Menopause can be a difficult subject to broach. Its not a topic of open conversation for most women, so many will suffer in silence. Standard medical treatment options involve Hormone Replacement Therapy, but what if this is not an option for you? Women are told there is not much a else that can be done to deal with symptoms and that in time they will pass.
Unfortunately common Menopausal symptoms of hot flushes, excess sweating, mood swings, sleep disturbance, depression, skin and hair problems, low libido, fatigue, joint pain and fuzzy brain can go on for years. Many will try an over the counter herbal product with no result, so will then continue with just putting up with the symptoms.
Menopausal symptoms are not something that need to be put up with, and with the right treatment and guidance can be managed with Acupuncture, herbal and nutritional supplements (recommended by a qualified practitioner) and lifestyle advice.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine views the menopause as a natural occurrence. It is said to be brought about by a deficiency of yin. Throughout our life we expend Yin by work, stress, grief, giving birth, taking care of others illness and just general day to day living. This means that the body is not as efficient at balancing the body’s natural rhythms of cooling, calming, moistening, presenting as menopausal symptoms and feeling out of balance.
Although in general terms the main principal of treatment is to nourish yin. Acupuncture does not treat any two people alike, and a treatment protocol changing with the symptoms you are feeling at each visit.
How Does Acupuncture Help
So how does Acupuncture help? With the insertion of super thin sterile needles at specific points along meridians (energy channels) where the body’s Qi or vital energy runs, endorphins (the body’s natural painkiller and feel good chemicals) can be released. By increasing the body’s blood flow, circulation and energy flow back into balance with Acupuncture, menopausal symptoms may be relieved.
The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain.
What Does the Science Say?
Many studies have shown time and time again that Acupuncture can be an effective drug free and safe treatment for helping to deal with menopausal symptoms. A study conducted in 2016 on 209 menopausal women receiving acupuncture for hot flushes concluded a decrease in hot flushes that continued for at least 6 months after the treatments stopped in the acupuncture group compared to the control group who had an increase at the 6 month mark.( Avis et al (2016) )
A meta-analysis by Chiu et al (2015) of 12 studies with 869 participants found that acupuncture significantly reduced the frequency and severity of hot flushes, and an improvement in the quality of life in women experiencing menopause.
Aim for 7 to 9 treatments for best results