Menopause is defined when menstrual cycles permanently cease due to the natural depletion of ovarian oocytes (eggs). This diagnosis is typically made retrospectively, only once the woman has missed 12-consecutive periods. Women usually enter menopause between ages 45-55.
Many women today turn to Acupuncture, the alternative more natural method when treating menopause. It benefits the person as a whole, but more specifically, it subdues hot flashes, anxiety and rebalances hormonal irregularities. Other symptoms may include: night sweats, insomnia, memory loss, vaginal dryness, joint pain and weight gain. Because no two women manifest symptoms in the exact same manner, treatment may vary depending on the person and their accompanying symptoms.
Chinese Medicine approach to Menopause
According to TCM, Menopause occurs when a woman’s body begins to preserve Blood and Qi in order to sustain her vitality, allowing for the maximum available nourishment for her body. Energetically speaking, the Kidney is the organ in Chinese Medicine that is seen as the root of life and preserver of longevity. The body, in its wisdom, then stores the flow of the channel by facilitating Blood and Qi, downward toward the uterus. Thus, in Chinese Medicine, menopause is seen as true female evolvement: from mother to enlightened being.
Evidence that Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine have been used for women’s health can be found in early medical literature dating back to 3 A.D. Menopause is an area in which Oriental Medicine shines. By all means, this area of women’s health stirs up much debate on whether Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is even necessary; and while HRT may alleviate hot flashes and prevent osteoporosis, studies show that consistent HRT use augments the risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancers.
Traditional Chinese Medicine does not recognize menopause as one particular syndrome. Instead, it aspires to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual using a variety of techniques such as Acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and lifestyle/dietary recommendations, that help restore underlying imbalances in the body.