Many women consider the symptoms of menopause to be an unavoidable reality of life. The discomforts associated with menopause are in no way obligatory women’s burdens, they are important signs of imbalances in the body that can be addressed and treated. Traditional Chinese Medicine has been successfully treating the symptoms of menopause, both in management and prevention, for thousands of years. As with any medicine in modern times, it is a constantly growing and evolving therapy; but its roots remain firm in time-tested philosophies, and provide the strong foundation for its basic healing principles.
How Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Views Menopause. When working at its best, the body is a delicate balance of many working systems that all flow and interact in harmony. The most basic categorical distinction between the forces at work in the body, according to TCM principles, is Yin and Yang. Yin represents the cooling, nourishing, and fluid substances of the body, and Yang is the warming energy that drives movement and function.
The traditional thoughts of menopause were that, upon entering this period of life, the yin elements of a woman’s body became deficient, and unable to hold control of the yang elements. This disruption of the balance showed itself by producing the common symptoms of menopause. Feelings like heat and agitation were results of overacting yang, and feelings like dryness and fatigue were signs of the underling deficiency and lack of yin. Treatment focus was centred on nourishing the heart, calming the mind, clearing the heat, and nourishing yin (Your cooling system) to provide comfort in coolness and moisture.
Of course, with modern laboratory abilities, we can now attribute the symptoms of menopause to measurable changes in hormone sensitivity and production. Regardless, syndrome treatment based on the ancient theories and philosophies of TCM, with its individual-based approach to therapy, have been proven for millennia to work.
TCM Treatment of Menopause with Acupuncture and Herbal Therapy
The two main tools of TCM in the treatment of Menopausal symptoms are acupuncture and herbal therapy.Acupuncture has been proven in countless studies to offer side-effect free relief in a large variety of symptoms, and is often covered by extended health insurance plans. Regular acupuncture can normalize the ups-and-downs of your cycle, and effectively smooth the uncomfortable effects associated with the hormonal shift. Patients leave the treatment room feeling relaxed, and this calm state can provide for more restful sleeps, and take the edge off the ordeals of the day.
Herbal Therapy works on a deeper level, being individually formulated to address the “root imbalances” as well as provide symptom relief. The herbal formulas used in TCM for menopause have been used effectively for at least 2000 years- there are not too many other pharmaceuticals in history who can boast as much human testing. The herbs used have a high degree of acceptance by the body, are government-regulated for safety and purity, and can effectively relieve such symptoms as hot flashes, night sweats, anxiety, mental fogginess, fatigue, etc. Thanks again to modern laboratory facilities, recent studies have proven and are continuing to prove these herbs have significant effect on balancing hormones, protecting the heart and liver, and increasing and preserving bone mass.
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