For most women, menopause includes symptoms of hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, anxiety, dryness and more. Many women dread this change in their life, but interestingly not every woman or culture experiences the same symptoms. Reasons could range from lifestyle, diet, genetics, and the individuals expectation and perception of menopause.
If you’ve read my article on Aging Cycles then you know a little about how I view and treat menopause. The symptoms of menopause come from two main sources – Yin Deficiency and/or Qi Stagnation with Heat. Let me briefly explain each of those:
Yin Deficiency: Yin is the substance of the body that is responsible for cooling, moisturizing, and calming. Around the age of 50 Yin takes a huge nose dive, almost as if it has run its course, and then we lose all of the wonderful qualities that Yin provides us. Yin does come back eventually but it takes a little more effort on our part to keep it strong.
Qi Stagnation with Heat: what makes the symptoms of a Yin deficiency worse is when we add stress to the mix! Let me explain… normally our Qi circulates freely along meridians in the body. When we have outside stresses like work, kids at college, kids planning a wedding, and aging parents, the Qi starts to get tense and stagnate. The stagnant Qi festers creating a ball of hot energy that explodes occasionally or even several times a day. When that ball of energy explodes we get hot, anxious, and wake up in the middle of night (commonly 3am).
Most of my patients that have hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms have both of those imbalances. Symptoms do eventually even out but the time can be shortened by doing a few simple steps:
- Acupuncture – helps the body to return to homeostasis
- Herbs – my go-to for hot flashes because they work so well! I have a few formulas that I often prescribe based on symptoms
- Reduce stress
- Reduce coffee – makes us hot and creates a Yin Deficiency over time
- Reduce sugar – also creates a Yin Deficiency and stagnates our Qi
Doing a combination of those can greatly reduce the symptoms of menopause before, during, and after, so ask your practitioner to help you find the best combo for your individual needs. Book your appointment online today!