MENOPAUSE ET ACUPUNCTURE Acupuncture has been used to treat and alleviate menopause symptoms for thousands of years.

What is menopause? 
Menopause is a natural physiological phenomenon that occurs when the ovaries stop producing eggs and hormones. This transition period is not a disease, but rather a normal stage in a woman’s life. During this time, between the ages of 45 and 55, women stop menstruating, signalling the end of their ability to have children. Menopause and the years leading up to it are not experienced the same by all women. Some will have few symptoms, while others will undergo major changes. 

Possible symptoms are:

  • irregular periods 
  • night sweats
  • hot flashes
  • insomnia 
  • irritability and mood swings
  • fatigue
  • difficulty concentrating 
  • memory loss
  • weight gain
  • joint pain
  • change in skin texture and appearance
  • vaginal dryness
  • urinary incontinence
  • changes in libido
  • bone loss

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine 
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), menopause is mainly related to the «Kidney Energy System»(*), which also corresponds to our Energy bank and life force foundation. The vitality of this system depends on two factors:

  • our genetic makeup inherited from our parents.
  • its maintenance trough diet exercise and healthy lifestyle habits

Moreover, like all the other organs in TCM (Liver, Heart, Spleen, Lungs), the Kidney has two polarities: the Kidney Yin and the Kidney Yang. These attributes are opposite, but complementary. One cannot function without the other. General aspects of these polarities are:

Yin Aspect: it represents dense matter and body mass, it is associated with coolness, rest, the descent of energy, the element of water, moisture and night.
Yang Aspect: it represents activity, mouvement, it is associated with heat and dryness, the rise of energy, the element of fire and day.

During menopause, toward the end of a woman’s forties, we often see the Yin Energy of the Kidney slowly declining. This leads to a relative imbalance in the harmony between Yin and Yang aspect, and explains the  «Deficiency Heat and Dryness» symptoms associated with menopause.  

How does acupuncture work?
Basic acupuncture treatment will involve supplementing the Yin aspects to lessen the upward movement of heat and thereby alleviate the symptoms. Acupuncture will also treat any other condition that could exacerbate the deficiency of the Yin, or any other energetic imbalance that could influence this transition period.

When should one start the acupuncture treatments?
Ideally, an acupuncturist should be consulted at the onset of symptoms in order to make the necessary adjustments to the « Yin and Yang balance ». It is important to maintain the best possible harmony between Yin and Yang and, consequently minimize the symptoms associated with menopause. In addition to personalized acupuncture treatments, your acupuncturist may give you some advice on improving your eating habits by choosing foods that will be favourable to the « Kidney Yin » and by avoiding those that can worsen the symptoms. He or she may also suggest certain exercises that are helpful in easing this transition. _____________________________________________________

(*)Use of Capital letters
Capital letters are used to signify that the Word in question corresponds to a concept of Traditional Chinese Medicine. For example, each organ in TCM is considered a complex system that includes both its anatomical structure, but also the tissues, sensory organs, mental faculties, emotions, colour, and mood associated with it, and more still. To learn more about the concepts of TCM, ask your acupuncturist. 

To learn more...
Contact an acupuncturist member of the Association of Acupuncturists of Québec (AAQ).

©Association des acupuncteurs du Québec - legal notes


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