With its close understanding of the female body, Oriental medicine has always addressed the special needs of women throughout their lives. Menopause, in particular, is an area in which Oriental Medicine shines. Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine have the ability to detect energetic changes that occur in the body and quickly relieve uncomfortable symptoms that accompany the onset of menopause.
What is Menopause?
Menopause is a transitional period marking the cessation of ovulation in a woman’s body. Most women stop menstruating between the ages of 48 and 52, but symptoms can begin as early as 35. 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.
From an Eastern Perspective
According to Oriental Medical theory, menopause occurs when a woman’s body begins to preserve blood and energy in order to sustain her. The kidney is the organ system in Oriental Medicine that is viewed as the root of reproduction, vitality and longevity. Menopause signifies the depletion of the fertility essence stored within the kidneys. 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 Oriental Medicine, menopause is seen as true change in life from mother to enlightened and wise being.
Treating Menopause with Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
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 HRT may alleviate hot flashes and prevent osteoporosis, they may 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, Oriental medicine has long recognized that health and vitality can be sustained over a woman’s lifetime by restoring balance within the body and supporting the natural production of essential hormones.
Lifestyle and Dietary Instructions
Menopause patients are encouraged to maintain a healthy weight and to follow a diet with a high content of raw foods, fruits and vegetables to stabilize blood sugar. Some foods may exacerbate hot flashes or increase mood swings; steer clear of dairy products, red meats, alcohol, sugar, spicy foods, caffeine, and don’t smoke. Lastly, try to eliminate stress, tension and anxiety or learn techniques to cope with stress so that you can diminish the effects that it has on your body and mind.
With support from Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine along with small changes in lifestyle and diet, menopause can be a time of a revival of vital energy and an opportunity for personal growth. Please call with any questions or to schedule a consultation.