Acupuncture and herbal medicine have been used for thousands of years to help women adjust through the different phases of life. Menopause is no different, and these holistic practices can be a game changer when it comes to battling hot flushes, night sweats, insomnia, anxiety, weight changes, and other issues that can arise in menopause.
In Chinese medicine, menopause is considered a normal transition of life. As with others (puberty, motherhood, etc…) this is a special time to look after our bodies and minds and provide extra support in order to make the changes not only comfortable, but even a positive experience.
If you are struggling with your transition into menopause, read on to find out how acupuncture can help you make the most of this time and enjoy the brand new you.
The Realities of Menopause
Menopause can be uncomfortable time for many women. In the throws of it you may start feeling hot, sweaty, irritable, moody, fatigued, and restless. Your metabolism may slow, you may have hearing or vision changes, and some find this is a particularly emotional time. Anxiety or depression is common during this time and many women feel a little lost.
Menopause itself does not always have a clear beginning. Peri-menopause (the months or years leading up to a cessation of the menstrual cycle) can cause symptoms like headaches, mood swings, or weight gain that we many not recognize as hormonal or menopause-related. This can actually be signaling the changes that are happening in the body – and where we need to improve our balance.
This is no time to push your issues under the rug. Embrace the unique aspects of this time in your life to refresh and renew. Menopause is a natural time to slow down and start allowing more time for yourself and to consider your overall health, goals, and dreams.
Chinese Medicine’s Take
Chinese medicine views the body as a hormonal balance between yin and yang. Here, yin refers to the cool, dark, calming, nourished, receptive properties of the body and can be related to blood, fluids, and all that keeps our bodies supple and nourished.
As a woman ages, it is natural for yin to begin to diminish. We use our yin resources throughout our life as we work, stress, bare children, recover from illness and injury, and experience life in general. Hopefully, we are able to replenish our yin through rest, sleep, diet, and other forms of healing, but this is often not the case.
When a woman experiences strong symptoms as she transitions through menopause, this can be a sign of deficient yin. Hot flushes, night sweats, and irritability are often show this deficient yin along with excess, unbalanced heat. This heat can also cause sleep issues like insomnia, excessive dreaming, or restlessness.
How Acupuncture Helps
Acupuncture is a natural, holistic medical therapy that uses small needles to stimulate the body in various ways. The general concept when considering menopause is to help the body balance hormones more efficiently and improve the quality of the body’s yin resources.
In some cases, a treatment may be aimed at choosing points that release heat to help reduce hot flushes. Others may help to stimulate fluids and mucus to improve vaginal dryness or hair loss. Sleep-inducing acupuncture points can be helpful for those who suffer from insomnia or wake frequently in the night.
Based on your presentation, you may be given dietary or lifestyle recommendations. For instance, many women benefit from reducing spicy foods from their diets, using exercise to manage stress and sleep schedules, or incorporating a short meditation into their daily life.
Where to Start?
If you are suffering from the symptoms of menopause, consider incorporating acupuncture visits into your self-care routine. With regular visits, patients often experience drastic improvements in their symptoms, allowing them to experience this transition in a positive way.
Each woman will experience menopause differently, and therefore your acupuncturist will select a treatment specific to you. The goal of each session is not only to improve your symptoms, but to address the root imbalance. By working in this way, we not only fix the problem at hand but also lay the foundation for a healthier future.
For more information on acupuncture and a graceful transition through menopause, please contact Lilach at The Earth Element.