There’s a long list of possible symptoms a woman will experience while going through menopause. Many of them are due to the decrease of the hormone, estrogen, in the woman’s body. Provided below are some common symptoms and remedies. We also highly recommend acupuncture and massage! For more info on the later, skip to the bottom.
Hot flashes/Night sweats
Cool is the name of this game. Anything you can do to keep your body temp down will help in the short-term. Here is a general list of things to avoid. These things can cause heat to build up in the body and the last thing anyone wants when feeling a hot flash coming is added spice (list provided by healthline.com):
- Spicy foods
- Exposure to heat (warm baths, saunas)
An MD may offer medications/supplements such as DHEA, Osphena or a low-dose estrogen cream. Regular sexual activity or vaginal stimulation, with or without a partner, also helps maintain healthy vaginal tissues in women after menopause.
It helps to first identify the cause of your disturbed sleep. Are you waking with hot flashes? Are you waking in a panic? Or do you simply wake, with no perceived reason? If you are waking due to night sweats, it helps to keep yourself as cool as possible, wear light clothing, turn up the AC, open a window…experiment with what your body likes. If you’re waking due to stress, it goes without saying…try your best to lower it. Join a gym, take up yoga, see your acupuncturist!
As with trouble sleeping, it can be hard to identify what, exactly, is causing the mood swings. Hot flashes can make one extremely irritable. Not sleeping well will affect everyone’s mood and straight-up decreased amounts of estrogen would cause many to experience anxiety and/or depression. I start with taking an internal inventory: What is going on when you experience the mood swings? Try to name some of the feelings. Focus internally and see if you can sense where, in your body, these emotions are arising.
How VATM can help
The beautiful art of massage can help many symptoms of menopause. We know that massage stimulates blood circulation, activates the body’s lymphatic system, reduces fluid-retention and swelling throughout the body, and releases tension in muscles and joints; All welcome effects when going through menopause.
NCBI.com published a study titled “Effect of massage in postmenopausal women with insomnia. The goal of this study was to test therapeutic massage on insomnia, depression, and anxiety through subjective and objective parameters in postmenopausal patients with insomnia. Read this excerpt from the case, below:
“The effects of massage on the activation of arterial and venous blood flow, the lymphatic system, in addition to impacting edema, the conjunctive tissue and muscles, are well known. Through acting on the somatic, autonomic and central nervous system, massage promotes improved visceral functioning and re-establishes homeostasis.” ncbi.com.
Homeostasis. That’s the key word. This means balance. And that’s exactly what massage can help your body do…menopause or no menopause.
In the world of Chinese medicine, menopause is known as Kidney yin deficiency. Our kidneys are our life-force. They give us fire and supply energy to all other organs. It’s also the energy we receive from our parents. The kidneys can be loosely related to the western genes we get from our parents.
Based on Chinese medicine theory, as our kidney energy lessens or if we were simply born with low kidney energy, this can look like:
- Grey hair or loss of hair
- Weak back and knees
- Night sweats
- Poor teeth health
- Ringing in the ears
- Loss of vision
- Trouble sleeping
Sounds a lot like aging, right? And can you identify the menopause symptoms in there?
How can acupuncture help?
There are several points that help balance the kidney energy in your body. Kidney 3 and Urinary Bladder 23 are a great baseline for boosting your kidneys. Stomach 36 helps with the body’s energy overall. The endocrine point in the ear helps target hormonal imbalances.
Then you get specific. What symptoms are bugging you most? Irritability? Throw in Liver 3 and Large Intestine 4. Night sweats? Add Kidney 7 and Heart 6. Just feel incredibly “off” and want a re-set? Crossing Dragons is a great treatment where a needle is placed about an inch on either side of the spine, between the space of every other vertebra. Not to mention it looks super cool, too.
Visit yinyanghouse.com for more information on point combinations and treatment theory.
Thank you for stopping by this week. We appreciate your interaction and would love to hear from you! Please comment bellow to continue the discussion. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, call us at 651-756-8525.
Rachel was born and raised in St.Paul, MN, where she currently lives with her husband, Chris and Shih Zhu, Stewie. She graduated from Northwestern Health Sciences in 2017 with her Masters in Chinese Medicine. Rachel found Chinese medicine on a journey to understand and tend to her own anxiety and depression and now has a passion for helping others who experience a similar reality. She enjoys treating a wide variety of conditions and welcomes anyone looking for care.