This is the second in a series of monthly posts about hypothyroidism. Please feel free to email your thyroid-related questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or post them in the comments section at the bottom of this post and I’ll be happy to answer them.
As we discussed in Part 1 in our hypothyroidism series, the thyroid is a large endocrine gland that looks like a butterfly and rests on the vocal chords, just below the Adam’s apple. It has three key functions – regulate cell metabolism by regulating the body to a certain temperature, regulate the burning of calories, and control weight gain or loss.
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid doesn’t function properly, causing a deficiency in important hormones and often leading to obesity, which commonly leads to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and high cholesterol.
Like any disease, illness or chronic condition, we take a comprehensive, holistic approach to the treatment of hypothyroidism, rather than a singular, one-treatment-fits-all approach. Today, we’ll take a look at acupuncture as one of many tools in our arsenal for treating this condition.
Traditional Eastern medicine doesn’t recognize a “thyroid disease,” but rather an imbalance in the energy of the body as a whole. As a result, the aim of acupuncture is to restore balance in the production and release of hormones by the thyroid.
This is done by recognizing the symptoms of hypothyroidism that are present and treating the meridians where the imbalance or energy blockage exists. In Eastern medicine, a meridian is an energy channel or pathway in the human body. There are 12 meridians, each associated with a particular element (earth, fire, water, wood, metal) and an organ system in the body.
By targeting and stimulating specific acupuncture points along these meridians, energy can be directed to the part of the body that needs to be healed. In addition to restoring hormonal balance in the thyroid, acupuncture can help to treat associated headaches, emotional distress and problems with sleeping.
In the case of hypothyroidism, the spleen is usually the primary meridian where imbalance is presented, although each patient’s symptoms are different. Because one of the functions of the spleen is to transform the food and fluids we consume into nutrients, proper diet and nutrition are a critical part of the healing process.
As we continue to take back our health in the year of the family, it’s important to explore and understand all treatment options for hypothyroidism, including acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic care, proper exercise and clinical nutrition counseling. At Natural Healthcare Center, we use this holistic approach to attack the cause of your condition and help you feel better, function better and live longer.
In future posts in our hypothyroidism series, we’ll discuss other treatment options and leading causes of the disease. Again, if you have a thyroid-related question, please post it below in the comments section, or email me privately at email@example.com.