated. Thus, prolapse can well be treated or prevented from further deterioration.
Acupuncture for Prolapses
The Traditional Chinese Medicinal Theory involves herbal concoctions and theories and some exclusive treatment methods like needle piercing, moxibustion and the use of Therapeutic Infrared Lamp or TDP lamp. According to the Chinese Medicinal theory, the different pressure points present in the body regulates the different organs and parts of body; hence, stimulating or normalizing the flow of energy restoration the normal functioning of the organ and body.
In Acupuncture, needles are inserted into these pressure points to stimulate the spleen and thereby treat the prolapses. There are different Acupuncture points in the body that are focussed for the treatment of prolapses, so different organ prolapses have focus on different acupuncture points. For the treatment of rectum and uterus prolapse, the acupuncture points that are in focus are the spleen meridian and bai hui (GV20). The term bai hui refers to ‘100 meetings’, which is believed to be the point of interest for 100 diseases. As these points are stimulated in the acupuncture procedure, it draws up the energy level that is lowered or sunken, leading to the prolapses. The other acupuncture points include KI27 (shu fu), ST13 (qi hu) and LR5 (li gou). These together are called Naganos.
Often the liver meridian is given equal importance in treating prolapses in women. Though many Western medicine practitioners refuse to accept any relationship between the liver and prolapses, according to the Traditional Chinese Medicinal Theory the liver holds a large quantity of blood and thereby, plays a major role in women’s health problems such as menstrual pain and infertility. Thus, through acupuncture, this liver meridian is also taken into consideration.
How do the Naganos Work in Acupuncture for Prolapse?
The Naganos or energetics, are special groups of acupuncture points. These are placed close to the LI11 (qu chi) and LI10 (shou san li). The ulna bone and the large intestine meridian help in finding the Naganos.
- The KI27 Acupuncture Point for Prolapse: The KI27 refers to the kidney meridian acupuncture point. It is the last point in the kidney meridian and is the most effective one, referred to as the shu of shu points. The shu, in the Traditional Chinese Medicinal Theory means that it can elevate the qi in the blood and therefore, being the shu of shu points, KI27 can elevate the qi. This point is located on the clavicle lower border, about two cun lateral of the ren channel. Rubbing the point will induce a little pain that would indicate that needling the point with acupuncture will eliminate the pain, elevate the qi and treat the prolapse.
- The GV20 Acupuncture Point for Prolapse: This acupuncture point is located about five cun anterior of the hairline. As moxibustion is used, it can elevate the Yang and hence, is the most popular acupuncture point.
- The ST13 Acupuncture Point for Prolapse: Just as the GV20 is the most important acupuncture point in the treatment of prolapses in the Traditional Chinese Medicinal Theory, the ST13 is the most important one as per the Japanese traditional medicinal theory. It is located close to the KI27, on the clavicle lower border and just about four cun lateral of ren channel. This point too helps in the increase of Yang. SP10, SP6, ST36, ST25 are the other spleen and stomach Acupuncture points that play a significant role in the elevation of spleen.
- The LR5 Acupuncture Point for Liver Related Prolapse: If the prolapse is related to the liver, the LR5 acupuncture point helps in treating the prolapse. Uterine prolapse, inguinal hernia etc. are treated with this point. As this point is located in the liver meridian, it connects the uterus, encircles the external genitalia and dominates nerves, tendons, ligaments and muscles of this region.
The Needling Techniques in Acupuncture for Prolapse
There are certain needling techniques that need to be followed to ensure maximum outcome for prolapse treatment. These include –
- Transverse insertion of the needle 0.3-0.5 inches deep in the KI27 and ST13 Acupuncture points.
- 45-15o angle of insertion for the GV20 point, towards the meridian.
- The procedure can be repeated 2 to 3 times to reduce the achiness and increase the bearing capacity.
- Moxibustion can be additionally done for 3 to 5 minutes.
- For about 20 minutes, TDP lamp can be applied.
If you are looking forward to the Acupuncture treatment for prolapses, it is a must that you choose a good practitioner.
- Pelvic Organ Prolapse: Types, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Complications
- Anterior Prolapse: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention, Lifestyle Changes
- Acupuncture for Rectocele or Posterior Prolaps
- Rectocele or Posterior Prolapse: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention
- What is Acupuncture? Know Its Benefits, Risks, Side Effects, Effectiveness
- Medical Conditions That Acupuncture Can Treat
- How Does Acupuncture Therapy Work & What are its Benefits?