You Need This Treatment- Acupuncture for Menopause blog post

You Need This Treatment: Acupuncture for Menopause

  • Perimenopause – also known as transition menopause, it can start as much as 8 to 10 years prior to menopause. Your ovaries will slowly produce less estrogen, and commonly start in your 40’s at some point. This phase will last up until menopause at which time the ovaries will stop releasing eggs. It is also at this phase that many women start to experience the symptoms related to menopause, but are still having a menstrual cycle and can get pregnant.

  • Menopause – it is at this point that you do not have a menstrual cycle any longer. Your ovaries no longer are releasing eggs, and have halted most of your estrogen production. It is diagnosed after you have not had a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months.

  • Postmenopause – essentially this is the remainder of your life after menopause, and you have not had a period for a year. At this point, menopausal symptoms may get less aggressive, but some people may be faced with these symptoms for a decade or more after transitioning to menopause. It is also during this time that you may be more susceptible to osteoporosis and heart disease due to the decreased estrogen levels.
  • Hot flashes

  • Vaginal Dryness

  • Insomnia

  • Night sweats or cold flashes

  • Mood swings

  • Intensified PMS (premenstrual syndrome)

  • Irregular periods or lighter periods than usual (during perimenopause)

  • Low sex drive

  • Heart palpitations

  • Weight gain

  • Hair thinning

  • Joint/muscle pain

  • Brain fog or memory lapses (usually temporary)

  • Dry mouth/dry eyes/dry skin

  • Headaches
  • Hormone therapy – this involves estrogen therapy which is taking estrogen alone, and estrogen progesterone hormone therapy which is a combination therapy providing doses of both estrogen and progesterone.

    • Risks of hormone therapy involve blood clots, stroke, deep vein thrombosis, gallbladder issues, pulmonary embolism, and endometrial cancer.

  • Non-hormonal therapy – this is exactly as it sounds, and that is making changes in your diet and lifestyle that will mitigate menopause symptoms. This type of treatment is a good option because of the lack of risk as well as favorable for people who are dealing with other medical conditions. This option includes changing the diet, exercise, joining support groups, avoiding things that will trigger hot flashes, and prescription medications.
  • Hot Flashes – according to TCM, this happens when the body’s yin (cooling) energy dissipates which causes a surplus in yang (warming) energy. This excess of yang energy will cause heat sensation and flushed chest, neck, and face. Acupuncture treatment aids in cooling you down by innately encouraging the widening of blood vessels, releasing endorphins, and controlling the hypothalamus which regulates the body’s internal thermostat.

  • Fatigue – acupuncture helps with fatigue by improving the health of the digestive system which prevents premature aging as well as boosting energy. It will also increase blood flow while decreasing blood pressure which can decrease fatigue inducing stress on the heart.

  •  Mood Swings – the decrease in the production of estrogen from perimenopause has a large impact on your demeanor. Estrogen influences the creation of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine which increases feelings of being happy. That being said, decreased estrogen equals mood fluctuation. Acupuncture balances out the 2 nervous systems changing our neurochemistry that is involved with emotional regulation.

  • Menstrual Cycle Shifts – acupuncture works for regulating the menstrual cycle by improving circulation to the ovaries and uterus. It can also be helpful for PCOS, regulating the HPO (hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian) axis, or painful periods.

  • Memory Lapses or Brain Fog – acupuncture works for memory and mental focus by increasing circulation, oxygen flow to the brain, and the neurotransmitters responsible for memory. It can re-establish proper communication between the systems of the body and the brain increasing cognitive function.

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