Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine,
Menopause can be a time when you feel as if you are being taken away from yourself – find out from Jill Glover how acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can bring back balance, give you strength, and help you become grounded again
Both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine treat women as individuals, so treatment for the menopause is specifically tailored to your needs. Menopause isn’t called the change for nothing! While some women sail through with barely a hot flush, some experience life-changing symptoms.
Our female hormones begin to fluctuate and decline at a time when many other aspects of our lives are changing. Parents are getting older, frailer and suddenly need more care. If we have children, they are often demanding teenagers at this time in our life or about to leave home. We are unflatteringly known in the marketing world as ‘Empty Nesters’ and the ‘Grey Pound’, and receive mailings from Saga and retirement homes.
Having had a monthly cycle for all of our adult lives, we are suddenly subjected to constant cardigan-on / cardigan-off hot flushes, being drenched with night sweats, plagued with insomnia, and becoming embarrassingly forgetful and emotionally so not ourselves – to name but a few. Menopause leaves us with the awful unspoken question: ‘Will I always be like this?’
While a woman is still having a menstrual cycle, acupuncture is very helpful in bringing it back into balance. The Chong and Ren channels are treated, stimulating the pituitary and ovaries, and creating a better hormonal balance.
Acupuncture helps to cool hot flushes and night sweats by first clearing the heat produced by insufficient oestrogen, and astringing sweating. Yin energy is then nourished, which is calming, cooling, nourishing and grounding. By doing so, your sleep will improve, your will to get things done is increased, and your libido will reappear.
Chinese herbal medicine uses herbs like Wu Wei Zi (Schisandra) as part of a herbal prescription to calm anxiety, stop night sweats and support sleep. Suan Zao Ren (Zizyphus seed) not only stops sweats and calms anxiety, but also reduces irritability. It is often used together with Bai Zi Ren (Biota seed) and Yuan Zhi (Polygala root) to improve memory.
Treatment of forgetfulness and emotional ups and downs is often achieved by nourishing blood via acupuncture. This enables us to feel emotionally more substantial and robust; less blown in the wind, less vulnerable.
A favourite herb here is Long Yan Rou(Longan fruit), a sweet sustaining herb to calm anxiety and worry. It can be used with Dang Gui (Angelica root), as part of an ancient prescription Gui Pi Tang, to balance hormones and smooth emotions. He Huan Pi (Mimosa bark) is an excellent addition to ease stress and lift the spirits.
As part of your acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine treatment, you will also be given individually tailored dietary and lifestyle advice, according to your Chinese medicine diagnosis.
During a course of six or more treatments with acupuncture, women will frequently report feeling much more like themselves again.
For further information, including other steps to take to achieve a smoother menopause, see our website.
6 steps to a smoother menopause
- Stop coffee and chocolate – yes, even the best dark chocolate, as it is too heating and stimulating for you right now
- Stop alcohol, or reduce to one or two nights per week – alcohol is heating and will interfere with your Liver energy, causing more emotional ups and downs, insomnia and night sweats; white wine is less heating than red
- Increase dark green vegetables – they are cooling in nature, and will nourish your blood
- Increase protein, to further nourish your blood
- Reduce sugar, which will in turn reduce adrenalin, and reduce hot flushes
- Take up Yoga or Pilates, as both forms of exercise will sustain your energy
For more information on how Jill works see our website. Please contact us on 0117 377 1186 to book an appointment.
- A pilot study comparing the clinical effects of Jia-Wey Shiau-Yau San, a traditional Chinese herbal prescription, and a continuous combined hormone replacement therapy in postmenopausal women with climacteric symptoms by LC Chen, YT Tsao, KY Yen, YF Chen, MH Chou, in Maturitas (2003) 30 January, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp55-62, Elsevier
This study suggests that Jia-Wey Shiau-Yau San was a safe and efficacious therapy and might be an alternative choice for relief of climacteric symptoms in postmenopausal women. Jia-Wey Shiau-Yau San showed a good compliance and safety without estrogenic effects and metabolic alterations.
- The acupuncture on hot flushes among menopausal women (ACUFLASH) study, a randomized controlled trial by EK Borud, T Alraek, A White, V Fonnebo, AE Eggen, in Menopause, (2009) Volume 16, Issue 3, May-June, pp484-493, journals.lww.com
This study shows acupuncture plus self care to be more effective than self care alone in reducing hot flushes, and increased quality of life
- A comparison of acupuncture and oral estradiol treatment of vasomotor symptoms in postmenopausal women, by Y Wyon, K Wijma, E Nedstrand, M Hammar, in Climacteric (2004) June, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp153-64
In this study, acupuncture treatment was shown to significantly reduce the number of hot flushes, with no concerns over taking oestradiol