Acupuncture treats symptoms most frequently experienced by women during the menopause including night sweating, hot flushes, back pain, dry skin, mood changes, vaginal dryness, and low libido.
Acupuncture balances the constitution regulates the body’s energy and improves circulation. By restoring balance to the body, acupuncture can treat the symptoms of menopause safely and effectively.
What are the symptoms of menopause
The most common symptoms of menopause can be broken into two categories:
- Mental: emotional symptoms – depression, anxiety, irritability, poor memory, and insomnia
- Physical symptoms– hot flashes/flushes and sweating, night sweats, vaginal dryness, decreased libido, urinary changes, palpitations, digestive disturbance, headaches, fatigue, weight gain and heart palpitations (increased sensation of your heart beating)
What causes menopause symptoms?
From perimenopause to the end of menstruation (menopause generally defined as one full year of no periods) can take between 2 and 5 years. Hormone production overall decreases during this phase. Periods become more and more irregular and may become heavier or scantier, longer or shorter. Ovulation may or may not occur. As ovarian follicle and ovulation dwindle and eventually cease estrogen and progesterone production dips. This causes the symptoms of the menopausal syndrome.
How does acupuncture treat menopause symptoms?
While the orthodox bio-medical perspective sees decreasing hormone levels that lead to the symptoms of the night sweating, hot flashes, urogenital changes, low libido, depression, and fatigue, oriental medicine has a different perspective. By identifying and treating relative imbalances in states of yin and yang, and qi and blood, and the organs and systems, acupuncture can help reduce symptoms of perimenopause and menopause, making this transition less uncomfortable.
What can you do to help your acupuncture treatment?
The herb sage has been shown to help treat afternoon and night sweats; this can be purchased at a herb shop or market and made into a tea to drink either hot or cold. Many studies have shown that phytoestrogens, flavones, isoflavones, and lignans are all beneficial to moderate menopausal symptoms. Translation? Many legumes including soy (tofu, tempeh), lentils, beans, and chickpeas are natural sources of isoflavones. Flavones are found in abundance in celery (add nut butter for Vit E), parsley, and many whole grains such as barley and oat. Flax and sesame seeds are helpful to moderate estrogen levels and contain calcium. And don’t forget your cooked brassicas – broccoli (especially stalks), cauliflower and cabbage which are all high in phytoestrogens, calcium and other minerals. Vitamins C and E are important, as well as avoiding coffee, alcohol, and antihistamines. And don’t forget exercise! 2-3 hours of brisk walking per week can do wonders.