Menopausal? Try Acupuncture.

Menopausal? Try Acupuncture.


February 26, 2015

Menopause is marked by the cessation of a woman’s monthly menstrual bleed. This can begin from age 45-55 with the average age landing at 49-51. This is a natural state of being for a woman and it is not considered to be unusual unless it happens before the age of 45 or it causes such distress that the woman needs medical help to cope with this transition

It can last between 4-8years with current reports stating women suffer symptoms for up to 10-14 years. Menopause can be described as the end phase of a woman’s reproductive life. It is usually a slow process, preceded by what is termed the peri-menopausal phase. This peri-menopausal phase can last anything up to 10 years, with reported issues of disrupted menstrual cycles, low mood, anxiety,vague aches and pains, constant breast pain etc…Add onto that, other issues like medical interventions, such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy can halt/stop a woman’s cycle, If a woman has to have a hysterectomy or both ovaries have to be removed, meaning that periods stop and menopausal symptoms occur, despite the age  the woman.

Officially, the menopause has occurred when a woman has had no period for one year. Symptoms like hot flashes can occur. Between 2-20 times a day, that can last for up to a couple of minutes. These are caused by hormonal changes which disturbs the hypothalamus that is sometimes described as the body’s ‘thermostat.’ This triggers the brain to tell the body that it is too hot and that it needs to cool down.

Another symptom is where night sweats are suffered, characterized by heavy sweating and an intolerance of a building sense of heat, sometimes quickly followed by a sense of cold and shivering. This usually alters the sleep pattern or results in a broken nights sleep.  The menopausal woman often Menopause is marked by cessation of a woman’s monthly menstrual bleed that can begin  from age 45-55 with the average age being 49-51. It is not considered to be a pathological state unless it happens before the age of 45 or it causes such distress that the woman needs medical help to cope with this transition. Otherwise it is a normal part of every healthy woman’s life. It can last between 4-8years with current reports stating women suffer symptoms for up to 10 years. It can really be described as the end  phase of the woman’s reproductive life. Menopause is usually  a slow process preceded by what is termed the perimenopausal phase.Other issues like  medical intervention such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy can halt/stop a woman’s cycle or if a woman has to have a hysterectomy or both ovaries have to be removed, periods stop and menopausal symptoms can occur no matter what the age  the woman is.

The menopause is official when a woman has had no period for one year and this can bring a period of suffering hot flashes that can occur 2-20 times a day and can last for up to a couple of minutes.These hot flushes are caused by hormonal changes which disturbs the hypothalamus that is sometimes described as the body’s ‘thermostat.’ This triggers the brain to tell the body that it is too hot and that it needs to cool down. Then, there is the subject of sleep, where sometimes, night sweats are suffered characterized by heavy sweating and an intolerance of a building sense of heat that is sometimes quickly followed by a sense of cold and shivering. This can alter the sleep pattern as well as resulting in broken sleep.  This is a serious contender in altering a woman’s wellbeing. In return, it can affect the natural low that is present with the drop in hormones resulting in a fierce presence of irritability or even a depressed feeling.

Other signs and symptoms are a lack of sex drive, vaginal dryness, vague joint and muscular pain coupled with a gain in weight.

 

Not all of these symptoms occur for every woman. In actual fact, what Western medicine does not address but,  TCM practitioners understand, is that some women can sail through their menopause with little or no symptoms whereas their friends could suffer all the symptoms listed  above and more.

 

Why is this?

 

In  the ancient books of TCM there is no corresponding name to menopausal syndrome! It is listed as individual clinical manifestations, like hysteria, melancholia, vertigo, headache, palpitation, insomnia, etc.  So in the theory of TCM, menopausal syndrome is mainly caused by the decline of Kidney Qi, near exhaustion of Tiangui, Deficiency of the Chong and Ren meridians or the insufficiency of Essence and Blood before and after menopause. This leads to women  becoming frailer and in some cases more unbalanced than others.  Through a diagnostic technique unique to TCM practitioners, the woman is treated by concentrating on the root cause which then alters the disharmony in her body. In other words key signs and symptoms are analyzed and then a diagnosis is reached with each woman being treated with individual acupuncture points and herbal medicines. This helps the woman slowly move back to a more normal state whilst her body still travels through a period that is absolutely normal for her age, without suffering the severe signs and symptoms.

 

My own experience as a practitioner is that Acupuncture and herbs are a worthy and proven treatment for the menopausal woman especially with problems like hot flashes and depression. I have also found it helpful for women on an emotional level by relaxing them and helping them to feel calmer and less irritable too. To quote a menopausal woman who has attended me for help with various signs and symptoms during her menopause: “Acupuncture and herbs has made the difference between having a good life and a lousy one and has helped me not loose the plot at home”

 

 

Why should you consider Acupuncture/herbs during your menopause?

