According to the American Thyroid Association, one in eight people in the US are diagnosed with thyroid disease. Did you know that January is Thyroid Awareness Month?
The thyroid is a small gland in the front of the neck that helps regulate your metabolism. If your body produces too much or too little thyroid hormone, you can have excessive weight gain or weight loss. You could also suffer from lethargy or hyperactivity. Thyroid disease can also cause abnormal menstrual cycles, infertility and problems to both the mother and fetus during pregnancy.
Extreme stress or trauma can lead to thyroid problems. Medications including birth control, antidepressants and stimulants can also contribute to thyroid disease. Thyroid problems are sometimes inherited.
Western medicine uses blood tests to diagnose thyroid problems. Treatment often utilizes prescription drugs. This approach can be affective in regulating thyroid blood levels, but it does not support the thyroid to come into better balance and function well on it’s own.
In acupuncture, we take a different approach. One of my teachers, Kiiko Matsumoto uses palpation of a reflex point near the thyroid, ST9– Welcome to Becoming an Adult, to diagnose a thyroid imbalance.
In my Five Element Acupuncture practice, I use palpation to diagnosis hormonal imbalances. If I find thyroid imbalance, I choose treatment points that help resolve it. This approach is unusually elegant as we can verify our effectiveness of treatment by palpating the original reflex point.
Additionally, iodine, vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids (found in fish oil) are important to healthy thyroid function.
The contents in this article are not meant to be diagnostic or prescriptive. Thyroid problems are sometimes complex, and a physician should always be consulted before choosing a course of treatment.
Five Element Acupuncture is a wonderful tool to support healthy hormonal balances and your overall health. To learn more about how acupuncture can help you, call 973.509.8464 or schedule with us online.
Image Courtesy: Doctor checking the thyroid | www.diabeticconnect.com