Menopause is a transitional period marking the cessation of ovulation in a woman’s body. This time of change may last a few months to several years.
Menopause affects every woman. Symptoms vary from mild to severe, and are brought on as our bodies try to adapt to decreasing amounts of estrogen. Symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, fatigue, mood swings, memory loss, vaginal dryness, headaches, joint pain, and weight gain.
Few areas of women’s health stir up as much confusion and debate as Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), which is normally started when the first symptoms of menopause appear. While they may alleviate hot flashes and prevent osteoporosis, they will also increase the risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancer, and have a number of significant side-effects. But HRT isn’t the only solution. Menopause is an area in which Oriental Medicine shines. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have the ability to detect energetic changes that occur in the body and quickly relieve symptoms such as hot flashes, foggy mind, and irritability.
What Acupuncture Can Do For You During Menopause
Traditional Chinese Medicine has been treating hot flashes and other menopause-related symptoms through the use of acupuncture and herbal medicine for almost 3000 years.
According to Chinese Medical theory, menopause occurs when a woman’s body begins to preserve blood and energy in order to sustain her vitality and allow for the maximum available nourishment for her body, especially her kidneys. The kidney is the organ Chinese Medicine sees as the root of life and longevity. Therefore, the body, in its wisdom, reserves the flow of a channel in the center of the body which sends blood and energy down to the uterus. Instead, blood and essence from the kidneys are conserved and cycled through the body to nourish the woman’s spirit and extend her longevity. Thus, in the Chinese Medicine, menopause is seen as a true change in life from mother to enlightened and wise being.
Since the early seventies, studies around the globe have suggested that acupuncture for menopause and Chinese herbal medicine are effective treatments for hot flashes, anxiety, insomnia, vaginal dryness and many other symptoms associated with menopause. Recent studies show extremely positive results:
From 1997 to 1999, one of the first studies in the United States to explore the effectiveness of acupuncture in alleviating hot flashes, insomnia and nervousness, conducted by Dr. Susan Cohen, D.S.N., APRN, associate professor of the University of Pittsburgh, it was found that during the course of acupuncture treatments, hot flashes decreased by 35% and insomnia decreased by 50%. A follow-up study revealed hot flashes significantly decreased in those receiving acupuncture, compared to those receiving routine care.
A 2002 pilot study in England found that acupuncture reduced the frequency and severity of hot flashes in women being treated with tamoxifen for breast cancer.
The United Nations World Health Organization has approved acupuncture as a treatment for symptoms associated with menopause.
If you would like to reduce or even eliminate your menopausal symptoms please call us at (425) 392-8881 and schedule for your free consultation at 1st Choice Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine to find out how drug-free, all natural alternative medicine can help you to achieve this!