 

  • Scientists and Drs are in agreement that there is a need for alternative  treatments to treat the menopause and when compared to treatments such as HRT.  TCM has little or no side effects.
  • Chinese medicine is a natural medicine and is one of the most holistic medical systems available today.
  • Chinese medicine treats boot the root of the problem as well as the presenting symptoms which helps to  restore and maintain the balance of whole body.
  • At its best Chinese medicine is best at prevention, so during menopause it can prevent any serious signs and symptoms.
  • It has been proven in several studies to benefit the menopausal woman.See here for more clinical trial links.

RESEARCH:

 

”Application of the combination of Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture proved as effective as hormone therapy in the treatment of menopause-related symptoms, and it achieved better outcomes than herbal medicine alone. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22314633application

  • Our results suggest that acupuncture in addition to usual care is associated with marked clinical improvement in hot flashes and menopause-related symptoms in perimenopausal or postmenopausal women.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19907348The statistically significant differences between the study groups found at 12 weeks were no longer present at 6 and 12 months. Acupuncture can contribute to a more rapid reduction in vasomotor symptoms and increase in health-related quality of life in postmenopausal women but probably has no long-term effects.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20009958  
Chinese Herbal Formula does reduce symptoms of the menopause ; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/02/menopause-treatment-chinese-herbs_n_2994500.html

 

 

states that no sleep has seriously altered the quality of their life. This can affect the natural low that is present with the drop in hormones resulting in a fierce presence of irritability or even a depressed feeling.   Other signs and symptoms are a lack of sex drive, vaginal dryness, vague joint and muscular pain coupled with a gain in weight.

 

Not all of these symptoms occur for every woman. In actual fact, what Western medicine does not address but  TCM practitioners understand is that some women can sail through their menopause with little or no symptoms whereas their friends could suffer all the symptoms listed  above and more.   Why is this?  In  the ancient books of TCM there is no corresponding name to menopausal syndrome! So it is listed as  individual clinical manifestations  like hysteria, melancholia, vertigo, headache, palpitation, insomnia, etc.  So in the theory of TCM, menopausal syndrome is mainly caused by the decline of Kidney Qi, near exhaustion of Tiangui, Deficiency of the Chong and Ren meridians or the insufficiency of Essence and Blood before and after menopause.This leads to women  becoming frailer and in some cases more unbalanced than others.  Through a diagnostic technique unique to TCM practitioners, the woman is treated by concentrating on the root cause which then alters the disharmony in her body. In other words key signs and symptoms are analyzed and then a diagnosis is reached with each woman being treated with individual acupuncture points and herbal medicines. This helps  the woman slowly move back to a more normal state whilst her body still travels through a period that is absolutely normal for her age without suffering the severe signs and symptoms.

 

My own experience as a practitioner is that Acupuncture and herbs are a worthy  and proven treatment for the menopausal woman especially with problems like hot flashes and depression. I have also found it  helpful for  women on an emotional level by relaxing them and helping them to feel calmer and less irritable too. To quote a menopausal woman who has attended me for help with various signs and symptoms during her menopause: “Acupuncture and herbs has made the difference between having a good life and a lousy one and has helped me not loose the plot at home”

 

 

Why should you consider Acupuncture/herbs during your menopause?

 

  • Scientists and Drs are in agreement that there is a need for alternative  treatments to treat the menopause and when compared to treatments such as HRT.  TCM has little or no side effects.
  • Chinese medicine is a natural medicine and is one of the most holistic medical systems available today.
  • Chinese medicine treats boot the root of the problem as well as the presenting symptoms which helps to  restore and maintain the balance of whole body.
  • At its best Chinese medicine is best at prevention, so during menopause it can prevent any serious signs and symptoms.
  • It has been proven in several studies to benefit the menopausal woman.See here for more clinical trial links.

RESEARCH:

 

”Application of the combination of Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture proved as effective as hormone therapy in the treatment of menopause-related symptoms, and it achieved better outcomes than herbal medicine alone. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22314633application

  • Our results suggest that acupuncture in addition to usual care is associated with marked clinical improvement in hot flashes and menopause-related symptoms in perimenopausal or postmenopausal women.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19907348The statistically significant differences between the study groups found at 12 weeks were no longer present at 6 and 12 months. Acupuncture can contribute to a more rapid reduction in vasomotor symptoms and increase in health-related quality of life in postmenopausal women but probably has no long-term effects.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20009958  
Chinese Herbal Formula does reduce symptoms of the menopause ; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/02/menopause-treatment-chinese-herbs_n_2994500.html