Hot Flashes and Acupuncture

shutterstock_558781672For 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!

 

 


Aging Cycles – did you really just age overnight?

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Have you ever woken up in the morning to feel like you’ve somehow aged overnight?! It’s the most common comment I get – “one day I woke up and suddenly I had more aches and pains, and then I looked in the mirror to find several new wrinkles.” What happened?

You likely just went through an aging cycle! In the Nei Jing, a book written several thousand years ago about the concepts of Chinese medicine, it explains that every 7 years a female goes through a transition (8 years for men), give or take.

In our youth, Yin and Yang gradually build up and we become stronger and stronger, and eventually becoming our strongest and most fertile in our 20s. Around age 35 Yang gradually begins to decline, showing the first signs of aging – a declining digestion and beginnings of wrinkles and loss of firmness. At age 42 Yin starts it’s decline showing symptoms of anxiety, dryness, and insomnia.

Sometime between 48 and 56 the Yin will take a huge hit when menopause begins. This major decline of Yin brings hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, anxiety, and dryness. For some, these symptoms are short lived, but others still deal with them for years and even decades!

The key to longevity and feeling great at every stage is maintaining a healthy balance of Yin and Yang. Be kind to your Yang in your 30s by eating well and exercising. And in your 40s and 50s be sure to get plenty of rest, hydration, and reduce stress! Specifically for nourishing our Yin it’s important to reduce coffee and sugar. If you can’t live without the caffeine then try switching to green tea, it has a cooling effect on the body so it won’t increase hot flashes as much as coffee does.

Acupuncture and herbs work wonders for reducing the symptoms of aging; especially hot flashes, insomnia, and anxiety!

For more information on balancing your Yin and Yang Contact Us today and schedule your first acupuncture appointment!