Acupuncture and hormones

Some of us are all too familiar with the symptoms related to premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and menopause! Acupuncture can be an effective treatment for several symptoms due to hormonal imbalances for women. Many patients find relief from Acupuncture for symptoms of PMS and a variety of menopausal conditions.

Typically, PMS occurs around one week before menstruation. These emotional and physical symptoms are thought to be the result of the changes in hormones after ovulation. Usually, these symptoms end when menses begins. Of course, the symptoms listed are not inclusive and can vary greatly in severity and number with each patient. Acupuncture is a treatment option for this wide varieties of symptoms.

When a patient presents for care with PMS symptoms, my patient evaluation goal is to find a pattern of presentation that a treatment protocol is built around. A treatment plan is defined by having an excess or deficiency pattern in addition to finding a target Five Element organ association from patient complaints. This is identified using the theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and care is implemented accordingly. Specific symptomatology can also be addressed, and a pattern with special or empirical points used to treat the complaint at hand.

Mood swings, irritability, insomnia, fatigue, headaches, bloating, edema, tender breasts, food cravings, and even depression all encompass possible symptoms of PMS.

Menopause is described as the end of a woman’s fertility and menstrual cycle. Symptoms of pre or perimenopause usually begin presenting in your 40’s with irregular periods. Fluctuating hormonal levels can last 4 to 5 years before menopause with menstruation in addition to symptoms of menopause. Hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, fatigue, poor memory and concentration, depression, and anxiety are symptoms present with menopause. Drying in the vagina may also occur due to decreased estrogen levels. Symptoms can last from as little as 6 months to over 10 years after menopause.

When a patient presents for care with pre and post-menopausal symptoms, treatment is again determined through individual assessment and evaluation. After identifying the pattern presented, care can begin to alleviate symptoms by identifying the root cause of imbalance. Typically acupuncture treatment will include nourishing the kidney, which usually shows signs of deficiency. Acupuncture is used to rebalance the yin and yang of the body restoring harmony to the involved organs and improve health.

We need to look at all variables that impact creating relief from any pathological condition. Using traditional Chinese medicine guidelines, influences such as diet, lifestyle, and environment are pertinent to incorporate into treatment regimens—symptoms such as irritability. Mood and insomnia may be greatly affected by diet choices and eating habits. Avoiding caffeine, fast food, and foods high in sugar may help elevate mood and acupuncture treatment further.

Establishing healthy sleep habits and ensuring a proper night’s sleep also aids in elevating mood and productivity. Exercise such as Qi Gong and meditation can provide an outlet for stress and should ideally be incorporated into your daily routine for improved health and well-being. If you are struggling with PMS symptoms or menopause, consider trying acupuncture as a holistic health care treatment option. I hope to empower you to make 2021 a healthier and happier year! Contact your acupuncturist today for possible relief from hormonal imbalance through the natural medicine of acupuncture.

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Karla Knauf
Karla A. Knauf. Nationally Board Certified in Acupuncture (NCCAOM), Licensed Acupuncturist (Lac, WI), Pursuing Diplomate in Acupuncture (NCCAOM). Areas of interest: anxiety/stress management, insomnia, emotional balance in teens and women, Qi Gong, guided meditation, energy healing, crystals, and essential oils. Hobbies include kayaking, paddle boarding, hiking, Qi Gong cooking, and meditation. Lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two children.
  • Marianne
    Posted at 19:26h, 04 October Reply

    Thanks very nice blog!

    • Megan Fearman
      Posted at 19:33h, 04 October Reply

      Thanks for your comment, Marianne!

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