Traditional Chinese Medicine views the natural journey through life as a gradual growth and subtle decline in the body’s essence – a precious form of Qi that we inherit and nurture from birth. The onset of menopause is considered a normal part of this natural fluctuation. Menopause is perfectly normal, as natural a stage in life as the onset of puberty. According to Chinese Medicine, Menopause is a time in life to be cherished when the Qi that regulated the uterus since puberty returns to the heart – opening up the opportunity for prioritising self-care instead of the care of others.
In an ideal world, every transition the body goes through would be a gentle, loved and nurtured phase. When the transition is not going so smoothly acupuncture is an excellent was to normalise the transition and treat any discomforts that are arising.
I regularly see how quickly acupuncture can help alleviate these symptoms and more. Studies have shown that the majority of women will see significant improvement within three treatments.
Menopause and Acupuncture
80% of women will experience hot flushes at some point during perimenopause. Generally, this is seen as the decline of the cooling aspect of the Water (Kidney) and/or Wood (Liver) elements no longer controlling the rising and warming Qi. Irregular periods, dryness, difficulty sleeping, night sweats, headaches, anxiety, irritability and depression can all be attributed to the changing balance within the body at this time.
What is an Acupuncture Treatment for Peri Menopause Like?
In my clinic in Monasterevin, co. Kildare acupuncture treatment for perimenopause involves the patient relaxing in a reclining chair or occasionally on a plinth.
I place fine, hair-like needles at points specific to the individual patient, mostly on the lower leg, and wrists. Occasionally they’re supplemented with points on the abdomen and head. I use techniques to minimise any discomfort from placing the needles – the normal sensations being like a tingle, gentle pressure, radiating warmth or coolness. If needed, I will use warming needle techniques (moxibustion) or cupping to maximise the treatment.
Patients often feel stresses and tensions melt away as they float in blissful relaxation.
After about 30 minutes of relaxation the treatment is finished (patients often comment that they would gladly stay for another hour or even all day!).
Following the treatment, patients feel calm and collected, with their symptoms eased. The effect of the treatment generally lasts for a couple of days, but treatments work in a cumulative basis so a course of treatment will have much longer lasting effects.
Studies on Acupuncture and Menopause
A Danish study in 2018 examined if acupuncture could help alleviate the symptoms of perimenopause. The conclusion was that “Acupuncture for menopausal symptoms is a realistic option for women who cannot, or do not wish to use [hormone therapy]” The majority of women in the trial that received acupuncture, reported after 3 weeks that their hot flushed were significantly reduced. At 6 weeks, 80% of the women said that the sessions had helped them.
Things that can help ease Peri Menopause Symptoms
- Acupuncture can help ease most of the issues associated with menopause as it helps the body to find its balance
- Irish sea moss contains a wide variety of essesntial minerals and high amounts of iodine, magnesium, vitamin k, b1, b3 and b6 meaning it can help the body regulate hot flushes, ease the mood and help with all round wellness.
- A trial in 2013 involved 170 women taking 30mg of Pycogenol French Maratime Pine Bark Extract twice daily for 3 months. Most menopausal symptoms (notably vasomotor and sleep) improved from 4 weeks onwards.
- There are many Traditional Chinese Herbs that can help ease symptoms. One of the most common is the “Kidney Qi Pill from the Golden Cabinet” – Jin Kui Shen Qi Wan another great, safe to take all rounder is “DragonTCM Menopause pill”
- Soak feet in Epsom salt water before bed, add a little lavender oil for extra soothing aromas (insomnia, mood)
- Eat more soy and soy based products – contain isoflavones – a plant based form of estrogen
- Get out in the sunshine or Take Vitamin D supplements – menopausal women are at an increased risk of developing osteoperosis – vitamin D helps the body process calcium to maintain bone density
- Make sure you have enough calcium in your diet – Milk, Soy, Almonds, kale, broccoli, spinach..
- Exercise – Whether its yoga, the gym, walking.. exercise will help improve the overall mood and aid better sleep
- Relaxation techniques will help settle the mind – breathing exercises, mindfulness, meditation, tai chi, qi gong, massage or a trip to the spa.
- Keep your bedroom cool at night and wear light, loose clothing when possible.
- Keep regular sleep routines and get enough sleep – the body’s yin is replenished with rest, sleep.
- Don’t drink excessively – alcohol helps consume the body’s essence.
- Don’t smoke – smoking burns the lung’s yin and depletes its qi.
Thankfully, society is catching up with the needs of women and menopause is no longer something to be talked about behind closed doors or suffered in silence.
I believe that every woman should have a comfortable transition into menopause and that acupuncture is a great way to make this possible.
My clinic is located centrally to Kildare, Laois and Offaly and I have availability menopause acupuncture treatments. You can book an appointment using the button below or by phone on 0864059898