The end of a woman’s reproductive years can, unfortunately for many, bring with it a number of disruptive physical and emotional symptoms. According to a national survey by the Menopause Foundation of Canada, nearly all women polled reported experiencing symptoms such as hot flashes.
But the symptoms are varied and unique to each person. Three out of 4 women experience menopausal symptoms that interfere with their daily lives, 1 in 4 suffer with severe symptoms, and 10% will stop working due to unmanaged symptoms of menopause. Symptoms are often more than the classic hot flashes. They can also include sleep troubles, anxiety and mood problems, brain fog, joint and muscle pains, night sweats, and fatigue. Many feel physically and mentally drained or just plain tired.
The menopausal transition most often takes place between ages 45 and 55. It usually lasts about 7 years but can be as long as 14 years. Menopausal symptoms can start to appear as long as 8-10 years before the last menstrual cycle (a time known as perimenopause), which means that many women are coping with symptoms at the height of their careers. A recent article published by CBC Business News reported that menopause costs Canada’s economy billions each year due to missed work hours and lower productivity by women. This astounding money figure does not even factor in the personal toll menopause can have on the earning power and quality of life of women in our society!
Many women are turning to acupuncture to help manage symptoms of menopause and perimenopause. Acupuncture is a holistic approach that works within the body’s own signalling systems to help alleviate many of the associated discomforts. Here are 5 ways acupuncture can help during menopause:
1. Balancing hormones
Acupuncture treatments focus on specific points that influence the endocrine (hormone signalling) system, encouraging the body to produce and release hormones more efficiently. This can help ease symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings that are often associated with fluctuating hormone levels.
2. Relief from Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are one of the most common and bothersome menopausal symptoms. Acupuncture can be highly effective in reducing the frequency and intensity of hot flashes. By targeting specific points that help regulate body temperature, acupuncture promotes overall comfort and improved sleep quality.
3. Mood Stabilization
Hormonal fluctuations can bring about mood swings, irritability, and anxiety. Acupuncture can help stabilize mood by promoting the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals, to bring about a calmer and more peaceful state of mind.
4. Improved Sleep
Many women going through menopause and perimenopause experience sleep disturbances. Acupuncture has been shown to promote relaxation and enhance sleep quality. By addressing underlying factors such as stress and anxiety, acupuncture helps to achieve better and more restful sleep, thereby contributing to overall well-being.
5. Alleviation of Pain
Joint and muscle pains are another common and uncomfortable aspect of going through this life transition. Acupuncture can reduce pain and inflammation to provide relief from symptoms like joint stiffness and muscle aches. This can enhance overall mobility and comfort during the menopausal and perimenopausal years.
Acupuncture is becoming more mainstream for treating menopause because it is safe, effective, free from side effects, and can work well alongside other treatments. Schedule your appointment today to discover the benefits of acupuncture with respect to your individual needs.