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Acupuncture for Perimenopause and Menopause

For most of our lives, women and people who menstruate are told to fear ‘the dreaded menopause’ but, did you know that in Eastern cultures menopause has a very different connotation? In many Eastern countries, the cessation of menstruation is linked with a women becoming the matriarch of the family. This is when they are no longer the nurturing mother and instead step up to become the family leader who guides her descendants with wisdom and grace. Traditionally, there is also no specific emotional or hormonal symptoms associated with this time. A menstruating persons period is meant to cease as easily as it arrived, with no flushes, emotional fragility or sleep issues. 

How often is this the case though? Quite often, perimenopause can be a fraught time with multiple symptoms that unbalance a persons life quite strongly.

What are menopause and perimenopause?

Perimenopause is the time leading up to menopause. There is no specific time frame for this, but it usually begins when a menstruating person’s hormones begin to change and decline and the menses become less regular. This transition usually involves the length of a period and the time between periods changing until the menses disappear. This process can continue on for some months or even years.

Menopause has officially begun once you have had 12 consecutive months since your last menstrual cycle.
The road to peri-menopause starts roughly at about 35 years old. How a menstruating person is at this age will set the stage for how their perimenopause and menopausal years will play out. If someone is more tired, stressed or experiencing hormonal issues then there is a likelihood that their perimenopausal journey may be more fraught.

Common perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms include:

  • Hot flushes and sensations of being hot,
  • Night sweats,
  • Insomnia,
  • Feeling irritable, flat or anxious,
  • Low sex drive,
  • Weight gain,
  • Dryness.

Some menstruating people have an easier time of it than others but in all honesty, I’m sure there are a lot of women that would like to bypass perimenopause entirely. Thankfully, Chinese medicine has been treating perimenopause and menopause for thousands of years. 

Chinese Medicine supports menstrual health using a variety of techniques including acupuncture, herbal medicine and lifestyle changes. Our experienced practitioners understand the challenges that come with a big life change like perimenopause. We work holistically, looking at your whole health picture to see what the possible causes could be and what can be done to minimise your symptoms as quickly as possible. They are able to create a personalised treatment plan for you and tailor acupuncture sessions directly to address your specific needs.

Research for Acupuncture and Perimenopause/Menopause

This review shows that there is evidence to support the use of Acupuncture for reducing menopause-related symptoms such as hot flushes, anxiety and depression as well as insomnia.

This 2018 meta-analysis found Acupuncture to be an effective stand-alone or adjunctive treatment for reducing hot flushes as well as improving quality of life. 

This 2016 meta-analysis states that: “Acupuncture is associated with a significant reduction in sleep disturbances in women experiencing menopause-related sleep disturbances”.

This 2015 meta-analysis: “confirms that Acupuncture improves hot flash frequency and severity, menopause-related symptoms, and quality of life”

A 2019 review of current research found that Chinese herbal medicine was able to improve menopausal hot flush symptoms.

FAQ

What if I’m not sure if I’m in perimenopause?
That is absolutely fine. We can assist you regardless of where you are in your hormonal journey.

Can I still have acupuncture and herbs if I am having HRT?
Yes, most definitely. It is always your choice if you want to work with a Western medicine approach or integrate Chinese medicine too. 
We often find that herbal medicine helps to relieve symptoms faster than acupuncture alone. Our practitioners are trained to know how to prescribe herbs in combination with your prescription medication. 

How long does it take to work?
Acupuncture is a cumulative treatment. You may notice changes after your first session for a few days, but with each treatment this effect will build. We will work with you on a treatment plan to find the correct number of sessions you will need before we can move to the maintenance phase without the return of your symptoms. 
Please get in touch if you have any queries. Our team aims to guide you on your health journey and provide a supportive and personalised approach. 

Please get in touch if you have any queries. Our team aims to guide you on your health journey and provide a supportive and personalised approach. 

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