Menopause is defined as the absence of menstrual periods for 12 months. It is a time when the function of the ovaries ceases. Menopause does not happen overnight, but is rather a gradual process. This transition, called peri-menopause is a different experience for each woman. The average age of menopause onset is 51 years old, but may occur as early as the 30’s or 60’s. There is no reliable test to predict when a woman will experience menopause. Symptoms of menopause can include hot flashes, insomnia, mood changes, vaginal bleeding, and urinary symptoms. Complications that women may experience after menopause include osteoporosis and heart disease.

From the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine, menopause is a natural process that alters the balance of Yin and Yang. The Yin energy of the body that governs relaxation, sleep, and moisture is depleted, while the Yang energy of the body increases. This imbalance leads women to experience feelings of heat, sweating, irritability, and dryness.

Many people don't realize how powerful Oriental Medicine treatments can be for women's health conditions. In fact, gynecological problems have been treated with acupuncture for over 2000 years, and for 5000 years with herbal medicine.

Oriental Medicine holds that mind and body are one, and considers the whole woman and her experience of life in diagnosis. These life experiences (especially when out of balance and not dealt with properly) can manifest as disease in the body, and especially as gynecological problems in women.

Interestingly, TCM considers all premenstrual and peri-menopausal symptoms to be signs of ill-health. The biggest factors in determining your comfort through this time will be the dietary and emotional health you have maintained throughout your adulthood. Even if you haven't lived perfectly, there's still hope! Acupuncture and herbs can eliminate your discomfort and restore internal balance.

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