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Acupuncture for Menopause

by | Aug 8, 2021 | Articles

Managing Menopause Symptoms using Acupuncture

The first reference to acupuncture is more than two thousand years ago, burial ground excavations have revealed needle-like therapeutic instruments were in use as long ago as 4000 or 6000 years ago. The presentation of the entire field of knowledge about acupuncture reached an initial climax in the 16th and 17th centuries, with the publication of “the great compendium of acupuncture and moxibustion” by Yang jizhou in 1601. In this publication the theory underlying the whole of Chinese medicine, the stimulation of the points and the channels was presented and remains unequalled even to this day. Pocket Atlas of Acupuncture Carl-Hermann Hempen MD, Velis Wortman Chow MD, 2005, Thieme

Western Medicine

A key figure in the history of western medicine was the physician Hippocrates of Kos (c. 460 — c. 370 BCE), he was considered the “father of modern medicine”. Hippocrates began to categorise illnesses as acute, chronic, endemic and epidemic, and used terms such as, “exacerbation, relapse, resolution, crisis, paroxysm, peak, and convalescence.” Source: Loudon, Irvine (2002). .

19th Century: The Rise of Modern Medicine

The practice of medicine changed in the face of rapid advances in science, as well as new approaches by physicians. Hospital doctors began a more systematic analysis of patients’ symptoms in diagnosis and among the new techniques were anaesthesia, and the development of both antiseptic and aseptic operating theatres. Effective cures were developed for certain endemic infectious diseases, however, perhaps the decline in many of the most lethal diseases was due to improvements in public health and nutrition than to advances in medicine.

Integrative Medicine- East meets West

Some of the techniques and theories developed by Hippocrates included recognising the importance of taking a complete history which included environmental exposures as well as foods eaten by the patient which might play a role in his or her illness. These principles underpin Integrative Medicine and approaches such Traditional Chinese Medicine. (Western medicine’ labels the medical theories and practices by their origins. These labels are commonly used when non-Western medicines such Chinese, Arabic and Ayurvedic medicine are discussed, compared and contrasted.)

Chinese Medicine

Chinese medicine is built upon a notion of human beings as a delicate balance of energy forces. The main focus of the Chinese approach is on the observation and recognition of vital functions. The term Qi is always used when one talks of active vital energy that is manifest and It includes emotions, all the common vital functions; such as respiration, digestion, production of physical movement, and all the processes requiring biological energy.

So a TCM acupuncture trained practitioner, will take a detailed history and most likely take a look at the tongue, check your pulses, consider nutritional influences, childhood ailments and our family history. A western medical trained acupuncturist will likely do much the same.

A Holistic Approach to Wellness; Sign me up!

If we consider the whole person and the interplay between the many organs and systems in the body as we tackle illness and optimise wellness. A multifaceted approach to management makes perfect sense to me.

Recent advances in the gut, oral, vaginal and bladder microbiota further illustrate our uniqueness and may well support treatments which take account of the unique complexities of the human condition. I support the idea that there is no one size fits all solution, with tailored approaches. 

Perhaps monitoring pulses is not so crazy after all as Heart rate variability is increasingly used as a measure for autonomic nervous system imbalances People who have a high HRV may have greater cardiovascular fitness and be more resilient to stress. Purchase a HR variability monitor here

Acupuncture a lack of evidence? 

The main criticism levelled at acupuncture is a lack of high quality research and evidence. This is a long and complicated debate and not limited to acupuncture in my opinion. I put it to you that in fact women’s health research has been neglected in the not too distant past:

A 2020 BMJ article stated “Over the past 70 years women have become more prominent in BMJ research articles. However, the importance of women-specific health topics has waxed and waned as researchers responded to medical advances, public health programmes, and socio-legal changes. The incidence of articles making any mention of women, gender or sex declined between 1948 and 2005, after 2005 it rose steeply so that by 2018 few papers made no mention of them at all”.

In the context of the long history of medicine, this is the equivalent to the blink of an eye. So the tide is changing (hallelujah) and not a moment too soon if you ask me! Find out more about Acupuncture for Menopause symptoms in this early podcast.

Acupuncture for Menopause? Why not!

This episode I chatted with Kinesiologist and TCM acupuncturist June Tranmer. June qualified as a Touch for Health instructor (basic Kinesiology) in 1987 and as an acupuncturist from the Northern College of Acupuncture in 1991. We chatted about the many and varied approaches to management of menopause symptoms using methods such as acupuncture, cupping, acupressure and food energetics (working with balancing your energy with the right foods for your individual needs). There is no one size fits all approach to management of menopause and I hope this conversation reflects that.

Perhaps you prefer to listen to this podcast as you go about your day.

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Pilates for Menopause for Massage Therapists and Manual Therapists  - NAT Diploma Course with Precizion 10 CEUs

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