Traditional Chinese Medicine sees menopause as a completely natural and important phase in the female reproductive life.
Reproductive hormones begin to fluctuate and they can give rise to annoying symptoms in peri-menopause and menopause such as hot flushes, insomnia, headaches, mood swings, anxiety and weight gain. Add to that adrenal stress, and the high circulating cortisol levels can cause even more pronounced hormonal fluctuations.
These symptoms can last some time and affect ones quality of life.
Acupuncture can have a role in correcting such symptoms by causing changes in neurophysiologic and neuro –hormonal activities. “Some studies suggest acupuncture increases endorphin activity thereby modulating thermoregulation in the hypothalamus” (1). Thus, it is possible to regulate vasomotor symptoms.
There is much research being done on acupuncture and menopausal symptoms, and current research is positive. In a recent study published in 2017 it stated that overall evidence demonstrates acupuncture is effective (in treating menopausal hot flashes) when compared to no treatment at all. (2)
Up to 62% of peri-menopausal women have depression symptoms. A study in China recently showed that a 12 week course of electro acupuncture treatment significantly relieved mild to moderate depressive symptoms and improved quality of life in peri-menopause. (3)
Acupuncture is tailored to the unique individual’s symptoms, which vary from person to person. Diet and lifestyle also play a large role in menopause and your practitioner will discuss these with you.
- Effect of acupuncture on hot flushes and menopause symptoms in breast cancer – A systematic review and meta-analysis. Tsai-ju Chien, Chung Hua H et al. PLoS ONE 2017
- Acupuncture for menopausal hot flushes: clinical evidence update and its relevance to decision making. Ee. C, French. S et al. Menopause 2017,
- A Multicenter Randomised Controlled Trial of Electro acupuncture for peri-menopausal women with mild to moderate depression. Li S, Li ZF, Wu Q et al. Biomed Res Int 2018.