Many years ago, I remember driving home on a cold, winter night from a family gathering with my mother. We’re driving along on the highway and, all of a sudden, the windows start rolling down and cold, frigid air came filtering into the car. In bewilderment, I asked my mother, “why are you rolling the windows down? It’s freezing!” She gave me a look and said, “well then bundle up, I’m having a hot flash!” That was probably my first encounter with someone going through menopause. And I’ll never forget it.
For many women, going though menopause means having symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbances and mood swings. The good news? Acupuncture has been shown to help ease and minimize all of these symptoms, making going through “the change” much more of a breeze.
Research studies conducted at Stanford University and the University of Pittsburgh have found that acupuncture helps to reduce the intensity and frequency of hot flashes and night sweats, improves sleep and decreases mood swings during menopause. As we age, our estrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate and, thankfully, acupuncture can help to regulate and balance these hormone levels, which helps to moderate menopausal symptoms.
For women seeking acupuncture for ease of menopausal symptoms, we typically recommend coming in twice per week for the first few weeks in order to get some quick relief. We may also prescribe Chinese herbs in addition to regular acupuncture treatments. Once symptoms are more manageable, acupuncture treatments are then scaled back to once per week or maybe even once every other week depending on how the body responds to treatment.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can be of great benefit to women heading into menopause, especially if you are seeking a gentle and holistic approach to health and wellness.