Menopause & Chinese Medicine
During menopause, the decline of estrogen and progesterone in the body can cause a whole host of uncomfortable symptoms. Night sweats, hot flashes, insomnia, mood swings, and vaginal dryness are among the chief complaints of menopausal women.
In Chinese Medicine, this hormonal imbalance is called ‘Heart and Kidney Not Communicating.’ This syndrome is a deficiency of yin in the body that leads to heat signs. Yin is the watery and substantive aspect of the body while yang is the fiery and functional aspect of the body. As yin declines, the yang becomes untethered and manifests as symptoms of heat. For some people, this heat is more physical in nature (hot flashes, night sweats) while for others it is more mental and emotional (irritability, anxiety).
Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal formulas have been treating menopause, or yin deficiency, for centuries. The combination of the two modalities can be very powerful in clearing the excess heat (or yang) from the body and bolstering the body’s yin.
In Western medicine, the standard treatment for menopause is Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). HRT provides your body with synthetic hormones to replace the declining levels of estrogen and progesterone. Although it can be very effective in reducing the symptoms of menopause, HRT also increases your risk for blood clots, gallbladder disease, breast cancer, and stroke.
Because of the risks associated with HRT, women with a personal or familial history of uterine cancer, endometrial cancer, estrogen-positive breast cancer, heart disease, or stroke should be cautious before starting hormone replacement therapy.
For women for whom HRT is not an option, or for women who would like to try a more natural approach to menopausal care, consider Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. It is a safe and effective way to treat the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause.