TCM for Menopause
The menopause is something all women go through. It signals a change in the body and a transition into another stage of life. This is a difficult time both mentally and physically and many women suffer during this time, but there are things that can be done to ease them through it and make it a little easier.
What is the menopause?
In women around the age of 50, the menstrual cycle occurs less regularly and finally stops completely. This is the menopause. Some may notice such symptoms and signs as sensations of heat in the body, hot flushes, abnormal perspiration, night sweats, restlessness, irritability, palpitations, insomnia, dizziness, tinnitus, and lumbar soreness, weakness of the knees, constipation, oedema, loose stools and abnormal emotions close to or after menopause.
The age at which the menopause occurs varies. However, it is usually between the ages of 45 and 55. Symptoms may last on average for up to 2 years, but as many as 20 per cent of women may experience symptoms more than 5 years after the menopause.
What is the cause of menopause?
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, the menopause is due to declining or exhaustion of kidney Qi, Tian Kui, and the Chong and Ren channels. This breaks the balance of Yin and Yang and brings on disturbance of Qi and blood of the heart, liver, spleen and stomach. In the case of deficiency of kidney Yin, hyperactive fire of the heart and liver disturbs the mind. In the case of deficiency of kidney Yang, impaired function of the spleen and stomach in transportation and transformation caused downward movement or overflowing of water and damp.
What can TCM do for menopause?
Hormone replacement therapy is a common treatment for menopause, but some women experience side effects such as nausea, breast tenderness and weigh gain. If you suffer from side effects from HRT or do not like taking HRT, then try the natural way of Acupuncture and Chinese herbs.
TCM treats the menopause with an emphasis on strengthening the kidney's function to balance the Yin and Yang of the body. It can also prevent osteoporosis. The basic theory of TCM says that "the kidney determines the condition of the bone and marrow". The kidney stores the essence of life, which can be transformed into bone marrow.
The bone marrow stored in the bone cavity nourishes the bone. This is known as "the condition of the kidney determining the condition of the bone" and "the kidney promoting the formation of bone marrow".
The bone cavity will be full of bone marrow if the essence of life stored in the kidney is sufficient, and the bone will be solid and strong if it is fully nourished by bone marrow. Not enough bone marrow is formed if the essence of life of the bone marrow cannot nourish the bone fully, often resulting in osteoporosis
Differentiation between deficiency of Kidney Yin and Yang
1. Deficiency of Kidney Yin
Symptoms: Clinical manifestations include irregular menstruation or a shortened menstrual
cycle with profuse flow, hot flushes, and heat sensations in the body, night sweats, abnormal
perspiration, irritability, insomnia, dream-disturbed sleep. There will be also soreness and
weakness of the limbs and knees, dryness of the mouth, constipation, scanty and yellow urine,
and a red tongue with scanty coating and a thready, rapid pulse.
Treatment: The herbal medicine prescribed by our practitioners can nourish Yin, suppress
Yang, soothe the heart and calm the mind. Acupuncture is also a very effective treatment for
2. Deficiency of Kidney Yang
Symptoms: Clinical manifestations include irregular menstruation or a prolonged menstrual cycle with scanty flow, a feeling of suffocation, restlessness, irritability, poor sleep, a sallow complexion, loose stools, epigastric and abdominal distension, puffy oedema in the face and four limbs, frequent urination, a pale tongue with thin, white coating, and a deep, thready and weak pulse.
Treatment: The herbal medicine prescribed by our practitioners can warm kidney Yang, invigorate the spleen and soothe the heart. Acupuncture is also proved to be very effective in treating the problem.