Throughout life women experience different stages – childhood, teenhood, adulthood and maturity. Just as the reproductive stage comes along, years later so does the non-reproductive. As the phase of reproduction nears an end, a decrease of ovary and other glandular functions cause menstrual cycles to become irregular and eventually cause the cessation of menses. During this normal stage of life, only 10% of women experience severe symptoms of menopause; however, the symptoms can be so severe that they need attention for a woman to regain the balance in her life.
Menopause syndrome is generally present in women over 50 years old; however, it can be present in younger women due to surgical procedures or other circumstances. When menopause is in full swing, women experience symptoms such as hot flashes, sudden sweating, sweaty palms, irritability, anger, sudden crying, insomnia, night sweats, heart palpitations, anxiety, restlessness and dream-disturbed sleep. The difficultly in dealing with these symptoms makes women feel frustrated and even depressed.
The fundamentals of Oriental Medicine explain that while on the path of aging, women are sometimes overextended, and, not taking our bodies into consideration, we exhaust ourselves. This, along with heavy blood loss from menses, accidents or surgeries, causes symptoms of menopause. Oriental Medicine offers women a more natural approach to easing menopausal symptoms by using nutritional guidance, herbal formulas, acupuncture and other techniques. For more than 3,000 years women’s health has benefited from acupuncture and herbal formulas. Evidence of this has been found in early medical literature.
There have been various research studies regarding menopause and Oriental Medicine, but the technique that leaves the greatest impression is acupuncture. Study after study has been done regarding acupuncture. The latest research, performed at the Mayo Clinic, answered why acupuncture helps diminish menopause symptoms. It was found that acupuncture causes a boost in the production of endorphins in helping to balance the body’s temperature. On ABC World News with Diana Sawyer, Linsey Davis discussed a study published on March 7, 2011, on hormone replacement therapy and acupuncture that showed 53 middle-aged women classified as menopausal had been helped by acupuncture.
As women treated with acupuncture feel more relaxed with less frequent and lower intensity hot flashes, those with anxiety feel less anxious and have much better sleep patterns that help them regain the healthy life they once enjoyed.
Menopause is a natural transition in the journey of life. Our approach to it, though, must be guided safely and naturally in order to address menopausal symptoms and avoid the side effects of synthetic substances that may cause more damage than good to the female body.
By Consuelo Camarillo de G. Lic. AC., M.D.