After I was diagnosed with my autoimmune thyroid disorder (Hashimoto’s) in 2009 which I was able to reverse, I found out I had PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) in 2010. I remember at the time I was working in film publicity while I was living in Los Angeles and it was awards season so it was an incredibly busy time for major film studios like mine to campaign movies for film awards starting in November until the Oscars, which generally falls at the end of February or in early March.
I remember feeling a sudden change in my body at one point during that time period but like most people’s common instinct, I was too busy to worry about it and decided to “deal with it later” when things at work had calmed down a little because it wasn’t dire enough, which honestly really isn’t the best form of thinking. The thing is, there really isn’t ever a “good time” to get sick, feel unwell, or hear not-so-great news about how our body is underperforming. We get too caught up in life to pay attention to our body’s way of crying for help. I was well aware that my supervisor at the time had just come off her battle with breast cancer in her early 30’s and I knew health was a priority, but I was still too young and stubborn to choose health overwork at that time in my life. Luckily, in my case, PCOS is a chronic condition, but not a disease so I promised myself to give my body the attention it well-deserved right after awards season, which was roughly four months after my diagnosis and I did. I did a deep dive into learning more about PCOS and how to manage the condition better naturally.
What is PCOS?
PCOS is a condition that affects women of all ages but is most commonly diagnosed in young women. PCOS is caused by an imbalance in hormones, which can lead to a variety of symptoms including irregular periods, infertility, weight gain, acne, and hair loss, some other symptoms of PCOS include facial hair growth, skin tags, and ovarian cysts. An imbalance of hormones could be due to an issue or disorder in your endocrine system, typically the thyroid (which was the case for me). Stress contributes largely to an imbalance in hormones too.
The NHS defines PCOS as, “Polycystic ovaries contain a large number of harmless follicles that are up to 8mm (approximately 0.3in) in size.
The follicles are under-developed sacs in which eggs develop. In PCOS, these sacs are often unable to release an egg, which means ovulation does not take place.
It’s difficult to know exactly how many women have PCOS, but it’s thought to be very common, affecting about 1 in every 10 women in the UK.
More than half of these women do not have any symptoms”.
How is PCOS diagnosed?
According to WebMD, “Your doctor will start by asking about your symptoms and medical history and by doing a physical exam, and possibly a pelvic exam.
They might give you blood tests to measure your hormone levels, blood sugar, and cholesterol. An ultrasound can check your ovaries for cysts, look for tumors, and measure the lining of your uterus.”
If a minimum of 12 cysts is found in your ovaries then your doctor may very likely diagnose you with PCOS.
How does PCOS affect women?
PCOS is the leading cause of female infertility. Up to 70% of women who have PCOS are unable to conceive a child. PCOS is the most common cause of irregular periods in women.
The symptoms of PCOS can be physically and emotionally draining. Many women with PCOS feel like they are constantly battling their condition. The emotional effects of PCOS can be just as challenging as the physical symptoms. Depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem are common in women with PCOS.
According to Johns Hopkins, “Women with PCOS are more likely to develop certain serious health problems. These include type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, problems with the heart and blood vessels, and uterine cancer. Women with PCOS often have problems with their ability to get pregnant (fertility).”
How many women are affected by PCOS?
PCOS is the most common hormonal disorder in women of reproductive age. It is estimated that 1 in 10 women have PCOS.
What is the medical approach to PCOS?
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing PCOS. Doctors will often prescribe birth control pills or other medications to help regulate hormone levels and manage symptoms. They may even prescribe diabetes drugs to lower your insulin resistance, regulate hormones and help with weight loss. And in some cases, some women may need surgery to remove cysts on their ovaries.
The medical approach to PCOS typically involves medication to help regulate hormone levels. There are a variety of medications that can be prescribed, depending on the individual’s symptoms.
What are alternative, natural treatments to manage PCOS?
There are a number of alternatives, natural treatments for PCOS. Some women find relief by eating a healthy, balanced diet, exercising regularly, and losing weight. In addition, others have found relief through holistic treatments like acupuncture or Reiki.
