Acupuncture may help women to better manage the symptoms of menopause such as hot flushes, night sweats, insomnia, aches and pains and mood swings. These symptoms occur due to the hormonal changes in our body as our oestrogen levels decrease. In Chinese medicine, this relates to our ‘yin’ energy. Yin is cooling and moistening in nature, so when this is depleted our body starts to heat up.
Yin depletion is one of the most common traditional Chinese medical diagnoses for women who are experiencing menopausal symptoms. However, women who are treated for the same symptoms are likely to have other underlying imbalances that need to be treated as well. Therefore, as Traditional Chinese Medical practitioners, we will always seek to treat the root cause with an individualised treatment plan for each person, which involves a combination of acupuncture, lifestyle and dietary advice, herbs and natural supplements.
How does our Yin energy get depleted during menopause?
Most women have depleted their ‘yin’ energy by working too hard, not getting enough sleep, over exercising and trying to fit in too many things during the day without taking a break. The symptoms of menopause don’t just happen overnight. It is an accumulation of years of fast pace living that depletes your body’s precious yin energy, with little or no time set aside for rest and relaxation. Rest and relaxation allows your yin energy to be restored. The degree to which you experience menopausal symptoms relate to your yin energy levels.
How do we nourish our Yin energy during menopause?
To nourish our yin energy we need to find ways to better manage our stress levels. For example this could include working less taxing hours, improving our sleep, carrying out moderate exercise (e.g. walking, yoga or qi-gong), meditation, abdominal breathing to calm the mind and eating yin nourishing foods. Avoiding foods that are overly heating such as alcohol, spicy foods, sugar and caffeine can also help. Chinese herbs can also help nourish your yin energy. The most simple thing that you can do is to slow down – give yourself permission to simply rest, relax and recuperate.
While acupuncture is an ancient medicinal practice, it offers therapeutic benefits and has very few side effects, making it safe to use for most women. The British Acupuncture Council mentions the results of some research studies which indicate that there is benefit in the use of acupuncture in the alleviation of menopausal symptoms, particularly hot flushes and anxiety.
To find out how acupuncture can help you to better transition through the stages of menopause, please call Serena or Nicola at Mei Ling Acupuncture & Natural Health Clinic on 04 499 9062, or you can book acupuncture online now