Monday, March 17, 2008

Alternative Approaches to Endometriosis routinely posts an "Alternative Medicine Q&A" in which well-known researchers/doctors from the world of integrative medicine give their input on a variety of health issues. Here's one recent Q&A about endometriosis:

What kinds of alternative medicines are there for endometriosis besides the ultimate solution: hysterectomies? -- D'Ann

Barrie Cassileth, Ph.D., chief of the Integrative Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center:

Hello D'Ann,

Acupuncture can relieve the pain and discomfort, but it will not affect the underlying problem itself. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) herbal formulas are quite effective, but not through over-the-counter products. Instead, the patient needs to be evaluated by a qualified practitioner who can customize the formula to the particular individual and her condition.

Many TCM doctors are trained to specialize in gyn problems (and in other specific areas of clinical practice as well). An early small study suggests that a pine bark extract is effective for endometriosis, but best bet is to find a well-trained expert.


An article about endometriosis by Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP and Marcy Holmes, NP (Women to Women Clinic) offers more detailed treatment options and preventative advice from the integrative/holistic point of view. According to the Women to Women clinicians, endometriosis -- growth beyond or outside the uterus of tissue resembling endometrium, the tissue that normally lines the uterus -- is most likely triggered by a hormonal imbalance of excess estrogen. Women treated by the Women to Women clinic have had a consistently high rate of success through a combination of dietary changes, nutrient support, emotional healing and alternative therapies such as acupuncture and phytotherapy. The goal of the program is to eliminate the underlying causes of endometriosis and support the body’s healthy metabolic function.

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