Acupuncture and Chinese herbs have been used in the treatment of the symptoms associated with menopause for thousands of years. In traditional Chinese medicine the cessation of the menstrual cycle at around 49 years of age is regarded as normal. This is because ancients physicians wrote about the 7 year cycles for women and for example at 2 times 7, fourteen years of age, the women should be having her regular menstrual cycle. At 7 time 7, forty nine years, the menstrual cycle should cease.
Are symptoms associated with post menopause normal?
Traditional Chinese medicine, however, views that even though the cycle has ceased, symptoms such as heat flashes, dryness, mood swings and so forth are not normal and has indicated that an imbalance in the body leading up to that age time was pre existing. There are a number of co existing disease patterns that could be apparent around this time causing some of the common symptoms experienced by women.
What causes menopause symptoms according to Traditional Chinese Medicine?
Some of these patterns of disharmony include
- yin deficiency
- yang deficiency ( sometimes combined with yin deficiency)
- qi (energy) stagnation
What are the symptoms associated with menopause?
This can lead to various symptoms including the most common ones of heat flashes, changes in body weight, mood swings such as depression and irritability, dryness and low libido.
In fact, there are as many as 34 “official” symptoms associated with menopause including
- night sweats
- day sweats
- gas bloating
- digestive pain
- weight gain
- burning dry mouth
- joint stiffness
- thinning of hair
- concentration issues
- memory loss
- itchy skin
- hay fever
- panic attacks, anxiety
Modern symptoms of menopause are classified into traditional disease patterns
When looking at the modern medical symptoms associated with menopause they will fall into one or more of the traditional patterns of disharmony. For example, heat flashes and dryness is often part of yin deficiency and palpitations could be part of yang deficiency. Symptoms such as edema and joint stiffness could be grouped under dampness.
Ancient verses modern
Traditional Chinese medicine aims to restore the underlying patterns of disharmony. There are specific acupuncture points that for example “tonify yin” or “resolve dampness” and “move stagnation”. Getting to the root cause of the under lying imbalance then addresses those symptoms associated with it.
Western medicine views menopause as being caused by a decrease in hormones and hence hormone replacement therapy has become the standard treatment. Hormone replacement therapy, however, has been associated with unwanted side effects and hence some women are reluctant to partake in the treatment.
Master Tung’s magical acupuncture points
Master Tung was a very well known acupuncture practitioner who taught many students his own family secrets that had been passed down from generations. His family had over the centuries discovered a collection of unique acupuncture points to treat all sorts of conditions, including menopausal related symptoms. The menopause treatment included a couple of acupuncture points known as “Return to the Nest” and the “Gynecological Point“. These points in summary can address problems like premenstrual syndrome, menopausal hot flashes and night sweats, infertility, ovarian disease, cyclic migraines, PCOS, and endometriosis.
Are there specialist acupuncturists in New Zealand trained in the Tung style of acupuncture?
Kane Monrad is regarded as the most experienced and trained Tung Acupuncture Style acupuncturist in New Zealand who practices from Connect Therapies in Hamilton. He has done numerous trips overseas to study with a number of Tung Style Acupuncture educators and now conducts continuing education seminars for Acupuncture New Zealand members. His next seminar will be in Auckland at the New Zealand School of Acupuncture in October 2021. I have been learning from Kane Monrad for some years and am involved with organizing future Tung Acupuncture seminars. Acupuncture practitioners can contact me for further information.