While temperatures have begun to cool off outdoors, there are many for whom the inner temperature remains uncomfortably high!
I am, of course referring to women in menopause who experience hot flashes and night sweats.
Menopause is defined as occurring 12 months after a woman’s last menstrual cycle and signals the permanent end of menstruation and fertility. Hot flashes, known as vasomotor symptoms, unpleasant at any time of year, are the main reason some women seek relief through conventional hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Because of the results of recent studies calling into question the safety of HRT, many women now rely on support from approaches such as acupuncture to regain their energy and balance their hormones as they make the transition into what Chinese Medicine calls the “Second Spring”.
Acupuncture is a popular treatment because it can balance the endocrine system, which controls hormone activity, and it can optimize adrenal function — all without side effects. In a 2010 study published through the National Institutes for Health, acupuncture was found to have significantly improved hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. Because acupuncture is a holistic medicine, the accompanying complaints such as night sweats, fatigue, mood swings, insomnia, and anxiety are also often resolved.
Along with a series of acupuncture treatments, I always recommend the following lifestyle changes to my patients:
Quit smoking and cut down or eliminate spicy foods, caffeine and alcohol as these all contribute to hot flashes.
Look into adding healthy sources of estrogen to the diet, for example, freshly ground flaxseed and beets combined with carrots promote hormone regulation.
Get regular, enjoyable exercise. Move the body and stay active.
Learn relaxation techniques. It’s not surprising that studies have shown that hot flashes are greatly reduced with regular meditation. It is certainly a difference I have seen in my clinic.
Quality tonics and tested supplements can add to the effectiveness of acupuncture treatments. I often recommend herbal tonics that use classic Chinese herbal recipes but with herbs grown here in Quebec.
Finally, acknowledge that menopause is a natural life process, heralding possible changes in direction and outlook and allowing a woman to get back in touch with unlived dreams and aspirations. Having outlived the childbearing years, menopause is an opportunity for each woman to bestow new meaning to her life and to symbolically give birth to herself.
Your comments and questions are welcome by calling (819) 681-8228, or visit http://www.acupuncturemonttremblant.com for more information.
- Chinese medicine comparable to HRT for menopause symptoms? (foodconsumer.org)