In my case, I went the natural route and worked with a wonderful functional medicine nutritionist who recommended a personalized healthy diet for me along with some natural supplements and special herbal teas to drink throughout the day. I also tried acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, aromatherapy, crystal healing, Reiki, and well, pretty much most of the alternative wellness therapies you could think of. After months of Traditional Chinese Medicine, I wasn’t able to continue long-term on it as I started developing a gag reflex towards the daily cups of Chinese herbs but that’s a very personal experience for me so for those who don’t mind it, I believe TCM is a wonderful way to go too.
How does Reiki assist with PCOS?
Every woman’s experience with PCOS is different. However, many women find that Reiki helps to calm and balance the body, which can help to regulate hormone levels and reduce the symptoms of PCOS. It will involve a few regular Reiki sessions, just as you would have the most courses of treatments such as acupuncture, however, Reiki is holistic, non-invasive, and painless choice compared to acupuncture. Depending on where you go, the rates for acupuncture and Reiki sessions are about the same.
I tried both forms of therapy (before I became a Reiki Master Teacher) and though I am a huge fan of acupuncture, I found that my body became more sensitive to needles in my skin as I aged and it became difficult to relax during acupuncture sessions. For those who are looking to try both Reiki and acupuncture, I would recommend scheduling Reiki sessions with a few days in between before an acupuncture session in that cycle.
Reiki For Those With PCOS On Their Fertility Journey
I have had the pleasure of assisting female clients who have PCOS on their fertility journey with regular Reiki treatments. Some were able to get pregnant successfully naturally and relatively quickly and for some, it took a few tries before they were successful. There are of course clients who haven’t had success yet and are still trying. Clients who were undergoing IVF shared that Reiki really helped the entire process not only on a physical level but very much so on an emotional level for themselves and their partners.
Seeing clients succeed and hearing occasional updates on how much their babies have grown, and into playful, healthy young children has been incredibly heartwarming.
What Is Reiki?
Reiki is a Japanese word that means “universal life energy.” Reiki is a form of energy healing that involves the transfer of Universal energy from the Reiki practitioner to the client. Reiki is a holistic treatment that involves touch or placement of the hands-on or near the body. Reiki restores balance and harmony in the body, which can help to improve overall health. It simultaneously activates the parasympathetic nervous system which allows your body to drop into a relaxed state, allowing your body to rest and recuperate. With less stress activated in the body, your endocrine system, especially your adrenals are finally able to take a much-needed break, allowing your body to absorb the healing energy of Reiki. Reiki treatments work incredibly well in supporting the endocrine system. You can read more about what Reiki is in detail and all about the benefits of Reiki.
How does Reiki help someone with PCOS?
The answer to this question will vary from person to person. However, many people find that Reiki helps to calm and relax the body, which can help to reduce stress and promote healing.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing PCOS. However, many women find that alternative treatments like Reiki can be helpful in managing the symptoms of PCOS. In some cases, it may also help with shrinking the size of the cysts too.
If you are interested in trying Reiki, please consult with your trusted and qualified Reiki practitioner and let him or her know when you were diagnosed with PCOS, the symptoms you’ve been experiencing and any additional helpful information so he or she can best support you.
Reiki sessions can be done in-person or remotely via Distant Reiki sessions starting with a video call such as Zoom. What a lot of my clients in different time zones love is that they could schedule a Distant Reiki session just before bedtime and receive the benefits of Reiki as they sleep, boosting the body’s natural healing state with Reiki, helping manage the symptoms of PCOS, all the while promoting better sleep quality, so that they wake up feeling much more refreshed, and energized. Many have shared that they felt a deep sense of calm for days after a session even when stressful events occur so they feel much better at managing challenges at home or work that usually drive them up the wall. Read about how you can best prepare for a Reiki session.
How Often Should I Get Reiki Sessions for PCOS?
It genuinely depends on how severe your condition is. For some women their condition is mild so they may just need a few sessions every year to help manage the condition, regulate hormone levels, balance stress levels, thereby helping regulate the frequency of each menstrual cycle, menstrual duration of it, and PMS. Generally, I would recommend one or two sessions a month and then spreading it out to one session every four to six weeks, and take things from there.
However, some women may have bigger cysts in their ovaries that they are medically advised to operate on. However, if time allows, a person could consider a few Reiki sessions to see if it could naturally reduce the size of the cysts before deciding if they need or want to go the surgery route.
If you’d like to see how Reiki could support your PCOS condition, click her