If you are suffering with symptoms of menopause, we can frequently reduce these by half.
Schedule your consultation today: 212-685-0985
Traditional Chinese Medicine
The early signs of menopause appear when the ovaries stop producing eggs, menses cease, menstrual activity decreases and eventually ceases and the hormones estrogen and progesterone decrease. Eighty percent of women will experience symptoms, some for a short time and others for as long as six to 13 years. Western medicine often views menopause as a disease and treats patients accordingly.
Oriental medicine describes menopause as a natural transitional process. According to traditional Chinese medicine, conception and thoroughfare vessels of women about the age of 50 years old become devoid of blood and the kidney qi is in a state of deficiency with an imbalance of yin and yang. Chinese medical theory states that menopause occurs when a woman’s body preserves blood and energy in order to sustain vitality and allow maximum nourishment of the body, especially the kidneys. She will exhibit early signs of menopause as the body begins conserving resources for its mature years.
Menopause is unique for each woman and Chinese medicine views each person’s symptoms not as part of a universal syndrome, but as a condition distinctive to the individual. Early signs of menopause such as hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness are common in most cases and treatable with acupuncture. Other symptoms may include insomnia, anxiety, depression, headache, joint pain, aches and pains and more. Acupuncture is an effective treatment method because it has such great success with singular symptoms of menopause.
However, the Chinese diagnostic system assesses many aspects of a person’s overall health rather than just treating symptoms. In the acupuncture clinic, the practitioner develops a unique treatment plan for each patient; it may include such techniques as Chinese herbs for menopause, bodywork, lifestyle and dietary changes and energetic exercises. These can all present incredible benefits such as hot flash relief.
The Berkley Center for Gynecologic Wellness often treats menopausal and peri- or pre-menopausal women in its acupuncture clinic and has been successful in helping women deal with the full range of symptoms. The clinic provides hot flash relief methods, herbs for menopause and effectively treating the early signs of menopause.
Acupuncture is especially effective for menopausal depression and mood swings, and has been shown to be effective against bone loss. Acupuncture is excellent for reducing symptoms and returning the patient’s sense of controlling her own body.
There are other symptoms of menopause besides changes in your period.
Not everyone has the same symptoms. Some people have severe symptoms and others may have very mild ones.
What are common menopause symptoms?
Some common menopause symptoms are:
- Irregular periods: Periods becoming shorter, longer, heavier, lighter.
- Skipping periods.
- Hot flashes: A hot flash is a sudden, sometimes intense feeling of heat that rushes to your face and upper body. Hot flashes can be really uncomfortable, but they usually only last a few minutes. They can happen a few times a day, a few times a week, or a few times a month.
- Night sweats: Hot flashes that wake you up in the middle of the night.
- Sleep problems: You may have insomnia — trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. You may also start to wake up much earlier than you used to.
- Vaginal changes: The lining of your vagina may become thinner, drier, or less stretchy. This can cause dryness or discomfort during sex.
- Urinary or bladder infections: You may have to pee more often or get more frequent urinary tract or bladder infections.
- Mood changes: Hormone changes can make you feel anxious, irritable, and tired. Your sex drive might change, too.
- Weaker bones: Your bones will probably weaken during menopause. If it’s really bad, it can lead to osteoporosis after menopause. Getting plenty of calcium and vitamin D, and exercising for at least 30 minutes most days of the week can help you maintain bone health.
Some people may have a long and difficult perimenopause, up to 10–12 years. But most people find that the common menopause symptoms (like mood changes and hot flashes) are temporary and only last 3–5 years.
A few common menopause symptoms (like vaginal dryness and changes in sex drive) may continue or even get worse when menopause is over.
Your acupuncturist/herbalist can talk with you about treatment if you have symptoms that bother you.
What are hot flashes? Hot flashes can be a pretty unpleasant symptom of perimenopause and menopause. We don’t totally understand the cause of hot flashes. Most people describe a hot flash as a sudden hot feeling that spreads all over your body — but mostly the upper body, like your arms, chest, and face.
You may also get sweaty, and your fingers may tingle and your heart may beat faster.
A typical hot flash usually lasts anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes. Hot flashes at night are called night sweats.
Sometimes they can get so severe that you soak your sheets with sweat. Hot flashes are super common. More than 3 out of 4 people have them while going through perimenopause and menopause.
Nothing will make hot flashes stop completely, but there are some things you can do to help get some relief.
Wearing light, loose clothes, keeping your room cool, drinking cold liquids, and avoiding alcohol and caffeine can help you stay cool.
Research shows that herbs, vitamins, acupuncture, can often help with hot flashes.
What other life changes affect menopause?
Menopause can be a rough time. In addition to the symptoms that may be tough to deal with, a lot of stressful life changes can happen around the same time as perimenopause and menopause.
Some changes you may go through during this time in your life include:
- anxiety about illness, aging, and death
- anxiety about the future, getting older, and losing independence
- anxiety about being disabled
- changes in family, social, and personal relationships
- changes in identity or body image
- children leaving home
- getting divorced or losing a partner
- having a partner become ill or disabled
- more responsibility for grandchildren
- loss of loved ones
- changes in your financial situation
- retirement These kinds of things can be overwhelming.
These kinds of things can be overwhelming. You may want to talk to a friend, partner, or therapist about what’s going on. And you may want to spend time with some other people who are going through menopause and experiencing the same things. The point is, you’re not alone.
Acupuncture has been used to treat menopausal symptoms for thousands of years. It balances the Qi and strengthens internal organ systems. Its ability to increase blood flow and release endorphins makes acupuncture especially effective at combating the symptoms depression and insomnia and offering hot flash relief.
Acupuncture is an ideal treatment for all women, but especially women on the go who don’t have time to nurse menopausal symptoms because it produces no side effects yet yields great results. Used in conjunction with herbs for menopause, acupuncture can help women pass through this stage of life with considerable ease.
Hormone replacement therapy, the standard Western medical treatment for menopause, involves possible risks that include breast, ovarian and uterine cancer. Hormone replacement therapy is usually started after the early signs of menopause appear. It can create uncomfortable side effects that can be difficult to deal with over long periods of time.
Chinese herbs for menopause, by comparison, have demonstrated, via numerous in vivo and in vitro studies, a marked effect on the endocrine system to provide hot flash relief, alleviate vasomotor instability, loss of bone mass, and other conditions associated with menopause. Most importantly, they are much gentler and safer on the body. Different diagnoses require separate herbal formula prescriptions.
New research is being done to confirm Chinese medicine’s success in the treatment of menopause. A large study under way at The National Cancer Institute is comparing menopause-specific acupuncture with standard care, and Stanford Medical Center researchers are looking at acupuncture for hot flash relief.
At The Berkley Center for Gynecologic Wellness, we are licensed and board certified acupuncturists and board certified herbalists. We specialize in helping women with gynecologic issues to get better, and to feel better.
We work hand-hand with several of New York City’s preeminent gynecologists should Western medical intervention be necessary.
Our philosophy is to try the ‘natural’ approach first as these approaches often provide the desired results without the use of drugs.
Schedule your consultation today by calling 212-685-0985