Menopausal symptoms appear very common among middle aged women and usually affect health status, work productivity and their quality of life. The majority of women experience menopause in their early 50s and have menopausal symptoms for 4–5 years on average. The most common symptom are hot flushes- which appear in almost 75% of cases, night sweats, emotional fluctuation, sleep disturbances, fatigue, memory problem, joint pain, vaginal dryness and loss of sexual desire.
To the best knowledge of treatment of menopause, hormone therapy most effectively relieves these above symptoms. However, long-term hormone therapy in some cases is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer and cardiovascularis – thromboembolic disorders, bring to the fact that there are more and more women looking for other options like non-hormonal-based treatments. For example, using other medicines such as clonidine, gabapentin and antidepressants may also relief menopausal symptoms. However, these drugs have frequent adverse effects such as sleep disturbance, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, dry mouth and constipation. Non-pharmaceutical treatments such as relaxation therapy, exercise, herbal remedies and diets containing phytoestrogens also help in many ways, however, there is still gap in knowledge about their dose, duration and for herbal remedies and phytoestrogens, drug interactions and adverse effects.(1)
Acupuncture is appeared to be natural treatment, without side effect in both short and long term, and effectively can help women with menopause symptoms. Although it is critised in many ways – like placebo effect, lack of data, lack of mothods and measure, we cannot deny that it is sought by many patients and practised by a substantial number of physicians in many countries. Why? Because it helps.
A Danish research in 2019 investigated the efficacy of acupuncture for women with moderate-to-severe menopausal symptoms. It was a randomised and controlled study, with 1:1 allocation to the intervention group (those who received acupuncture) or the control group (those who did nor receive acupuncture). 70 women were involved in the study, and were treated by 9 general practitioners with accredited education in acupuncture over 6 weeks. The study showed that, 80% of participants int he intervention group reported benefit after 6 weeks. It also demonstrated that acupuncture clinically relevant reduction in hot flash, day and night sweat, sleeping problems, emotional symptoms, physical symptoms and sex heath. Therefore, acupuncture for menopausal symptoms is a realistic option for women who cannot or do not wish to use Hormon therapy. No serious harms or adverse events were reported in the intervention group. (2)
Another clinical study in 2016 in the USA also evaluate the effects of acupuncture on flashes and night sweats, among menopausal women and their quality of life. 209 perimenopausal and postmenopausal women with more that 4 symptoms were randomized to intervention group and control group. Result: in the acupuncture group flashes and night sweats frequency declined by 36.7% after 6 months and 29.4% (p<0.001) after 12 months compared to the baseline data. Besides, statistically significant clinical improvement was observed after 3 acupuncture treatments and maximum clinical effects occurred after a median of 8 treatments. Persistent improvements were seen in many quality of life-related outcomes in the acupuncture group relative to the control group. It concluded that a course of acupuncture treatments was associated with significant reduction in flashes and night sweats, as well as several quality of life measures, compared with no acupuncture, and that clinical benefit persisted for at least 6 months beyond the end of treatment. (3)
There are also many scientific evidence showed that acupuncture help reduce sleep disturbance, hot flash, more long term effect than anti-depressantstudies without side effect and help balance the sex hormone levels, which is of great help to relief menopausa symptoms. (4)
In traditional Chinese medicine, the menopause comes when a woman’s Yin energy dramatically reduces – making the so-called Yin Deficiency. However, since Yin and Yang tranform to eachother in our boody, the Yang Deficiency also contribute or appear as the result of the Yin Deficiency. Most common the system affected by Yin Deficiency are Kidney, Liver, Heart and Spleen. Other extraordinary vessels (Ren, Chong, Du és Dai Mai, Yin és Yang Qiao Ma) are also play important roles in regulating the menopausa symptoms. The Yin andYang deficiency can appear singly in one system, or can combine with others organs and vessels, making the diagnosis very much diversified.
How acupuncture help menopausa
According to Traditional Chinese medicine, the effects of acupuncture are based upon the regulation of the flow of vital energy, called Qi (chi), blood and body fluid. By regulating this vital energy Qi, blood and body fluid, the body is able to balance its energy and recover to healthy status. Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine, sterile needles into acupuncture points along the body’s meridians, including the Kidney, Liver, Heart and Spleen meridians. The main goal of acupuncture treatment is to support the Yin energy of the affected system.The stimulation of the needles through these points have proved to have endocrine and neurological effect, which help ensure an optimal hormon level and their function in a natural way. As a result, the hormon balance support a healthy status and better quality of life for women.
- Link https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324481#An-alternative-approach
- Link https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/9/1/e023637
- Link https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4874921/
- Link https://communityacupuncture.com.au/conditions/menopausal-syndrome-hot-flushes/
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