Healing Hormonal Imbalance with Chinese Medicine: Emma's Story
- Emma was on birth control for seven years, which caused issues with her hormone regulation
- After having multiple hormone tests done, she committed to herbal healing to combat these imbalances
- She cites Elix as the main influence that restored harmony to her hormone health
From the ages of 16 to 22, I religiously took my birth control pill every night at 10pm, only taking a hiatus for about nine months to try out an IUD. Over the course of those seven years, I experienced a good handful of the classic birth control side effects — weight gain, brain fog, loss of sex drive, vaginal dryness, irregular periods, ovarian cysts… I could go on. I do want to recognize that there’s nothing inherently wrong with using birth control, and many women love theirs! But for me, my body was screaming, “STOP!” So by the time I had my IUD removed, I was desperate for an alternative. I knew I didn’t want to go back on the pill, and every other form of birth control just seemed like a band-aid on the underlying issues I was experiencing.
Enter: Traditional Chinese Medicine.
At the time I decided to stop birth control and use natural methods like cycle tracking, I was fortunate enough to already be seeing a naturopath as my primary healthcare provider. I spoke with her about my plans for my menstrual and sexual health going forward, and she immediately ordered tests (saliva and blood work) to see where my hormone levels were at. Needless to say, the results were shocking.
Obviously, this was troubling news and my doctor was quick to recommend a daily tincture made with Chinese herbs to get my body back on track. Twice a day I would take a few full droppers of my herbal blend, and I was starting to see some results — my acne was clearing up, I was experiencing less brain fog, and my sex drive was coming back. However, I was still having issues with extremely irregular cycles. On average, menstrual cycles are about 28 days long. My cycles would fluctuate wildly anywhere from 32 to 71 days, making it extremely hard to predict ovulation or my fertile window.
And there was another problem on the horizon. In a few short months, I would be moving out of my apartment and into a van; I would be constantly moving from place to place and I would be unable to see my doctor and pick up these tinctures that were helping me so much.
So when Elix reached out to me on Instagram, I was ecstatic!
In a woman's body, estradiol is the main hormone that matures and maintains the reproductive system; it facilitates the release of the egg and the thickening of the uterine wall, among other functions. Complications of low estradiol include bone density issues, delayed puberty, and irregular periods. Progesterone is also a cycle-regulating hormone responsible for maintaining healthy and regular periods. My results are shown in this graph by the black dot...yeah the one below the normal levels of every hormone tested.
After 6 months of being off any form of birth control, this test showed that my body was having serious trouble synthesizing healthy levels of key hormones. On the graph, the middle line is representative of what an average female of my age should look like; my levels were below what was even considered low! It was astonishing to learn what years of birth control had done to my body. It wasn’t a surprise at all that I was experiencing the common symptoms related to low levels of key menstrual hormones: extremely irregular periods, anxiety, and even frequent UTIs.
Read more about how our hormones work and what hormonal imbalance symptoms can look like.
I started reading about what Elix does and I was intrigued. I took the online Health Assessment and eagerly awaited my results. When I saw my custom blend, I was in shock! Elix had recommended all the same herbs that my naturopath had prescribed to me, plus some new healing herbs to support other aspects of my menstrual and overall health. I had found a way to continue my hormonal healing journey while on the road, and I was beyond excited!
So I continued to take my herbal formulas every month — Cycle Balance before my period and Get Well and Stay Well during the other weeks of the month — and I started to see amazing results. Being able to heal while living on the road has been such a blessing. My surroundings are constantly changing, but my inner world is looking much more balanced. Before healing with Elix, my period was a huge source of stress for me; I was constantly wondering when it would come and how many days I could plan on it lasting. Now I don’t have to worry, and I’m much more free to roam as I please and pursue my passions with this weight lifted off my shoulders.
After some time had passed, I was so curious to see how my hormone levels were doing, so I had more hormone tests done.
After about eight months of taking Elix and TCM-centered treatment, my levels of estrogen and progesterone had significantly improved! I was no longer considered dangerously low, as you can see from the point on the graph moving into the normal range. My body was re-learning how to synthesize these necessary hormones. This came with a handful of symptoms that improved as well. Most importantly to me, my menstrual cycle was finally looking more regular than it had looked in over 10 years. In addition to my cycle regulating, I noticed that my cramps had become significantly less painful and I wasn’t dealing with debilitating headaches on the first day of my period. My time of the month was no longer something I dreaded, but something I actually grew to honor — a sacred time to slow down and care for my body.
Over the course of 2020, my cycles slowly became more and more predictable. Now in 2021, my cycles have been much more consistently in the 30-40 day range, and I could not be happier.
The first time I saw all the positive results I’ve had with Elix compiled together, I couldn’t help but cry. I thought back to the woman I was a few years ago — imbalanced, lost, and helpless. I was processing the guilt I felt about what I had done to my body after all those years of birth control; I wasn’t sure I could fix it.
Flash forward to now and I’m feeling empowered and supported by these truly healing, medicinal herbs. Traditional Chinese Medicine and Elix are also allowing me to heal my body using ingredients sourced from Earth — something that’s very important to me. Far too often, Western medicine pushes pharmaceuticals to treat the symptoms of the issue, not the underlying cause.
For any women who are feeling like I was, I want to tell you to trust your gut and listen to what your body is telling you. More often than not, it will lead you back home — to Earth and healing with ingredients found in nature. You are not alone, and you deserve to feel good about your cycle!
Read more: Why Menstrual Health Matters
To follow Emma's herbal healing and travel journey, find her on Instagram @emma.goes. And if you're interested in knowing what herbs can help heal your cycle, take our Health Assessment here.