How effective is Traditional Chinese Medicine? Does acupuncture help with difficult menopause?
I’ve never tried it, so I can’t tell you anything about its effectiveness – or otherwise, but I see that the United Nations World Health Organisation has approved acupuncture as a treatment for symptoms associated with menopause. So it could be an answer for women who don’t want to take the chance with HRT.
In Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), menopause is seen as a natural process which alters the balance of Yin and Yang. After menopause many women discover (and may be disturbed by) the more yang (energetic, aggressive) side of themselves.
From a TCM point of view, mind and body are one, and the whole woman and her experience of life is considered in diagnosis. These life experiences (especially when out of balance and not dealt with properly) can manifest as disease in the body, and especially as gynecological problems.
Interestingly, TCM holds that all perimenopausal symptoms to be signs of ill-health, and the biggest factors in determining your comfort through this time will be the dietary and emotional health you’ve maintained throughout your adulthood.Well that seems fairly obvious.
Is it worth trying acupuncture? That’s up to you of course, and if there are any practitioners in your area – and how much it costs!
But TCM offers dietary suggestions too
- Cutting back on your sugar intake.
- Taking a break from coffee, chocolate, colas (tough for a lot of people, but think about feeling better!)
- Eating more tryptophan-rich foods – turkey, bananas, figs, whole grain crackers, figs, and dates.
- Eating more foods rich in phytoestrogens – red clover sprouts, yams, and linseed.
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, meaning that the body can’t manufacture it. The body has to get tryptophan and other essential amino acids from food.
Tryptophan helps the body produce the B-vitamin niacin, which, in turn, helps the body produce serotonin, a remarkable chemical that acts as a calming agent in the brain and plays a key role in sleep.
What are Phytoestrogens?
Earlier posts mentioning phytoestrogen and where you can get it
Please let me know if you have some experience with acupuncture.