Every woman is going to, typically between the ages of 45 and 55, experience menopause. As the menstrual periods begin to cease, child bearing age has passed. Typically, periods begin to become less frequent prior to menopause. They become irregular, the duration changes, and the amount of flow can either increase or decrease. Hot flashes begin to occur, which can last anywhere from a minute up to ten minutes. Menopause, of course, is something which is somewhat unique to each individual and no two women will typically have the exact same symptoms.
Menopause, at least in the eyes of many medical professionals, is typically something which has occurred when a woman has not experienced any vaginal bleeding for the period of a year. It is marked by a decrease in the production of hormones within the ovaries. Symptoms vary, but some of the most prevalent are: weight gain, mood shifts, memory problems, sleeping problems, dizziness, bleeding between periods, joint soreness, hot flashes, decreased libido, and headache (among many others).
According to a meta-analysis published in the journal Menopause in 2015 by Chiu, et al, acupuncture has proven to be one of the most successful treatments for women experiencing menopause. Not only does acupuncture improve the frequency of hot flashes, it also reduces their severity. Subjective analysis of over 12 studies consisting of 869 total participants, the majority experienced an increase in their quality of life and a decrease in their menopause related symptoms. Another study, done by Dr. Cohen at the University of Pittsburgh, found that hot flashes could be reduced by 35% and insomnia symptoms could be decreased by 50%.
Acupuncture treats both the physical and the emotional effects of menopause by affecting the flow of qi energy in the body and modifying hormonal pathways. The length and frequency of treatment depends on every individual and their own symptoms and physiology. Some symptoms may go away after a single treatment while others may require more than one.
Along with acupuncture, massage therapy, herbal supplements, and dietary changes are also proven tactics for the alleviation of menopausal symptoms. Phytoestrogens are found in plants and have an effect similar to that of estrogen. These are able to bolster the immune system, relieve the symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats, and compensate for some of the hormonal changes that are brought about due to menopause. These benefits can be gained simply by changing up your diet a bit and focusing more on soybeans, soymilk, and tofu, among other foods.
If you are experiencing menopause or pre-menopausal symptoms, acupuncture is a route you may want to take a second look at. Being low risk, it could only be a benefit in the vast majority of situations. The fact that acupuncture is a quick and easy outpatient procedure is the icing on the cake. Used in combination with other alternative therapies and dietary changes, menopause issues can be alleviated without stress.
If you’re ready to discuss your options, let Dr. Litman help you with your pre-menopausal symptoms. Call today to schedule your appointment.