Of all the auto immune and endocrine disorders combined, the most common one I’ve seen in practice is hypothyroid, and usually it is the autoimmune variety known as Hashimoto Disease. I have also encountered cases of non-autoimmune thyroiditis.
When treating any thyroid dysfunction, I always ask that patients bring in recent labs. It is also important that auto-immune markers have been tested to detect antibodies in the bloodstream.
Acupuncture for thyroid is geared towards alleviating symptoms and regulating hormone production. According to Chinese and Japanese traditions, points located near the navel access deep source energy that is really useful for addressing hormonal imbalances. Hormones are messengers that relay primal energy and keep systems in relative balance. A combination of points at the navel and in other anatomical locations can support the thyroid.
Surrounding the navel is performed to induce release of the Jing, the deepest energy of the body. Contacting the Jing is reserved for more chronic and stubborn health issues since it is not really needed for mild cases. Accessing points on the lower abdomen and navel area promotes metabolism, frees blockages and invokes the power of the deepest cellular layer of the body.
Other points on the limbs are usually also needled to assist in restoring proper circulation to the adrenal and thyroid, quelling inflammation, strengthening digestion, and balancing the immune response.
Auto immunity is difficult to catch right away. It is more commonly seen in women, most likely due to estrogen imbalance. It is very important to understand not only thyroid, but how this can affect or is affected by other endocrine functioning, including adrenals, estrogen, and testosterone.
Whatever the cause, it is also true that immune conditions often get triggered by stress — and this can be good stress or bad stress. Pregnancy, for example, is linked to a switch in immune cell regulation. Other stress such as trauma, relationship or work stress, as well as so many life events that can just pull us into chaos.
With functional medicine training, I can discern which types of dietary advice, vitamins, supplements, herbs and minerals to recommend. Based on signs and symptoms, and health history, a cleansing program may also be recommended to assist the detoxification pathways and to restore gastrointestinal tone.