hot flashes

Acupuncture for Menopause

by Mary Vincent, L.Ac.
At Beach Community Acupuncture we frequently treat symptoms related to menopause, as most women are affected with some level of discomfort during this transitional phase. Several recent studies have shown acupuncture to be a viable option, especially in the treatment of hot flashes (by far the most prominent symptom we treat in menopausal women). Depending on the severity of one’s symptoms, we typically recommend treatment 1-3 times week for 1-2 months to start. Some women require regular, follow up treatments to keep symptoms at bay, while others may only need an occasional treatment (or none at all if symptoms do not return).
Menopause occurs when a woman’s ovaries stop functioning due to age and is defined by the absence of menstruation for a full 12 months. It typically begins between the ages of 45 and 50, but can occur anywhere from 30 to 60. It is usually a gradual process, known as perimenopause, the length of which can be months to years. Menopause can also occur immediately after hysterectomy, or due to chemotherapy or radiation.
Symptoms and severity vary for woman to woman, most of which are due to declining estrogen levels. They can include:
▪ Irregular menstrual cycles: Ovulation becomes intermittent leading up to menopause, and most women will experience shorter or longer cycles during this transitional phase. When ovulation does not occur, progesterone will not be produced and estrogen levels may continue, causing a think buildup of uterine lining and a heavy flow for that cycle. As one gets close to true menopause, both progesterone and estrogen levels decline, causing less and less frequent periods with light flow. We often suggest herbs that help with heavy cycles.

▪ Hot [...]

Acupuncture for Women’s Health

By Nicole Murray, L.Ac.

Acupuncture works to treat a wide range of conditions specific to women. While helping to balance the body so it can regain physiological function, acupuncture also reduces stress and restores a sense of calm. This gentle, natural medicine focuses on treating the whole person rather than the disease.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine have proven effective in treating the following conditions relating to women’s health:
* PMS
* Menstrual cramps and irregularities
* Breast tenderness and fibrocystic breasts
* Endometriosis
* Uterine fibroids
* Fertility-related conditions
* Pregnancy-related conditions
* Menopause-related conditions
* Fertility

For women with fertility challenges, the use of acupuncture as a natural approach to pregnancy is well documented. A recent review of seven research trials of women undergoing in-vitro fertilization found evidence of improved rates of pregnancy and live births among groups using acupuncture (University of Maryland School of Medicine, 2008).

Acupuncture helps to restore the body’s balance. From a Western perspective, studies show that acupuncture might:
* Increase blood flow to the uterus to promote implantation.
* Improve ovarian function, which might help produce better-quality eggs and a larger number of follicles.
* Reduce side effects of drugs used in assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures.
* Decrease uterine contractions, intended to encourage implantation, and prevent early miscarriage.
* Reduce stress hormones and anxiety.
* Strengthen the immune system and support general health, possibly helping prevent miscarriage.

Pregnancy
Acupuncture is a safe, natural, effective treatment for many common problems that occur during pregnancy. Unlike many pharmaceutical products, it is not contraindicated, and will not cause harm to the mother or baby.

However, there are certain acupuncture points that need to be avoided during pregnancy because they are considered too strong. If there is [...]