Menopause is a time of major change in women’s bodies that can last from two to five years, sometimes up to ten years. This stage of life can cause discomfort and emotional upheaval, affecting a woman’s well-being and other aspects of her life.
Luckily, relieving menopause symptoms is one of the many benefits of acupuncture.
What is Menopause?
Menopause marks the end of your menstrual cycles. It is an inevitable biological process that may disrupt sleep, affect your energy, or cause emotional problems.
Menopause occurs in your 40s and 50s; 51 is the average age American women experience menopause. It is only diagnosed after a woman goes 12 months without a period.
What Causes Menopause?
Some of the causes of menopause include:
Your ovaries reduce their production of progesterone and estrogen—the hormones that control your periods—when you get into your late 30s. Your fertility will decline, and you will experience changes in your periods in your 40s until you enter your 50s, when your ovaries stop releasing eggs, ceasing periods altogether.
Surgical Ovary Removal
Oophorectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the ovaries, which produce the hormones that regulate your menstrual cycle. Removing them will result in immediate menopause, and you may experience more severe symptoms than most due to the abrupt change in your hormones.
Radiation Therapy and Chemotherapy
These cancer treatments can cause menopause. However, the menopause and fertility issues they cause may be temporary. Fortunately, radiation therapy only causes menopause if it’s directed at the ovaries.
Approximately 1% of women experience premenopause (premature menopause). It may occur due to the ovaries’ insufficient production of reproductive hormones caused by genetics or autoimmune disorders. Women affected by premenopause are often treated with hormone therapy until they reach their natural menopausal age to protect their brain, heart, and bones.
Acupuncture for Menopause Symptoms
Menopause does not require medical treatment. Instead, treatments focus on symptom relief and managing chronic conditions. One of the most common treatments for managing menopause symptoms is hormone therapy. It involves using the lowest dosage of estrogen for the shortest time it will take to relieve your symptoms. However, it has severe side effects, ranging from blood clots to cardiovascular diseases and breast cancer.
Some patients who do not want or cannot take the risk of hormone therapy look for treatments with lower risks, like acupuncture for menopause. A 2019 study performed by researchers from the University of Copenhagen observed the effects of acupuncture on 70 menopausal Danish women. 80% of the patients who received acupuncture experienced a significant reduction in menopausal symptoms.
Here are some symptoms relieved by acupuncture for menopause:
Anxiety and Mood Swings
Hormonal imbalances can make people extremely irritable or feel like their brains are dull. Fortunately, a 2013 study revealed that acupuncture might alter neurotransmitters in the brain to relieve anxiety and nervousness, leading to mood improvements.
Pain relief is one of the many benefits of acupuncture. One of the many menopause symptoms women experience is pain, particularly in the lower back. The American College of Physicians recommends using acupuncture to manage lower back pain. Placing needles at pressure points stimulates the brain to release endorphins and other hormones that relieve pain.
The hormonal imbalances caused by menopause decrease the vagina’s production of natural fluids, which can lead to dryness and pain while having sex.
Placing needles at certain acupuncture points may stimulate the brain to release neurochemicals that can counteract the hormonal imbalance caused by menopause.
Acupuncture for menopause can increase blood flow and lower blood pressure in many patients, which helps reduce the fatigue-induced stress on the heart and other muscles.
A 2017 study showed that acupuncture effectively reduces fatigue due to cancer. A second study also done in 2017 found that moxibustion and acupuncture can effectively treat chronic fatigue syndrome.
Hot Flashes and Night Sweats
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is based on the theory of Yin and Yang, which states that everything is made up of these two opposing forces; balancing these two forces results in a healthy body.
The relationship between the yin and yang in a woman’s kidney can induce hot flashes. Treating these hormonal imbalances using acupuncture can help prevent the heat from rising. It also helps if patients eat healthily and keep themselves hydrated.
A 2019 study compared the effect of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and acupuncture on insomnia and found that while CBT was more efficient, acupuncture still produced clinically significant results.
One of the crucial pressure points for insomnia is the three yin intersection, located just above the inner foot. Aside from getting needle treatments at these pressure points and soaking your feet in warm water with Epsom salt until you reach the three yin intersection helps improve sleep. It relaxes your Achilles tendon, cervical spine, and neck.
Acupuncture Points for Menopause
Where do acupuncture needles go for menopause? Your specific needs and overall health will determine the best points for you.
Du 20, or (Governing Veil 20)
This acupuncture point is on the top of your head, halfway between your ears. It balances the body’s yin and yang elements and clears your spirit.
Urinary Bladder 23, (UB 23)
This pressure point is at the lower back, at the same level as the second lumbar vertebra. It nourishes the kidney’s essence and strengthens the lumbar region and the knees.
Kidney3 (Ki 3)
The Kidney 3 pressure point is in a depression between the Achilles tendon and the inner ankle bone, in line with the tip of the ankle bone. This pressure point regulates the uterus and invigorates the kidney system.
Kidney 6, (Ki 6)
This acupuncture point for menopause is located under the inner ankle bone and is excellent for clearing heat deficiency. It also helps with nightmares and insomnia.
Kidney7 (Ki 7)
Kidney 7 is an acupuncture point located approximately two fingers above Kidney 3. It helps treat night sweats and hot flashes.
SPLEEN 6 (Sp. 6)
Spleen 6 is the most important acupuncture point for women’s health, located approximately four fingers above the tip of the inner ankle bone. It improves the quality of life by strengthening your spleen, relieving dampness and pain, calming the mind, cooling your blood, and moving it.
Ren 6, or (Conception Vessel 6)
The point is about 2 inches below your belly button. It balances yin and yang and nourishes the yin. Combining it with SP 6 helps treat palpitations.
Try acupuncture for menopause symptom relief with Advanced Chiropractors Group.
Don’t let menopause get the best of you. Our affiliate Chiropractors in Vail, CO, provide the best services for pain relief, regardless of its cause. Contact us at 877-237-6969 today, and we’ll connect them to you in no time.