Menopausal Support with Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine
Although other traditional Chinese medicine syndromes can be overlapped, in general women during menopause will have a pattern called Yin deficiency. The hormonal changes that occur during menopause can cause a group of very uncomfortable symptoms for women, such as hot flashes, night sweats, emotional fluctuations, and more. These symptoms are caused by the decrease of estrogen and represent a loss of fluids in the body, as called Yin deficiency in Asian medicine. Acupuncture and herbs are great support for the transition into menopause. These interventions can help to support the Yin of the body, aid in balancing the hormones and thus smooth out the intensity of symptoms. It is best to see a trained acupuncturist and herbalist, as each individual’s presentation is different and certain regiments may not be appropriate for everyone.
When working to support the bodies Yin, other key aspects to consider is the diet: avoiding spicy hot foods, alcohol, ginger, chocolate, and coffee are very important dietary regiments. If menopausal symptoms are under control then these foods can be consumed in moderation, as long as it does not exacerbate the symptoms. I suggest being especially careful with spicy foods because it causes sweating and depletes the Yin (fluids) of the body. If the menopausal symptoms are full-blown it is strongly discouraged to consume these foods, because they will aggravate the symptoms. As with any dietary regiment, you can experiment for yourself by avoiding the substance for at least 2 weeks, then try eating or drinking the prohibited food/drink to see if your symptoms are exacerbated.
Primrose Oil is considered a hormone balancer that many women use as support through menopause. A Western herb that is a great ally to women is Vitex, also called Chaste Berry. Vitex is a wonderful herb for women in all phases of their life, as it supports hormonal balancing. It can also be wonderfully beneficial and nourishing to consume herbs that are rich in vitamins and minerals, such as Nettles and Red Raspberry Leaf (another known ally to women). If consuming Primrose Oil, Vitex, Nettles, or Red Raspberry Leaf causes any adverse reactions, stop taking it immediately. All of these substances are very safe and gentle and rarely have negative side effects.
Yasmin Spencer LAc, DAOM, Dipl. OM
427 F Street, Eureka, CA 95501
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