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Acupuncture for Menopause

Updated: Oct 7, 2023


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Menopause and perimenopause can be life-changing and very disruptive. Most people that experience symptoms from Menopause and perimenopause feel as if they are losing control and living inside a body they never knew before. While hot flashes and night sweats are the most common symptoms, these stages and transitions of life are much more than that. Support is necessary, whether it is HRTs, talk therapy, and/or Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine have a long history of being utilized to address various health conditions, including perimenopause and menopause. Recent studies have provided evidence supporting the efficacy of acupuncture and Chinese medicine in alleviating menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, and mood changes.


According to the principles of Chinese medicine, maintaining balance and harmony within the body is crucial for optimal health. Menopause, while a natural transition, can disrupt this balance due to hormonal changes, leading to symptoms. Acupuncture, a holistic therapy involving the insertion of fine needles into specific points on the body, can help restore balance and stimulate the body's natural healing mechanisms. This can lead to regulation of hormones, improved circulation, and reduced inflammation, ultimately alleviating symptoms associated with menopause.


A recent study published in the Journal of Menopausal Medicine examined the effectiveness of acupuncture in reducing the frequency and severity of hot flashes in menopausal women. The study, conducted by Kim et al. (2021), involved 53 women who received acupuncture twice a week for four weeks. The results demonstrated a significant decrease in both the frequency and severity of hot flashes, along with improvements in sleep quality.


Chinese herbal medicine is often combined with acupuncture to enhance treatment outcomes for menopausal symptoms. Dong quai (Angelica sinensis), known for its hormone-regulating and circulation-improving properties, is frequently utilized. Additionally, black cohosh (Actaea racemosa) is commonly employed to relieve hot flashes and night sweats. Other herbs, such as red clover, licorice root, and evening primrose oil, may also be incorporated into treatment protocols.


A recent meta-analysis of 22 randomized controlled trials, conducted by Zhu et al. (2020), evaluated the efficacy of Chinese herbal medicine in managing menopausal symptoms. The study, which included over 2,000 women, reported that Chinese herbal medicine effectively reduced hot flashes, night sweats, and other menopausal symptoms. The meta-analysis concluded that Chinese herbal medicine was safe and well-tolerated.


In conjunction with acupuncture and Chinese herbs, making lifestyle changes such as engaging in regular exercise, practicing stress reduction techniques, and adopting a healthy diet can further support the management of menopausal symptoms. The integration of acupuncture and Chinese medicine into a comprehensive approach can empower women to navigate the menopausal transition with increased comfort and control.


In summary, recent studies, including a study by Kim et al. (2021) and a meta-analysis by Zhu et al. (2020), have demonstrated the effectiveness of acupuncture and Chinese medicine in addressing menopausal symptoms. If you are experiencing perimenopause or menopause symptoms, it may be beneficial to consult with a licensed acupuncturist or Chinese medicine practitioner to explore potential treatment options. By incorporating acupuncture for menopause, you can find relief and embrace the menopausal journey with grace and ease.


References:

  1. Kim TH, Kang JW, Kim KH, et al. Acupuncture for hot flushes in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women: A randomized, sham-controlled trial. J Menopausal Med. 2021;27(1):26-34. doi: 10.6118/jmm.20161

  2. Zhu X, Liew Y, Liu ZL, et al. Chinese herbal medicine for menopausal symptoms: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2020;2020:9065639. doi: 10.1155/2020/9065639

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