Menopause is a transitional period marking the cessation of ovulation in a woman's body. It most commonly occurs between the ages of 45 and 56 and can last a few months to several years. Symptoms vary from mild to severe, and are brought on as the body tries to adapt to decreasing amounts of estrogen.  During this time a variety of symptoms can be experienced, the most common of these being hot flushes, fatigue, night sweats, aches and pains, palpitations, insomnia, as well as anxiety and depression.

HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) is most commonly prescribed by GPs to counteract these symptoms. While some women find HRT effective, many women are not satisfied with the risks and side effects associated with it and seek accompanying or alternative and more natural solutions to the changes and symptoms they are experiencing.

Acupuncture combined with Acupressure, Herbs and Moxibustion are Traditional Chinese Medicine treatments that are commonly used to treat symptoms experienced by the menopause. They are a gentle, natural, and effective methods of treatment The aim of TCM treatments is to restore balance in the bodys energy levels (In TCM these are yin and yang energies and their associated relationship to the balance and health of the body), help re-balance hormones and help enable the body to readjust to the changes it is undergoing. Re-balancing hormones has the effect reducing hot flushes, insomnia and irritability and inducing better sleep.

One of the strengths of acupuncture is in the tailoring of treatment to each individual.  Traditional Chinese Medicine does not recognise menopause as one particular syndrome. It aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual.

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Hormone Balance

Grille et al (1989) studied 45 menopausal women from two hospital clinics and put them into three separate groups. In one group 15 of the women received acupuncture treatment for their symptoms which included  hot flushes, headaches, anxiety, sweating, , tachycardia, palpitations, and insomnia.

The outcome of the study was that the treatment of acupuncture  resulted in changes in hormone levels, including a rise in the oestrogen oestradiol, testosterone,  cholesterol and the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). The effects of the acupuncture did ware off over time meaning monthly treatment was needed to maintain benefits.


Hot Flushes & Night time Sweating

Avis et al (2016) followed 209 menopausal women who had at least four hot flushes or night sweats per day. They were put into two groups for acupuncture treatment. One group was treated for the first six months and then again for a further six months. The other group received treatment in the second six months instead of in the first six months. Each woman could receive 20 treatments within their 6-month slot, and they recorded how often and how severe they experienced symptoms in a daily diary.

The outcome was that the amount of hot flushes and night sweats decreased by more than 30% per day in both groups and lasted for at least six months after the treatments ceased. The study also showed that receiving treatment bore no side effects, and the greatest benefit occurred after about eight treatments.