Menopause, an important and natural part of a woman’s life cycle, can be a challenging experience. Hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, insomnia, vaginal dryness, headaches, anxiety and depression are some of the challenges many woman face.
Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when her ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone resulting in the cessation of menstruation.
Menopause, like puberty, sexual maturation, conception, pregnancy and childbirth are naturally occurring parts of women’s reproductive health. While the hormonal changes that occur in menopause are often challenging, it’s important to take joy in this stage of life.
Western medicine often treats the side affects of menopause with hormonal replacement therapy. While HRT can be effective, it can often be avoided or minimized when acupuncture is utilized as the treatment strategy.
Acupuncture offers a wonderful alternative to HRT as was demonstrated in a study performed by Grille. This study appeared in The British Acupuncture Council Journal in 1989. Menopausal women with extreme symptoms including hot flashes, mood swings, anxiety and depression were divided into three groups. The first group was treated with acupuncture, the second group received HRT, and the third group had no treatment. The acupuncture and HRT groups both had comparable results; that is, their blood levels for estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and TSH all improved and the secondary symptoms of menopause diminished.
Acupuncture can help to regulate hormonal imbalances for both men and women at any time of life. Japanese acupuncturist Kiiko Matsumoto has helped me to develop a comprehensive approach to hormonal balance. I utilize palpation of specific reflex points to reflect which hormonal systems that are out of balance.
For example, a woman in menopause may have an ovary, adrenal or thyroid imbalance. With the use of palpation, I can find which system is out of balance. As the treatment progresses I check the reflex points to monitor progress. As a Five Element Acupuncturist, my goal is to resolve these issues by treating the whole person, not just the symptom. Regular treatments lead to increased vitality and health.
The contents in this article are not meant to be diagnostic or prescriptive. Women’s hormonal problems are often complex and a physician should always be consulted before choosing a course of treatment.