Acupuncture and Menopause: Creating Physical and
Emotional Health with Acupuncture
With its close
understanding of the female body, Oriental medicine has always addressed
the special needs of women throughout their lives. Menopause, in
particular, is an area in which Oriental Medicine shines. Acupuncture and
Oriental Medicine have the ability to detect energetic changes that occur
in the body and quickly relieve uncomfortable symptoms that accompany the
onset of menopause.
What is Menopause?
Menopause is a transitional period marking the cessation of ovulation in a
woman’s body. Most women stop menstruating between the ages of 48 and 52,
but symptoms can begin as early as 35. Symptoms vary from mild to severe,
and are brought on as our bodies try to adapt to decreasing amounts of
estrogen. Symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, fatigue,
mood swings, memory loss, vaginal dryness, headaches, joint pain, and
From an Eastern Perspective
According to Oriental Medical theory, menopause occurs when a woman’s body
begins to preserve blood and energy in order to sustain her. The kidney is
the organ system in Oriental Medicine that is viewed as the root of
reproduction, vitality and longevity. Menopause signifies the depletion of
the fertility essence stored within the kidneys. Blood and essence from the
kidneys are conserved and cycled through the body to nourish the woman’s
spirit and extend her longevity. Thus, in Oriental Medicine, menopause is
seen as true change in life from mother to enlightened and wise being.
Treating Menopause with Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
Few areas of women’s health stir up as much confusion and debate as Hormone
Replacement Therapy (HRT), which is normally started when the first
symptoms of menopause appear. While HRT may alleviate hot flashes and
prevent osteoporosis, they may also increase the risk of breast, ovarian
and uterine cancer, and have a number of significant side-effects. But HRT
isn’t the only solution, Oriental medicine has long recognized that health
and vitality can be sustained over a woman’s lifetime by restoring balance
within the body and supporting the natural production of essential
Lifestyle and Dietary Instructions
Menopause patients are encouraged to maintain a healthy weight and to follow
a diet with a high content of raw foods, fruits and vegetables to stabilize
blood sugar. Some foods may exacerbate hot flashes or increase mood swings;
steer clear of dairy products, red meats, alcohol, sugar, spicy foods,
caffeine, and don’t smoke. Lastly, try to eliminate stress, tension and
anxiety or learn techniques to cope with stress so that you can diminish
the effects that it has on your body and mind.
With support from Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine along with small
changes in lifestyle and diet, menopause can be a time of a revival of
vital energy and an opportunity for personal growth. Please call with any
questions or to schedule a consultation.
Study on Acupuncture for Hot Flashes
reduces nighttime hot flashes caused by menopause, according to a study
published in the journal, Fertility and Sterility.
Researchers found that seven weeks of acupuncture treatment reduced the
severity of nighttime hot flashes by twenty-eight percent among menopausal
women compared with a six percent decrease among women who had a sham
The effects of acupuncture vs. a sham acupuncture treatment on the severity
and frequency of nighttime hot flashes were compared. Taking part in the
study were twenty-nine menopausal women experiencing at least seven
moderate to severe hot flashes per day.
All of the women underwent nine treatments from trained acupuncturists in
sessions over seven weeks. Twelve of the women received real acupuncture
using points selected to target hot flashes and sleepiness. The rest of the
women received a sham acupuncture treatment using non-penetrating needles
at random acupuncture channel points.
Throughout the study, the women reported the number and severity of their
hot flashes. The results showed that nighttime hot flash severity decreased
significantly (twenty-eight percent) among the women who received
acupuncture vs. a six percent drop among the women who got the sham
treatment. However, they did not see a similar finding in the frequency of
nighttime hot flashes between the two groups.
Researcher Mary Huang, M.S., of Stanford University, and colleagues say the
results suggest acupuncture deserves further study as an alternative
treatment for menopausal hot flashes.
Huang, M. Fertility and Sterility, September 2006; Vol. 86: pp. 700-710.
News release, American Society of Reproductive Medicine.
In This Issue
and Menopause: Creating Physical and Emotional Health with Acupuncture
Acupuncture for Hot Flashes
Points for Menopause
Acupuncture Points for Menopause
different acupuncture points are used, depending on your specific symptoms
and the state of your overall health, here are some acupuncture points that
are commonly used to treat menopause:
Du 20 - Located on the top of the head, midway between the ears.
This point helps clear the spirit and rebalances the yin and yang elements
of the body.
Urinary Bladder 23 (UB 23) - A lower back point that is level to the
second lumbar vertebra. This point invigorates the kidney system and
nourishes kidney essence. It is often used to strengthen the lumbar region
and the knees.
Kidney 3 (Ki 3) – In the depression between the inside ankle bone
and the Achilles tendon, level with the tip of the ankle bone. Kidney 3
invigorates and strengthens the kidney system and regulates the uterus.
Kidney 7 (Ki 7) – Located approximately 2 fingers breadth above
Kidney 3. It is used to treat hot flashes and night sweats.
Spleen 6 (Sp 6) - Located about 4 fingers breadth above the tip of
the inside ankle bone in a depression. This is one of the most influential
points for women’s health. It strengthens the spleen, resolves damp,
promotes the smooth flow of Qi, strengthens the kidneys, nourishes blood
and yin, benefits urination, regulates uterus and menstruation, moves and
cools blood, relieves pain and calms the mind.