Traditional Chinese Medicine is holistic in nature and each treatment is tailored to the individual’s symptoms taking into account all that is happening in the body, mind and spirit. This health care system views health as a balance between the contrasting but interdependent states of yin and yang.
According to Chinese medicine, our yin aspect (which includes the vital fluids) begins to diminish as we age. This can lead to an excess of yang energy (manifesting as excess heat) and/or stagnation of qi (life energy). Ideally, our yin, yang and qi are in balance but, due to our lifestyle, diet and genes, the yin can become depleted. This resulting relative excess of yang energy can result in dryness of the skin, eyes, and vagina. Excess heat can lead to hot flashes and night sweating as well. This heat can also have an effect on the spirit, dislodging the spirit (shen) from the heart, causing insomnia, restlessness or irritability. Sometimes the excess heat enters the blood level and can result in heavy menstrual periods. And, when the Vital qi energy stagnates, it can cause pain anywhere in the body in addition to moodiness and emotional upset.
These imbalances can combine in different ways. No two women will experience the same symptoms as they approach menopause. Acupuncture is an essential part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is extremely effective for relieving hot flashes, insomnia, night sweats, anxiety, restlessness, emotional instability, moodiness, menstrual cramps, and excess bleeding.
There are an amazing variety of Chinese herbs and patent formulas available to treat menopausal symptoms. Your practitioner will be able to assess your symptoms and formulate herbs to help restore balance to your health.
According to Chinese medicine, diet is the most effective way to relieve many symptoms. For example, all heat-producing foods should be eliminated from the diet of one experiencing heat signs and yin depletion. These foods would include, caffeine, alcohol, refined sugar, and red meat should only be consumed in small quantities. It may be helpful to limit spicy, pungent foods such as curry, chilies, and greasy fried foods. These are just a few examples of how dietary changes can help one experiencing heat symptoms.
Many people will resort to acupuncture only after Western medical treatments, drugs, and surgery have failed. Acupuncture is often effective even after everything else has been attempted. However, it is best used as preventive medicine, or started at the onset of symptoms.