Another special area of interest for Dawn Balusik is endometriosis.
Endometriosis is a gynecological condition that can cause severe pelvic and abdominal pain, excess menstrual bleeding and/or infertility. Western medicine often misses an endometriosis diagnosis until the woman has had symptoms for many years. And a Western medical diagnosis of endometriosis can only be confirmed by surgery.
For some women, pain is minimal, and they only know they have endometriosis because of an exploratory surgery to seek out the cause of their infertility. Other women experience enough pain to disrupt their lives a couple of days a month. For still other women, the pain is severe and some are unable to work, have relationships or get out of bed.
The pain may occur only during menstruation, or include such times as ovulation, sexual activity, urination or bowel movement. Some women experience pain every day or at random, unpredictable times.
Western medical treatment is limited to pain management using hormonal drugs, pain killers, anti-inflammatory drugs and surgery. Western medicine has no cure, and because the problem recurs, women suffering with endometriosis spend decades of their lives taking hormonal and pain reducing drugs, and struggling with their fertility.
Most women undergo several surgeries, some as often as every 9 months. And many women have accompanying illnesses such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome and immune system dysfunction. It is a hopeless situation for many women.
As a past endometriosis sufferer herself, Dawn Balusik understands the despair that this disease can cause, and is dedicated to helping women overcome this debilitating disease with Oriental medicine. She has developed a powerful treatment strategy that significantly reduces the pain, bleeding and infertility that can be caused by endometriosis.
Far less invasive, risky or costly than drugs or surgery, acupuncture is a natural approach, without side effects. Oriental medicine does not require a surgical diagnosis of endometriosis to treat it effectively, because it does not differentiate endometriosis from other diseases with a similar presentation.
However, it does differentiate according to patterns of symptoms and signs that characterize an individual woman's disease. These patterns give clues as to the underlying imbalance, or root cause of the disease. This is the Oriental medical diagnosis, and it allows Dawn Balusik to individualize treatment specific to a particular woman’s disease pattern.
Some things Dawn will ask is whether the pain is improved with application of heat or cold; whether the pain is dull, down bearing, fixed, sharp or stabbing; whether putting pressure on the lower abdomen helps or makes it worse; when the pain is most experienced; and if there are recurring vaginal infections. She will also ask in-depth questions about the menstrual cycle itself. The answers provide evidence to define the underlying energetic imbalance and how to treat it with Oriental medicine, using acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and nutritional therapy.
Acupuncture treatment for women with endometriosis will consist of weekly treatments for 6 to 8 weeks, then twice monthly treatments thereafter, preferably just prior to ovulation and menses. The acupuncture helps to relieve pain, regulate circulation and correct Qi energy imbalances.
It is also essential that the endometriosis patient take the appropriate Chinese herbal formula(s) for her specific disease pattern. They can help detoxify the body, nourish organs, decrease pain, balance hormones and regulate the immune system function naturally, without side effects.
Nutritional therapy is very important in the treatment of those with endometriosis. We can encourage the body to produce natural anti-inflammatory compounds with proper nutrition. Also, because endometriosis is estrogen-driven, we want to naturally decrease estrogen levels by supporting the liver, which is the organ responsible for detoxifying excess estrogen. This process is assisted by reducing intake of alcohol, sugar, caffeine and animal protein, increasing fresh fruits & vegetables, and high-fiber whole foods. Dawn will also determine if there is a systemic yeast overgrowth contributing to the inflammation and dysfunction.
After 3 to 6 months of treatment with Dawn Balusik, most endometriosis sufferers can expect to be 50% to 100% out of pain. These women typically experience reduced pain and bleeding, increased fertility, stronger immunity and overall better health. Oriental medicine is also useful to slow and prevent recurrence of the disease for those who have undergone surgery.