From a shiatsu massage perspective, endometriosis is mostly the result of two patterns of imbalance, liver energy stagnation and kidney yang deficiency, occurring together. The following signs and symptoms – irritability, melancholy, moodiness, a feeling of fullness and pain along the side of the chest, tightness in the chest, sighing, a feeling of tightness in the throat or of something stuck in the throat – belong to a pattern of imbalance called liver energy stagnation. If the patient is a woman there could also be irregular periods, premenstrual breast or nipple distension and tenderness, premenstrual tension and irritability.
Further, the stagnating liver energy can produce strong, painful cramping which may cause menstrual blood and debris to flow upwards through the fallopian tubes into the pelvic cavity. If the liver imbalance is also accompanied with a kidney imbalance, called kidney yang deficiency, (puffiness or tending to be overweight, lethargy, low libido and general motivation, lower backache, dizziness, sometimes accompanied by pain in the knees and legs which worsens in cold weather), this combination of patterns can lead to endometriosis or infertility.
Because kidney yang is weak, the upward flowing debris is not reabsorbed but sticks to the membranes and organs in the pelvis. This endometrial tissue may be pigmented or non pigmented. The pigmented tissue contains blood vessels and bleeds at menstruation. It is more likely to cause pain. The non pigmented type has no blood vessels and so does not respond to the hormonal changes that cause the uterine lining to bleed. However it secretes mucus which can coat the fimbriae of the fallopian tubes, the ovaries and the other organs and cavities in the pelvic region.
These mucus coatings can form adhesions which hinder the release of the ovum, its movement into the fallopian tube and its fertilization. The mucus and adhesions belong to a pattern of imbalance called phlegm damp which has the following symptoms:- mucus, being overweight or a tendency to be overweight; menstrual periods often being scanty and thick or mucousy, perhaps being irregular and long; although there is an increase in mucus membrane discharges, including vaginal discharge, there is very little of the stretchy, fertile mucus occurring at ovulation as the phlegm damp obstructs the cervical glands producing the fertile mucus.
Endometriosis can be associated with painful periods, painful intercourse, premenstrual spotting and infertility but may occur without these symptoms. Women with severe endometriosis may have no menstrual difficulties or infertility while those with insignificant amounts of endometriosis can have extreme menstrual pain and difficulty in conceiving. Some of the reasons endometriosis can obstruct fertilization are:
- Endometriosis on the ovaries or fallopian can distort these organs preventing conception.
- Endometriosis may attract or activate more macrophages. Macrophages engulf matter seen as foreign, such as bacteria and cellular debris as well as sperm that have swum up the fallopian tubes onto the peritoneal cavity. If they are excessively activated by endometriosis, they may enter the fallopian tubes and engulf sperm before they can fertilize the ovum.
- Macrophages also produce cytokines which are toxic to sperm and to embryos.
- Endometriosis that adheres to the surface of the peritoneal membranes produces mucus which can coat the fimbriae and the ovary preventing the transfer of the ovum from ovary to fallopian tube.
- Endometriosis is associated with higher levels of prostaglandins which may negatively affect the function and flexibility of the fallopian tubes.
- Endometriosis is associated with luteinized unruptured follicle syndrome (LUFS) and lower progerosterone levels in the luteal phase (second half of the menstrual cycle).
Shiatsu massage and herbal therapy can be used to treat these imbalances underlying endometriosis and infertility.
Source by Leon Pierre Potgieter