Approximately 70% of women suffer from hot flushes during the menopause, not to mention emotional changes and other symptoms such as irritability and reduced libido. Other common symptoms include dry skin, constipation and random aches and pains. A combination of these symptoms can become a very uncomfortable time.
Fortunately, there is help available! There have been a number of clinical trials showing that the alternative therapy acupuncture is beneficial in helping hot flushes. Night sweating, aches and pains can also be helped with acupuncture. Dry skin and constipation can be helped with changes in diet as well as supplements in stubborn cases.
Treatment of hot flushes is the most common reason for taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT). However, Acupuncture offers an alternative to HRT and can reduce the intensity and frequency of hot flushes and many of the symptoms which accompany the menopause. At a very simple level, Chinese medicine views the menopause as a time when the yin (cooling) and yang (warming) functions of the body become unbalanced. The picture is often complicated by other patterns of disharmony, but the aim of treatment with a combination of lifestyle advice, acupuncture and herbal medicine is usually to regulate the fluctuations in yin and yang and bring the body back into balance.
Hot flushes are caused by a hormonal imbalance. However, certain foods and drinks can either trigger hot flushes or make them worse. I generally recommend that my clients avoid coffee and try switching to either green tea or certain herbal teas such as peppermint tea. There also foods which are beneficial for people going through the menopause and certain supplements which are better than others (more on supplements in a future blog post).
If you are looking for a complementary therapy to treat menopausal symptoms, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions about acupuncture or to book an appointment.