What is menopause?
Menopause is the time when women’s menstrual period completely ceases, occurring when the ovaries cease producing the hormones oestrogen and progesterone. Initially symptoms of perimenopause, such as irregular periods, heavy or light periods, and hot flushes will arise, before the onset of menopause.
On average, women experience menopause at 51 but can occur as early as 40 or as late as 55 years old. About 50% of women will experience uncomfortable symptoms, which could persist for between 2-8 years.
What are the symptoms of menopause?
Women experience different symptoms, according to their constitution, lifestyle, and diet. Some women will experience no symptoms of menopause. In contrast, other women can experience menopause that can range from just one symptom to a variety of symptoms. The major symptoms of menopause include:
- Hot flushes
- Trouble sleeping
- Night sweats
- Feeling hot at night
- Anxiety and nervousness
- Mood swings
- Low mood
- Vaginal dryness
- Urinary incontinence and infections
How can acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine help?
Chinese medicine differentiates menopause into two main syndromes, namely, due to Kidney Yin deficiency or Kidney Yang deficiency. Acupuncture is used to clear heat, and balanced the energy flow of the body. Whereas, Chinese herbal medicine is used to clear heat from the body, tonify deficiencies, calm the mind, and other presenting symptoms respectively.
The appropriate formula used to treat major symptoms of hot flushes, night sweats, and other accompanying symptoms, will depend on the patient’s presentation. Commonly used formulas, include:
- Zuo Gui Yin or Zhi Bai Di Huang Wan, when symptoms include thirst, dry mouth or throat, nights sweats, heat sensations in the hands and feets
- You Gui Wan, when symptoms include fatigue, cold limbs, aversion to cold, and oedema
- Jia Wei Xiao Yao San, when symptoms include heat, with irritability and moodiness, and high stress levels, and indigestion.
- Tian Wan Bu Xin Dan, when symptoms include anxiety, palpitations, and insomnia
- Er Xian Tang, used for mixed Kidney Yin and Yang symptoms, with general coldness, with hot flashes, night sweat, irritability, and fatigue
In combination, acupuncture and Chinese medicine can effectively treat hot flushes, night sweats, promote mental stability, and strengthen the body.
If you are going through menopause, you will be surprised by how effectively it can be treated by Chinese medicine and acupuncture. To find out more, make an appointment to come in and speak with our experienced and qualified traditional Chinese practitioners.