Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs for Menopause
Carlos Durana Ph.D., M.Ac. practices acupuncture in Washington D.C., Reston, Virginia, and in Bethesda, Maryland.
Menopause is a natural transitional period in a woman’s life. As the body tries to adjust to decreasing amounts of estrogen, symptoms arise. Varying from mild to severe, these may include hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, mood swings, vaginal dryness, lower libido, aches and pains, and weight gain. Chinese medicine has addressed the special needs of women throughout centuries. It is very interesting to note that a very small percentage (10%) of Chinese women experience noticeable menopausal symptoms as compared with about 75% of woman in the U.S. A combination of acupuncture, Chinese herbs, diet therapy, and life style habits may be determining factors in maintaining the health of Chinese women throughout menopause.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can detect and treat energetic and physical changes associated with menopause. Treatment is carried out in a holistic and individualized manner. For example, a woman with a predominance of symptoms such as fatigue and hot flashes would receive different acupuncture treatment, Chinese herbs, and dietary and life style recommendations than someone who may be experiencing hot flashes, night seats, and insomnia.
The idea of food as medicine is a basic principle in Chinese medicine and culture. For instance some foods may exacerbate hot flashes and mood swings. On the other hand, certain foods rich in phytoestrogens can play a helpful role in balancing body and mind; phytoestrogens are substances that attach to the body’s estrogen receptors and are released slowly into the blood stream
Learning coping strategies to deal with stress, tension, anxiety, and mood swings can also help diminish the effects of this life transition
With support from acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and small changes in diet, and lifestyle habits, menopause can be a time of renewal of energy and opportunity for personal development.