Hong Ma (R.TCMP)
Registered TCM Practitioner
Over 10 Years Canadian Experience
Studied traditional Chinese medicine
for a period of five years before graduating from Beijing University
of Traditional Chinese Medicine. more
Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom
-- Creating Physical and Emotional Health with
Menopause doesn't have to be a dreaded curse of
aging during which we can look forward only to hot
flashes and whacked-out hormonal mood swings. Menopause
often marks the beginning of a woman's most sexually
passionate, creatively inspired, and professionally
productive phase of life.
While this may sound like wishful thinking, examine
how a woman's lifestyle, emotions, and beliefs are
affected by menopause. With the right diet, attitude,
and Oriental Medicine women can actually look forward
to a resurgence of energy and a revolutionary opportunity
for personal growth--one that rivals the hormonally
driven period of adolescence.
What is Menopause?
Menopause is a transitional period marking the cessation
of ovulation in a woman's body. This time of change
may last a few months to several years. Symptoms
vary from mild to severe, and are brought on as
our bodies try to adapt to decreasing amounts of
estrogen. Symptoms include hot flashes,
night sweats, insomnia, fatigue, mood swings, memory
loss, vaginal dryness, headaches, joint pain, and
According to Chinese Medical theory, menopause occurs
when a woman's body begins to preserve blood and
energy in order to sustain her vitality and allow
for the maximum available nourishment for her body,
especially her kidneys. The kidney is the organ
Chinese Medicine sees as the root of life and longevity.
Therefore, the body, in its wisdom, reserves the
flow of a channel in the center of the body which
sends blood and energy down to the uterus. Instead,
blood and essence from the kidneys are conserved
and cycled through the body to nourish the woman's
spirit and extend her longevity. Thus, in the Chinese
Medicine, menopause is seen as true change in life
from mother to enlightened and wise being.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Menopause
Few areas of women's health stir up as much confusion
and debate as Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT),
which is normally started when the first symptoms
of menopause appear. While they may alleviate hot
flashes and prevent osteoporosis, they will also
increase the risk of breast, ovarian and uterine
cancer, and have a number of significant side-effects.
But HRT isn't the only solution. Menopause is an
area in which Oriental Medicine shines. Acupuncture
and Chinese herbal medicine have the ability to
detect energetic changes that occur in the body
and quickly relieve symptoms such as hot flashes,
foggy mind, and irritability.
Evidence that Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine have
been used for women's health can be found in early
medical literature dating back to 3AD.
Traditional Chinese Medicine does not recognize
menopause as one particular syndrome. Instead, it
aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique
to each individual using a variety of techniques
such as acupuncture, Chinese herbs, bodywork, lifestyle/dietary
recommendations and energetic exercises to restore
imbalances found in the body. Therefore, if 10 women
are treated with Oriental medicine for hot flashes,
each of these 10 women will receive a unique, customized
treatment with different acupuncture points, different
herbs and different lifestyle and diet recommendations.
How Acupuncture Works
The mental and emotional symptoms that you are experiencing
will help create a clear picture on which your practitioners
can create a treatment plan specifically for you.
The basic foundation for Oriental medicine is that
there is a life energy flowing through the body
which is termed Qi (pronounced chee). This energy
flows through the body on channels known as meridians
that connect all of our major organs. According
to Chinese medical theory, illness arises when the
cyclical flow of Qi in the meridians becomes unbalanced.
Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points
located near or on the surface of the skin which
have the ability to alter various biochemical and
physiological conditions in order to achieve the
and Dietary Instructions
Menopause patients are encouraged lose that extra
weight and to follow a diet with a high content
of raw foods, fruits and vegetables to stabilize
blood sugar. Some foods may exacerbate hot flashes
or increase mood swings. Steer clear of dairy products,
red meats, alcohol, sugar, spicy foods, caffeine,
and don't smoke. Lastly, try to eliminate stress,
tension and anxiety or learn techniques to cope
with stress so that you can diminish the effects
that it has on your body and mind.
Today, acupuncture is an acknowledged and respected
field of medicine which requires formal training
and certification in order to practice. In most
States, provinces and countries, acupuncture is
legislated in order to assure quality of treatment.
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine is an art and
a science that takes years to master. Look for an
acupuncturist with formal training and experience
in the treatment of menopause. About