Allopathic medicine commonly prescribes hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to alleviate menopausal symptoms caused by changes in estrogen and progesterone levels. These medications have also been used to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, heart disease and elevated cholesterol in women after menopause. However, many women cannot tolerate or are not inclined to take supplemental hormones. The long-term effects are still unclear and HRT may increase the risk of certain cancers, blood clots and strokes.
Acupuncture can be a safe and natural alternative. For women who choose HRT as a treatment therapy, acupuncture may also be used in conjunction with HRT. Instead of the standard hormone replacement therapy offered through conventional health care, acupuncture physicians treat each woman according to individual patterns of physical, mental and emotional symptoms. Treatment may include a combination of acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, dietary recommendations, massage, and vitality enhancing exercise (tai chi, qigong).
Menopausal symptoms alleviated with acupuncture include: Hot flashes, sweating, fatigue, headaches, depression, mood swings, insomnia, irritability, lethargy, and concentration difficulties. Easing symptoms without side effects, acupuncture treatment regulates unstable hormone levels during menopause and rebalances the hormonal system. Acupuncture increases the release of serotonin, the body’s natural painkiller, which minimizes discomfort associated with menopausal symptoms such as mood and sleep changes and abdominal pain or cramping. Acupuncture regulates erratic or heavy bleeding in perimenopausal women.
Your acupuncture physician will create a comprehensive health care plan that addresses specific hormonal imbalances and symptoms. Typically, both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine will be recommended with session therapy program length and treatment frequency determined by individual response to acupuncture therapy. The World Health Organization has approved acupuncture as a safe treatment for menopause. For more information about acupuncture for the treatment of menopause and menopausal symptoms contact Dr. Richard Browne.