Have you been experiencing hot flashes? Night sweats? Insomnia? Anxiety or mood swings? These and other symptoms may be due to hormonal imbalances and can occur during menopause or peri-menopause, which is the ten to fifteen year period that leads up to menopause. These symptoms can make you feel desperate, or at least annoyed. Know that you are not alone with your symptoms and that relief is possible.
Chinese Medicine and Menopause
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine offer wonderful natural treatments for menopause. One common herbal remedy for hot flashes and night sweats, for example, is Zhi Bai Di Huang Wan (ZBDHW). This formula tonifies kidney yin and cools the body. It often helps with insomnia, dry skin, irritability and other problems as well. However, since sweating, insomnia and the other symptoms discussed above are not always caused by kidney yin deficiency, ZBDHW is not the right formula for everyone, and shouldn't be self-prescribed.
What is Yin Deficiency?
Yin, in Chinese Medicine, is the cooling and moistening element in the body. It helps make our skin supple, lubricates our joints and keeps our mucous membranes moist. The kidneys, and in particular, kidney yin, strongly influences birth, growth and reproduction. As we age, the yin of the kidneys declines, and so does it's ability to support a woman’s reproductive cycle. Yin deficiency makes women more prone to dry skin, hair, eyes; day and night sweats; bone loss; stress; and other symptoms that arise during the peri-menopausal and post-menopausal years. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help support our bodies as we go through these changes by smoothing our energy or qi, building our yin, and strengthening our bodies.
During menopause, and ideally before, women can also ease this transition by eating a balanced diet with plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits and healthy fats, such as those found in olive oil, avocados, fish oil and flaxseeds. Getting regular exercise and practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation, qi gong or tai chi can also be very beneficial.
Please contact me if you have any questions or would like to know how acupuncture and Chinese medicine might be helpful for you.