What is Menopause?
Menopause is a transitional period marking the cessation of ovulation in a woman's body, following absence of any menstrual period for at least 12 months. This time of change may last a few months to several years. Menopause is a time of natural change in a woman’s body. Hormones and chemistry are shifting because of lower estrogen and progestin produced by the body. For some women, these shifts in hormones can cause hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and mood changes.
Some changes that might start in the years around menopause include:
A change in periods. Your periods can come more often or less, last more days or fewer, and be lighter or heavier.
Hot flashes. Also called hot flushes, these are a sudden feeling of heat in the upper part or all of your body. Your face and neck may become red. Red blotches may appear on your chest, back, and arms. Heavy sweating and cold shivering can follow.
Sleep disturbance. Sleeping difficulty can be due to problems falling asleep, restlessness or night-time sweats. You may also feel extra tired during the day.
Vaginal and urinary problems. These problems may start or increase in the time around menopause. The walls of your vagina may get drier and thinner because of lower levels of the hormone estrogen. Estrogen also helps protect the health of your bladder and urethra, the tube that empties your urine. A lack of estrogen often means the glands in the vagina don't produce as much lubrication as before and this may cause stinging around the vagina during sex. Some women don't feel like having sex , whereas others find their orgasms become less intense. You also could have more vaginal infections or urinary tract infections. Some women find it hard to hold their urine long enough to get to the bathroom (which is called urinary urge incontinence). Urine might also leak out when you sneeze, cough, or laugh (called urinary stress incontinence).
Mood changes. Depression, mood swings, tiredness or headaches are all possible symptoms. Forgetfulness or irritability can be distressing for both you and the rest of the family. Mood changes at this time also could be coming from stress, family changes, or feeling tired. Mood swings are not the same as depression.
Osteoporosis Oestrogen normally stimulates the bone-building cells.
As a result of the drop in oestrogen, women tend to lose bone mass and strength for several years following the menopause. Ultimately, this can make the bones more likely to collapse or fracture.
Today, there are many treatment options including medication and hormone replacement. Diet, exercise and good sleeping patterns can also be beneficial. Acupuncture is another treatment which many people may not know can be helpful to help treat many of the symptoms of menopause.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a five-thousand-year-old healing art which focuses on rebalancing the body. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine understand that these symptoms and signs are merely indications of an imbalance deep within the body. These imbalances, if left unchecked, will result in a variety of symptoms and signs normally associated with a Western diagnosis of menopause. When Jing decreases around menopause, it sets up an imbalance between Yin and Yang. We all need a balance between Yin and Yang. Many of the symptoms of menopause are caused by too much Yang. Excess Yang causes hot flashes, restlessness, mood swings, heart palpitations and insomnia. These imbalances can also cause water retention, cold hands and feet, weight gain, and swelling.
How Acupuncture Works Acupuncture points to treat the emotional and physical effects of menopause are located all over the body. During the acupuncture treatment, tiny needles will be placed along your legs, arms, and shoulders. The needles’ points are smooth and so most people do not feel pain or discomfort when the needle is placed. Generally, acupuncture needles will stay in place for fifteen to twenty minutes while you rest comfortably.
Effects from acupuncture can be felt immediately after treatment or might not be experienced for several days. Most people feel very relaxed after an acupuncture treatment and sleep especially well that evening.
Lifestyle and Dietary Instructions
Menopause patients are encouraged lose that extra weight and to follow a diet with a high content of raw foods, fruits and vegetables to stabilize blood sugar. Some foods may exacerbate hot flashes or increase mood swings. Steer clear of dairy products, red meats, alcohol, sugar, spicy foods, caffeine, and don't smoke. Lastly, try to eliminate stress, tension and anxiety or learn techniques to cope with stress so that you can diminish the effects that it has on your body and mind.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine offer a safe, natural, drug-free and effective way to address menopause. The treatment encourages the body to promote natural healing and improves functioning.