Women experience irregular menstrual cycle, hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, nervousness, anxiety, insomnia, etc... in their late 40's and early 50's. It is called menopausal syndrome. According to Chinese medical theory, menopause is closely related to aging and organ deficiency. It can be kidney and liver Yin deficiency, kidney and spleen Yang deficiency or both Yin & Yang deficiency. Using acupuncture and herbs to treat menopause is very effective. These therapies not only control the symptoms, but also have anti-aging qualities and may enhance immune function.
In a report from Zhejiang T.C.M. Magazine (2) 1993, a study was conducted combining acupuncture and herbs to treat 176 menopausal cases. Acu-points used were LI4, Liv3, and Sp6. Needles were retained for 30 minutes and treatment was once a day. One course consisted of 10 treatments. Herbs used were Tian Ma, Gou Teng, Ji Xue Teng, Sang Ji Sheng, Dang Sheng, Du Zhong, Dang Gui, Chuang Xiong. Chuang Niu Xi, Ye Jiao Teng, and Gan Cao. Herbs were made into a tea to drink. One course was 10 bags of herbs, one bag per day. Therapeutic effects showed 137 cases were recovered and 33 cases were improved. The total effective rate was 96.6%.
Another report was from Integrated Eastern and Western Medical Magazine (9) 1991. The study compared the treatment of menopausal osteoporosis using herbs for one month versus using estrogen. The report showed that the healing results were better for the group who used herbs than those who used estrogen. The herbs also improved kidney deficiency.
Menopausal syndrome is very common in the clinic. I also have had some success with it in my T.C.M. practice. I share two case studies with you.
Case 1: C.K., female age 54. Her initial visit was 5-13-02. She has experienced menopausal symptoms (hot flashes, night sweat, and mood swings) for 2-3 years. Her period has not come for the last 3 months and the symptoms have been bad during this time. The hot flashes happen once every hour and she wakes up 6-7 times per night because of the night sweats. Her tongue is red with a thin coat and pulses are thin and soft. Acupuncture was performed to clean deficient heat and tonic kidney Yin. Acu-points used were LI 11, 4, Sp 10, 6, K 7, 3, Liv 3, St 44. After the first treatment her hot flashes and night sweats were much less and sleep was improved. After four treatments the night sweats were gone and her hot flashes were under control. For maintaining results continued acu-treatments and some herbs are recommended.
Case 2: Kathy C., female age 45. Her menstrual cycle has skipped 2 months. She has experienced hot flashes and night sweats for 2 weeks. Her abdominal area feels bloated. Her tongue is slight pale with white coat and pulses are thin and deep. The differentiation falls to blood and Yin deficiency, Qi stagnation. I made her and individual herbal formula consisting of Shu Di, Bai Shao. Dang Sheng, Huang Qi, Wu Wei Zi, Suan Zao Ren. Huang Qin. Duan Mu Li, Fu Ling, Nu Zhen Zi, Ge Geng and He Huang Pi. After drinking the tea for a week the hot flashes and night sweats greatly reduced. One more week later they were gone. A maintenance program was suggested.
When menopausal symptoms occur, women should not be extremely worried and stressed. It is considered a natural part of the aging process. The symptoms can be helped and reduced by proper sleep and rest, exercise, relaxation and diet. Acupuncture and herbs can aid in the relief of those symptoms.