Many readers sent us emails, asking, “What’s the best alternative medicine for menopause?” So, this informative piece aims to answer the question and other related questions.
As you already know, menopause is a stage in a woman’s life when her periods have stopped. Health experts say that when the periods stop, her reproductive years have come to an end. However, a woman must stay up to 12 months or more without experiencing menstrual periods before she is confirmed to have reached her menopause. According to studies, a woman is likely to experience it when she approaches her late 40s. In some cases, women don’t get to experience a pause in the menstrual period until they have slid into their early 50s. Put simply, most women experience it when they reach 45-55 years. But then, why does it happen in the first place?
Why Does Menopause Happen?
As a woman, the moment you get to your late 40s or early 50s, you should expect menopause. It is a natural process that shows you are aging and does not necessarily happen due to surgery. Therefore, it is not a medical condition. As you get older, it is natural for your reproductive cycle to slow down. Remember, the cycle started when you got to your puberty (between 8-14 years).
Also, estrogens are female sex hormones that play a critical role in the female reproductive cycle. The hormones help in the formation and maintenance of the reproductive system. The ovaries are responsible for producing them. As you approach menopause, the ovaries produce fewer of them until the production stops completely. You will also notice some changes as your system adjusts to different levels of hormones in the body.
Symptoms of Menopause
When a woman is transiting into that phase, there are certain things she experiences. The symptoms are outlined below:
- Abrupt spread of warmth all over the body known as hot flashes
- The tendency to urinate all the time
- Emotional imbalance or changes
- Inability to sleep (insomnia)
- Night sweat and cold flashes
- Dry skin, dry eyes, or dry mouth
- Vaginal dryness and vaginal discomfort
However, when you are about to slide into the phase (or the phase known as perimenopause), you will experience entirely different symptoms. These include breast tenderness, worsening premenstrual syndrome, irregular periods, racing hearts, headaches, joint and muscle pains, weight loss, hair loss, memory loss, inability to concentrate, etc.
Treating Menopausal Symptoms with Acupuncture and Herbs
According to studies, 75% of women who have reached their menopause experience hot flashes. It happens in the daytime and at night. If you have the condition, you will notice that your body temperature always rises. It could happen once a day or multiple times the same day. Some women present with red-colored skin. Most times, it affects the upper part of the body. As a result, you will experience sweating, heart palpitations, and dizziness.
Furthermore, some people ask, “Can Chinese Medicine Help Menopause?” Yes, it can. The fascinating part is that it does not involve MHT (menopause hormone therapy). The effect of acupuncture on menopausal pains revolves around the yin/yang theory. When there is an imbalance between the yin/yang energy, the outcome is menopause. In clear terms, the deficiency of yang leads to low back soreness, fatigue, weight gain, etc. Traditional Chinese medicine experts say that periods allow the female body to get rid of excess heat. However, the moment menopause approaches, your period is no longer regular.
Consequently, your body system begins to look for a means to rid itself of its yang-induced heat. Hence, your body resorts to using the skin to achieve this goal. TCM holds that those severe menopausal symptoms are a result of excess body heat. Therefore, when acupuncture is applied, it creates the required balance. In other words, the acupuncturist determines the unbalanced energy and uses natural therapies to create a balance. The remedy is drug-free and safe. Once you undergo the treatment for a while, you will begin to experience some relief.
Plus, there are strong indications that Chinese herbs are potent for treating severe menopausal pains. In fact, some researchers have carried out a series of tests before drawing the conclusions. These herbs, according to them, are bai shao, yin yang huo, dang, gui, chai hu, and huang qin. The authors who encourage the use of those herbs, however, cautioned that they must be used with strict adherence to experts’ instructions.
Does acupuncture really work for menopause? Yes, it does; it is also the best alternative medicine for menopausal pains. In short, several studies support the age-long belief. For example, in a 2019 study, researchers found out that undergoing an acupuncture session for 5 weeks can reduce hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. Headed by Kamma Sundgaard Lund of the University of Copenhagen, the study enrolled about 70 participants, showing that women who experience severe menopausal symptoms can use acupuncture to lower them.
In a similar research, Mingdi Li led a team of researchers to examine the effect of Chinese herbs on severe menopausal symptoms. The team analyzed 19 studies involving different randomized clinical trials of 2649 participants. At the end of the meta-analyses, they concluded that Chinese herbs were effective and safe for treating the condition.
The facts speak for themselves. Nevertheless, just before you settle for acupuncture or Chinese herbs, do well to get in touch with a specialist for help. The good thing is that our TCM experts are always ready to help you. So, contact us now to get your well-tailored, comprehensive treatment plan.
- Rotter J. Menopause: 11 Things every woman should know. https://www.healthline.com/health/menopause/menopause-facts. Revised March 7, 2019. Accessed October 11, 2021.
- Menopause, Perimenopause and Postmenopause. Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15224-menopause-perimenopause-and-postmenopause. Accessed October 10, 2021.
- Li M, Hung A, Lenon GB, et al. Chinese herbal formulae for the treatment of menopausal flushes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS ONE. 2019 Sep; 14(9): e0222383
- Moss B. Chinese medicine and menopause. https://mpoweredwomen.net/author/brigid-moss/. Revised Feb. 23, 2021. Accessed October 10, 2021.
- Newman T. Menopause: could Chinese herbal remedies reduce hot flashes? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/258451#1. Revised Oct. 25, 2019. Accessed October 12, 2021.
- Bringle J. Acupuncture for menopause: how this alternative therapy brought me relief. https://www.healthline.com/health/menopause/acupuncture-for-menopause-how-this-alternative-therapy-brought-me-relief#:~:text=Using%20acupuncture%20needles%20at%20pressure,alleviate%20aches%20associated%20with%20menopause. Revised Oct. 25, 2019. Accessed October 12, 2021.