Menopause: the benefits of acupuncture
Menopause is a period of significant change for women’s bodies. A forced passage into the fifties, menopause can last between two to five years, and up to ten years in some cases. This life stage can generate its share of discomfort and upheaval, both physical as well as psychological. Acupuncture treatments can help ease menopause symptoms.
What are the symptoms of menopause?
In North America, the average age for menopause onset is 51 years. Pre-menopause is the period when menstrual cycles begin to shorten and become more irregular. On average, this occurs between 39 and 51 years of age.
The main clinical symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disorders, fatigue, weight gain, migraines, bloating, vaginal dryness, and mood changes, with symptom intensity varying significantly from person to person. Between 20% and 30% of Canadian women will experience moderate to severe symptoms.
In some cases, these symptoms may pose real problems. Getting through the work day can become a major challenge when hot flashes, accompanied by abundant perspiration, occur every twenty minutes. They can make women wake up during the night and even require them to change their sleep clothes.
That said, it is worth remembering that this stage in women’s lives is temporary, and there are a variety of ways to support and help you.
Menopause: solutions to improve quality of life
It’s possible to get through menopause without too much inconvenience by making a few minor changes to lifestyle habits:
- Eating habits: avoid stimulants and alcohol on an empty stomach, cut down on refined and processed sugars, and do not skip meals. Incorporate soy products into your diet; they are rich in phyto-estrogen and can help overcome the hormonal deficit associated with menopause.
- Engage in physical activity: it eliminates toxins while promoting better cardiovascular circulation.
The benefits of the acupuncture
Acupuncture, a branch of Chinese medicine that is over 5,000 years old, seeks to balance the different spheres of our body. Today, a growing body of clinical research proves its positive impact on many internal disorders.
Acupuncture helps restore the body’s natural balance by acting on the endocrine systems (those pesky hormones) as well as the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, thereby easing hot flashes, night sweats, stress and insomnia, as well as certain disorders relating to mood and digestion.
Acupuncture consists of superficially inserting thin, sterile (and disposable) needles into specific areas of the body. This process stimulates overall blood circulation, thereby supporting certain bodily functions that may be lacking, and releasing any overstimulated organs. There are no side effects.
The results are fairly rapid and can therefore have a broader impact on your health. In general, a set of three to five treatments is enough to greatly reduce the intensity of menopause symptoms. To avoid symptom recurrence, follow-up treatment every three months is recommended.
If you have any questions on whether acupuncture is right for you, feel free to contact our clinics’ acupuncturists.
Physiothérapie Universelle offers several other service points for acupuncture:
Jérôme Aubin, acupuncturist at the Physiotherapie Universelle Vanier clinic.
La ménopause, un passage obligé!, Une véritable amie; santé globale et ménopause, PasseportSanté
OMS, Acupunture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials, 2002
Ordre des acupuncteurs du Québec, L’acupuncture : les preuves scientifiques, 2016.
Maciocia, Giovanni, Gynécologie et obstétrique en médecine chinoise, SATAS, 2001.