27 million Americans have a thyroid disorder.
And, ladies listen up: more than 8 out of 10 thyroid patients are women.
In Chinese Medicine, we view thyroid disorders (and pretty much every other disease) as an imbalance within yin and yang.
Let me explain.
You see a body in perfect health, has a perfect balance of yin and yang. When an imbalance occurs, disease results.
In brief, yin is the dark part of the yin-yang symbol. Yin represents the nourishing and enduring aspects of our health. Yin is cool in nature and most of the fluids in our body–like blood, water and tears– are considered Yin.
Yang is the white part of the yin-yang circle; it is a fiery and active substance and represents the creative and generating aspects of our health. Yang is basically the energy our body needs to function.
So, in very, very basic terms: yin is cool fluid and yang is warming energy.
When it comes to thyroid diseases, one either has an overactive thyroid or an underactive one.
Overactive thyroids (coined hyperthyroidism) makes one a hot, nervous and irritable insomniac with a ridiculously high metabolism. People with hyperthyroidism feel like they're in a sauna on speed. From a Chinese Medicine perspective, these individuals don't have enough Yin substances in their body.
People with an underactive thyroid, aka hypothyroidism are very lethargic, cold and pale with thinning hair and zilch for a metabolism. These people feel like they are moving around with a 40 pound tire tied to them yet they cant seem to lose any weight! In Chinese Medicine, these individuals have what we would consider a Yang deficiency.
So, you see, Chinese Medicine treats thyroid disorders by bringing yin and yang back into balance. The hyperthyroid patient needs to be cooled down and nourished and the hypothyroid patient needs to be warmed up and stimulated.
In my clinical experience, thyroid disorders respond very well to acupuncture, Chinese herbs, dietary and lifestyle changes.
If you or someone you know suffers with a thyroid disease, find an acupuncturist and get some help!