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The menopause age is about 49 years old. If it occurs before the age of 35, it is early menopause (premature ovarian failure), or secondary Amenorrhea.
Before or after menopause age, some symptoms such as dizziness, tinnitus, hot flashes and sweating, palpitation, insomnia, irritability, mood swings, puffy face, and swollen legs, poor appetite, or abnormal menstruation, can happen, which are related to menopause. We call this menopause syndrome.
In the women’s physiology, during menopause period, kidney Qi is declining, and insufficiency of Chong and Ren meridian, female hormones are exhausted, so menstruation is going to end. At that time, with some difference of the constitution, and influence of environment, some women can not bear the physiological change, occurring unbalance between Yin and Yang, incoordination between Zang Fu (internal organs) and Qi-blood, so they experience a series of symptoms.
While Western medicine often views menopause as a disease, Chinese medicine recognizes this change in a woman's body chemistry as a natural transitional process. Ideally menopause is relatively uneventful, and in the East it often is, perhaps due to diet and lifestyle. Unfortunately, in the fast paced, stressful lifestyle of the contemporary urban Western woman, underlying patterns of disharmony often give rise to the typical menopausal symptom complex of hot flashes, night sweats, headaches, mood swings, etc.
In Chinese medicine, estrogen is similar to Jing, the essence that we received from our parents at the moment of conception. As we age, Jing declines and can lead to various signs and symptoms including loss of libido, backache, fatigue, and graying hair. Although Jing cannot be replenished according to Chinese medicine, it can be nourished and supported, slowing down the side effects and making the transition more graceful.
Another cause of menopausal symptoms is an underlying deficiency of Kidney Yin. The concept of Yin is one of cooling and nourishing. If Kidney Yin is deficient, heat signs will arise, as the Yang will start to rise and cause hot flashes, night sweats, heart palpitations, and insomnia.
Liver Qi (energy) stagnation is also often involved in excessive menopausal symptoms. One of the primary functions of the Liver energetic system is the soothe the flow of energy, Blood, and emotions throughout the body. If Liver Qi becomes stagnant, often due to diet and/or inappropriate response to stress, symptoms such as mood swings, depression, headaches, and insomnia may arise.
When practitioners of Chinese medicine treat excessive menopausal symptoms, they first determine where the energetic disharmony lies and what organ systems have become imbalanced. Chinese medicine has described strategies to treat these imbalances, without side effects, for thousands of years.
Acupuncture is useful to help balance the Qi and to strengthen the internal organ systems. Chinese herbal medicine is often extremely effective in addressing the underlying Jing, Yin, or Qi disharmonies.
If you are already on HRT, current thinking suggests that slowly tapering off HRT is less likely to trigger symptoms. Treatment with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can begin while one is on HRT.
If you are not on HRT, Chinese medicine can provide a safe and effective way to gracefully pass through this transitional period of your life.