Menopause is a natural process that usually occurs in women between 45 and 55 years of age as their levels of oestrogen decrease. In the UK alone, the average age at which women begin menopause is 51 but 1 in 100 women will experience menopause before the age of 40.
What are the symptoms of menopause?
It is difficult to put a number on how many symptoms women can experience with menopause as it will effect everyone differently but typically there are 34 key symptoms of menopause that you may experience. Some of these symptoms may barely have an impact on your life but some can feel so severe that you don’t know where to turn.
During a period known as the perimenopause you will start to notice a range of symptoms that can begin a few months or even years before you stop having regular monthly periods. On average menopause symptoms will last around 4 years but this can extend to as long as 12 years. So what symptoms might you experience?
75% of women will experience hot flushes, a symptom that can leave you feeling overwhelmed, overheated and sweaty. This can also transfer into the evening with many women experiencing night sweats which commonly disrupts sleep and leaves you feeling less than well rested.
Irregular periods and vaginal dryness are also extremely common side effects that will occur as a direct result of your natural oestrogen levels dropping.
27% of women will experience mood swings that are often described as being more intense than the mood swings that women typically have when on their periods.
There can also be a range of physical ailments experienced such as headaches, breast soreness, joint pain, digestive issues, burning mouth/gum problems, muscle tension, osteoporosis and more. Again, the extreme hormone changes occurring in your body can result in a lot of these issues and even exacerbate underlying conditions you weren’t previously aware of.
Mentally there can be a shift during menopause with women experiencing symptoms such as fatigue, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, depression, memory lapses, irritability and panic disorders. This is as a result of the stress that your body is experiencing internally and externally and as such, can affect your mental health.
Other physical symptoms women may experience are, but not limited to, weigh gain/loss, hair loss, skin conditions, dizziness, bloating, incontinence, body odour, brittle nails, allergies, tingling sensations and electric shocks.
Not all women will experience each and every one of these symptoms during menopause but many do and it can result in a period of their life which is extremely upsetting, stressful and often lonely.
How can Acupuncture help?
Acupuncture is a 3000 year old Traditional Chinese session which is focused on balancing the body, making it an ideal method of dealing with menopause, a change which inherently leaves the body hormonally unbalance.
Menopause Acupuncture is a non-evasive, gentle and effective way of combating the symptoms of menopause that works by balancing hormones which in turn reduces the frequency and intensity of symptoms such as hot flushes, mood swings, headaches and more.
It is these symptoms which can so greatly affect the quality of life of so many women which is why menopause acupuncture seeks to improve not only your physical health but your mental and emotional as each of these aspects of our health contribute to how we feel on a daily basis.
Acupuncture understands menopause as a natural occurrence that is caused by a deficiency of yin. The upset in the balance of yin and yang means that your body is struggling to balance your hormones and natural rhythm. The functions which would typically calm and cool are no longer working efficiently which leaves women experiencing these symptoms of night sweats, hot flushes, irritation, anxiety and feeling lost within themselves.
As such your acupuncturist will work to help you become more in tune with your body and understand what exactly you are experiencing as a result of menopause. Your symptoms can then be managed using a combination of acupuncture and self-care which takes into account your lifestyle choices, diet and daily life to help create a life in which you have more control over your menopausal symptoms.
Is Acupuncture a good option for me?
Typically the symptoms of menopause will be treated using Hormone Replacement Therapy which is thought to ease hot flushes and sweats but unfortunately it is not suitable for all women. Menopause Acupuncture provides women with a less invasive alternative to these medications and instead treats you as an individual.
Acupuncturists understand that all women will experience menopause differently and as such will require a different approach. Taking into account your physical, mental and emotional history, acupuncturists work to create a treatment protocol that works with your body and takes into account the ever changing symptoms.
Acupuncture may also be safely used in conjunction with other conventional treatments for menopausal symptoms such as anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications. The combination of these treatments helps to promote relaxation in the mind and body, improving your overall wellbeing.
There are many studies which have demonstrated the effectiveness of menopause acupuncture on menopausal symptoms. One of the more recent Danish studies carried out in 2017 found that five weeks of acupuncture in women with menopausal symptoms helped to reduce hot flushes, sleep disturbances and emotional problems.
Our founder Emma, also known as ‘The Menopausal Godmother’ has used acupuncture to treat her own symptoms of menopause following her treatment for breast cancer in her early 40’s and to date has treated over 1000 women suffering with symptoms.
If you would like to find out more about Emma’s journey, she recently discussed her diagnosis, how she is currently writing a book on the menopause and how acupuncture and ‘The Guy Protocol’ can help with combating menopausal symptoms on the Radiant Menopause Podcast.
Acupuncture That Works can provide a range of acupuncture which could help if you are currently suffering from the side effects of menopause. For a free initial consultation please call us on 0800 051 76 88 to speak to one of our team.