Welcome to the Hormone Rollercoaster…Hot flashes, migraines, crazy periods, insomnia, night sweats, mood swings and low libido. Sister, at 48 years old, I am with you on this wild ride. Let’s make it a good one!
What is Perimenopause?
You are considered to be in menopause when you haven’t had a period for at least 12 months. Perimenoupause is the time leading up to menopause. It usually starts in your 40s, and can last as long as 10 years, although for most women it’s closer to 4 years. This is when your ovaries start to give up the game, so to speak, producing less hormones.
First, let’s get rid of this idea that perimenopause is some kind of disorder, once and for all.
Perimenopause is a totally natural and healthy part of life.
While we’ve all heard horror stories about how bad it can be, those symptoms are signs of imbalance which are quite treatable with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine (CHM). You will notice changes in your body, but you do NOT have to suffer horribly through perimenopause.
Your Second Spring
I’d like to offer a different perspective on menopause. Here in Western cultures, we tend to think of this with some dread of aging, losing something of ourselves. I call cultural bulls….um, brainwashing on that perspective. This weird worship of youth is not doing anyone any favors. While youth has its benefits, so does the wisdom of aging and experience.
For centuries, Asian cultures have viewed menopause as your Second Spring. All that energy that goes into cycling and preparing for pregnancy every single month for nearly 40 years is freed up. The ancient texts say that the energy of the uterus moves up to the heart, leading to deeper wisdom. All that energy is coming back to you, instead of out in the world.
What if you looked at menopause as a new beginning?
After years of so much of your energy going to others, what if you give it back to yourself? What if you can finally focus on some long-lost dreams or realize you might have entirely new dreams? What would this world look like if women entering menopause were also entering their power, their gifts, and their voice?
I invite you look at menopause as a kind of personal rebirth.
But the symptoms…
Yes, the symptoms…that is important! Did you know that many women breeze through perimenopause with hardly a symptom, and that is actually normal?
Of course many of us do have symptoms that are quite uncomfortable and disruptive, and we need some relief!
While there are many western medical approaches to perimenopausal symptoms, they come with their own risks and side effects. They also are more of a “band-aid” treatment, treating symptoms but not the root imbalance. These can be worthwhile. However, if you are looking for a more natural approach to treating your symptoms AND the root causes, it’s time to try acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine (CHM).
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine for perimenopause relief and rebalance
Chinese medicine has been successfully treating the symptoms of perimenopause (and the root imbalances leading to those symptoms) for centuries. And it’s pretty darn good at it! One of the things I like the most about Chinese medicine and perimenopause is that it doesn’t look at it as something to fix, just something that may need to be rebalanced for optimal health. Because, as I said above, perimenopause and menopause are not a disease or disorder! Just a normal part of life.
With both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, we can cool those hot flashes, dry those night sweats, calm your moods, help with your sleep, reduce migraines, and just generally even you out. As with most things, we strongly recommend weekly acupuncture treatments for 4-6 weeks then tapering to every other week as your symptoms subside. The best part about acupuncture is that you will feel more relaxed and better after each treatment, and the effect is cumulative. As one of my patients says, it makes her “less killy,” lol.
Chinese herbal medicine is really important and effective in treating perimenopausal symptoms, as they work daily.
These formulas focus on cooling, moistening and anchoring your Qi, so you feel calmer and, well, cooler. In fact, studies have found these formulas to be safe and effective in relieving symptoms.¹ You can expect to be taking these formulas for several months, and may need them again as you move through the stages of perimenopause. We keep it easy for you, though, and do all of our formulas in capsule form. Even the worst hot flashes find relief withing a day or two with formulas like Zhi Bai Di Huang Wan.
We offer free 15-minute initial consults to answer your questions and see if we’re a good fit for you! For more personalized perimenopause support with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, or for your free 15-minute initial consult, book an appointment with Dr. Jennie.
Dr. Jennie Luther, DACM, L.Ac
Family Tree Acupuncture & Wellness