Acupuncture and the Menopause

What happens during menopause?

The hormonal changes women go through every month from puberty to the end of menopause can only be described as a hormonal roller coaster. It is a complex interaction of different hormones, which can normally cause problems, but especially at times of change, such as menopause.

 

The number of eggs in the ovaries declines drastically during the lifetime of a woman. A baby girl is born with about two million eggs, by puberty there are only about 750000 left and by the age of 45 a woman has approximately 10000 follicles left. Menopause occurs when there are no more follicles left to ripen. This time of change can be divided into two phases:

 

  • Peri-menopause – irregular periods, hot flushes, mood changes and insomnia.
  • Post-menopause – the time after your final period.

 

During this time FSH (Follicle stimulating hormone) levels increase and can be detected through blood and urine tests. High FSH levels and low oestrogen levels are typical signs for pre- and peri-menopausal women. It is this fluctuation of hormones, which can cause havoc in a woman’s body, her behavioural patterns, moods, outlook and quality of life.

 

How can acupuncture help menopausal symptoms?

 

Frequent symptoms women have:

  • Sleep disturbances.
  • Hot flushes.
  • Mood changes.
  • Joint Pain.
  • Irritability.
  • Changed menstrual cycle.
  • Palpitations.
  • Night sweats.
  • Depression.
  • Declining memory.
  • Headaches.
  • Lack of concentration.

 

Generally acupuncture is known for it’s pain relieving properties, however there is so much more it can do – for example treating hormonal changes at every stage in a woman’s life. That is why it is used to treat menstrual problems, issues during pregnancy and labour, infertility and menopause.

 

Acupuncture assists the bodies’ natural adaptation process to the changing hormonal environment, and alleviates the symptoms through the insertion of fine needles into specific points on the body. I look at the unique pattern of symptoms each woman experiences, as well as her general health and lifestyle. This means that every woman is treated differently according to her individual situation. The success of treatments increases if treated early, you might need more treatments if you have been suffering for a long time.

 

See also www.wellbeingmagazine.com/tunbridgewells 09/2007

 

 

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