meno1Ladies, have you ever experienced hot flashes and/or heavy sweating/cold shivers in the afternoon or during night-time sleep?
Do you have a hard time to fall asleep or wake up during sleep but can’t go back to sleep again?
Are you no longer interested in having an intimate relationship with your partner?
Are you easily distracted from what you are doing?
Do you often feel anxious, sad or irritated easily?

What is menopause?

Menopause is the permanent cessation of a woman’s menstrual periods. It occurs naturally at an average age of 51. With today’s greater life expectancies, women on average can expect to live about one-third of their lives in post-menopause. Symptoms can last anywhere from 6 months to over two years. Approximately 10-15% of women will not experience any symptoms of menopause. However, another 10-15% will experience symptoms so severe that they are intolerable.

What are the causes?

Menopause is the result of loss of ovarian follicular function. That is, when a woman gets older, the body no longer induces ovulation of eggs from the ovaries. Production of the reproductive hormones declines and a number of menopausal symptoms can appear. Early or premature menopause can be caused by ovaries removal or damage due to surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and certain medication.

What are the other symptoms?

  • Headache
  • Bladder infections
  • Frequent urination/urinary incontinence
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • Nausea
  • Bloatedness
  • Weight gain
  • Reduction in bone density
  • Skin clamminess/Dry skin
  • Hair loss
  • Physical complaints, such as tiredness and stiff or painful joints

*The number, type and severity of symptoms a woman experiences depend on a number of factors including overall health, the availability of support from family and friends, and financial stability. They are not, however, dependent on race, class, the birth control pill, pregnancy, or the age of a woman’s first period.

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What can oriental medicine and acupuncture do to treat menopausal discomfort?

acupuncture-for-menopause-newport-beachAccording to National Institute of Health (NIH), acupuncture performed using needles stimulated by hand or electrically may reduce the frequency and severity of hot flashes.

A study recently published in the journal Menopause found that women who underwent acupuncture experienced a reduction in the severity and frequency of hot flashes for up to 3 months. Furthermore, the treatment appeared to have a beneficial effect on hot flashes regardless of the number of doses, sessions or duration of treatment received. It is hypothesized that acupuncture may trigger a reduction in the concentration of beta-endorphin – a neuropeptide found in the cells of the central and peripheral nervous system – in the hypothalamus of the brain. It is believed that lower levels of beta-endorphin may activate the release of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), which regulates body temperature.

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