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Menopause is a natural proces and is defined as 12 consecutive months without a period. It usually occurs between 45 and 55 years of age but around 1% of women experience the menopause before 40 years of age. The years preceding  the menopause called perimenopause, during this time, woman may begin to suffer from menopausal symptoms and her periods may become less regular before finally stopping completely. This can be a difficult time as she transitions from one stage of life to the next, it can last for a number of years.

As much as 70% of women in Western countries will experience some symptoms, such as hot flushes and night sweats. There are also other related physical and psychological symptoms including:

  • Anxiety/palpitations

  • Mood swings, irritability

  • Low libido

  • Memory and concentration issues

  • Low mood/ depression

  • Sleep disturbances

  • Tiredness

  • Vaginal dryness

  • Bloatiness

  • UTI/Urinary incontinence

  • Reduced vitality of skin, hair, bones and muscle

Most symptoms are exacerbated  by stress.

There are many factors that can impact stress levels and these can be grouped into four main areas:

  1. Emotional stress: Relationship strain, bereavements, psychological stress,  etc

  2. Physical stress: Overexertion, wound healing, allergies, autoimmune conditions etc

  3. Environmental/lifestyle stress: Smoking, poor sleep, alcohol, not enough exercise, tobacco, toxins in household products and toiletries, (Xenoestrogens) no relaxation etc

  4. Food stress: Processed foods, sugar, fried foods, nitrates, snacking, skipping meals etc  

Chinese medicine and Menopause

When a woman’s essence begins to decline, the Yin energy of her body naturally decline too. This means that the balance between Yin and Yang is thrown off, and symptoms may begin to occur.

Because Yin is responsible for cooling and moistening, when it becomes deficient, symptoms of "heat" can appear in the body and mind. This includes the obvious symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats, as well as vaginal dryness, dry hair and skin. When "heat" affects the mind, it becomes restless and causes symptoms such as anxiety and insomnia, irritability or mood swings.

Acupuncture works for menopausal symptoms by promoting balance between Yin and Yang, and reducing stress in both body and mind. It can help to reduce symptoms such as hot flashes, relieve anxiety, and also promote peaceful sleep. Although acupuncture is an extremely relaxing therapy, many people report feeling energized following a treatment, or just having a sense of increased general wellbeing.

Acupuncture treatments are individually tailored to each patient’s pathologies.
Another way to get the most out of your acupuncture treatment is by making simple changes to your diet and lifestyle. Kate often talks to her patients about dietary changes to build the Yin or Blood for examples, eliminating Phlegm forming foods.

Evidence based acupuncture produced a summary on this menopause.

A review of acupuncture studies reported 50% reduction in hot flashes lasting up to six months (1) and a  significant reduction in frequency and severity of hot flashes (2).

A review of studies focussing on acupuncture for anxiety in 2007 reported positive outcomes for all trials (3). 

By altering neurotransmitters in the brain acupuncture can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety (4).

12 studies on acupuncture for sleep disorders in post- menopausal women showed 75% reported improvements in sleep complaints following acupuncture treatment (5).

How to help your self?

Reduce or cut out heating foods, increase cooling foods:

  1. Stop coffee and chocolate – yes, even the best dark chocolate.

  2. Stop alcohol, or reduce to one or two nights per week. White wine is less heating than red. Alcohol is heating and will interfere with your Liver energy, causing more emotional ups and downs, insomnia and night sweats.

  3. Reduce spicy and junk foods, try cooking at home from fresh ingredients.

  4. Increase dark green vegetables. They are cooling in nature, and will nourish your Blood and stabilize your emotions.

  5. Increase protein, to further nourish your Blood, eating oily fish, seeds and nuts would be beneficial.

  6. Reduce sugar, which will in turn reduce adrenalin, and reduce your anxiety and hot flushes.

  7. Take up Yoga or Pilates, Tai Chi or Qigong classes, those are generally more Yin nourishing movements, working with breath, therefore calming.

  8. Take time for you, do the things that nurture you, go for a walk, read a book, write, paint, draw, something that it "yours" and gives you pleasure, releases some emotions.


(1) Alfhaily F, Ewies AAA. Acupuncture in managing menopausal symptoms: hope or mirage? Climacteric. 2007; 10(5): p. 371-380

(2) Chiu HY, Pan CH, Shyu YK, Han BC, Tsai PS. Effects of acupuncture on menopause-related symptoms and quality of life in women in natural menopause: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Menopause. 2015 Feb; 22(2): p. 234-244

(3) Pilkington K, Kirkwood G, Rampes H, Cummings M, Richardson J. Acupuncture for anxiety and anxiety disorders – a systematic literature review. Acupuncture in Medicine. 2007; 25(1-2): p.1-10

(4) Qian-Qian L et al. Acupuncture Effect and Central Autonomic Regulation. Evidence Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine. 2013; 2013: 267959

(5) Bezerra AG, Pires GN, Andersen ML, Tufik S, Hachul H. Acupuncture to Treat Sleep Disorders in Postmenopausal Women: A Systematic Review. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2015; 2015:563236.

Acupuncture for menopause, Ealing
Acupuncture for menopause, Ealing
Acupuncture for menopause, Ealing
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