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Almost 80% of women get hot flashes, night sweats, or both during menopause. For more than half of women, those unpleasant symptoms last 7 to 10 years and can majorly affect sleep, comfort, and quality of life.

Hormone therapy is currently the most effective treatment for hot flashes, but it’s associated with health risks and side effects, so many women seek alternative treatments. Unfortunately, herbal supplements and dietary remedies can have side effects of their own, and studies on their effectiveness have been mixed.

Recent research has suggested that acupuncture can provide hot-flash relief for breast cancer patients, and this new randomized trial offers further evidence that it may work for menopausal women, as well.

Imbalance Can Be Treated With Acupuncture

In Chinese medicine these symptoms are an indication of imbalance, usually Blood and Yin Deficiency with Empty Heat. The body is a balance of Yin (slow, cool, dark, night) and Yang (fast, hot, light, movement, day). So if a women becomes deficient or lacking in Yin this will create a relative rise in Yang and these yang characteristics of heating, rising, moving will dominate.

Hot flashes, which are one of the most common symptoms, are a consequence of the inability of Yin to restrain Yang, so heat flares upward uncontrollably.

According to Chinese Medical theory, menopause occurs when a woman’s body begins to preserve blood and energy in order to sustain her vitality and allow for the maximum available nourishment for her body, especially her kidneys. The kidney is the organ Chinese Medicine sees as the root of life and longevity.

Therefore, the body, in its wisdom, reserves the flow of a channel in the centre of the body which sends blood and energy down to the uterus. Instead, blood and essence from the kidneys are conserved and cycled through the body to nourish the woman’s spirit and extend her longevity. Thus, in the Chinese Medicine, menopause is seen as true change in life from mother to enlightened and wise being.

How Chinese Medicine (Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs) can help

Chinese Medicine is a gentle and yet a very effective and safe method of treating menopausal symptoms. The emphasis of the treatment is not to increase the level of a certain hormone, but rather to restore balance whilst the body is going through these natural changes, to help smooth the way in times of adjustment. Whether it is during your menstrual cycle, conception, pregnancy or menopause, Chinese medicine helps optimise a woman’s endocrine system, regulates the nervous system and stimulates the release of endorphins which are the “feel good” hormones, and calming the mind.

We are each born with a certain level of estrogen inherited from our parents genes, nevertheless a woman’s lifestyle and dietary habits from childhood to the cessation of menses can play an important foundation for how she goes through menopause. The sooner we look to balance the body and the mind, the easier or free of symptoms your journey during menopause will be.