By Dr. Kate Boonyakiat, DAOM, LAc. – Terra Acupuncture
Are you experiencing hot flashes, night sweats, headaches, joint pain, difficulty sleeping at night, mood swings? And you are in your forties? You may be approaching menopause.
These symptoms above are the top complaints in my clinical experiences and for the women seeking treatment nowadays. Menopause is not a disease, but rather the point in a woman’s life at which she is no longer fertile, and menstrual periods have ceased, occurring between the age of 48 – 55 years.
Every woman will go through menopause, and for each, the experience will be different. Some women can pass menopause with no problems, but many others and its symptoms can be challenging to manage.
Menopausal symptoms arise due to reduced estrogen secretion from the ovaries, leading to autonomic nervous system dysfunction, including hot flushes and sweats, emotional disorders, insomnia, fatigue, headache, dizziness, palpitations, formication, musculoskeletal pain, and genitourinary symptoms.
From a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective, menopause is associated with ‘kidney deficiency or dysfunction’ since, in TCM, the kidney is conceptualized as a system rather than an organ responsible for temperature, fertility and sterility, and fluid balance regulation.
Qi is also a TCM concept that refers to daily life activities, visceral function, and metabolism. Yin and Yang, two opposite, complementary, and inter-related components of matters in nature, ensure that every system functions smoothly through the balance of Qi and blood.
During this time, women experience a gradual reduction in kidney Qi, essence, and blood, thereby lead to disturbances in supporting and promoting the organ systems.
TCM treatment for menopausal symptoms requires identifying holistic disruptions in physiological patterns and applying various TCM treatments, such as herbal medicine, acupuncture, cupping, auricular acupuncture, and moxibustion.
Additionally, these treatments can be combined with other pharmaceutical or non-pharmaceutical therapies, such as massage and nutrition counseling. It is essential to embrace the delicate mental and physical changes that come with age.
TCM can help women to minimize their problems in the transition from a reproductive to a non-reproductive age. It is also crucial for women to regularly take good care of themselves with a holistic lifestyle and a healthy diet.