Understanding menopause with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Every woman experiences menopause once in a life time. You will want the right information and expertise to stay comfortable during menopause. One-third of women experience a smooth menopause. This group don't experience any abnormal symptom during menopause. Another one-third experience severe symptoms during this period. Another third experience moderate symptoms.

Some common problems include:

  • Hot Flashes
  • Frequent bladder infections (cystitis) or urinary tract infections
  • Atrophic vaginitis
  • Sexual Problems - Low sex drive
  • Mood Swings - Women who suffer from PMS (Pre-Menstrual Syndrome), PMDD (Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder) or depression are more likely to experience mood swings during menopause.
  • Irregular Bleeding
  • Memory Problems

Self-care: Take these steps to facilitate decrease or prevent these problems

Cool hot flashes: If you're experiencing hot flashes, try to pinpoint what triggers your hot flashes. Triggers may include hot beverages, spicy foods, alcohol, hot weather and even a hot room. Open the window or turn on the air conditioner at this time.

Decrease vaginal discomfort: For vaginal dryness or discomfort with intercourse, use over-the-counter water-based vaginal lubricants, moisturizers or vaginal estrogen.

Trouble sleeping: Avoid caffeinated beverages and exercise regularly.

Exercise: Get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every day to protect against cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and other conditions associated beside aging. More energetic exercise for a longer period may provide further benefit and is in particular important if you are trying to lose bulk.

Exercise can help if you feel run down and stressed. Try a combination of weight-bearing aerobic exercise -- such as walking, jogging and dance -- and strength training exercises. Just staying physically moving by taking stairs instead of an elevator or by parking farther away and walking to your destination will have a good effect.

Schedule regular checkups.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

According to TCM, a woman will experience menstruation stop around at age of 49. 49 is based on TCM theory. The number 49 is a multiple of 7. Permanent teeth grow at age . First menstruation begins at 14 years old. Qi (energy), blood, body fluids and essence are at peak at 21. Tendon and bones become strong at the age of 28. Complexion starts to wither and hair begins to fall at age of 35. The face darkens and hairs begin to turn grey at age of 42. Some people experience these stages earlier and some later.

Western medicine says all menopausal symptoms come from hormone shortage and TCM says they come from lack of essence. Essence has a broad meaning including bone marrow etc.

TCM explains these processes with yin and yang. Yin means darkness and yang means brightness in its original meaning. This yin and yang concept could be expanded further to all areas we can think of. Yin (darkness) is cold and yang (brightness) is warm. North is cold and south is warm.  

During the menopausal period, yin is low and yang is high. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) calls this yin deficiency. The difference between yin and yang causes hot flashes. The inner body is yin and outer body is yang. TCM says the inner body is cold and outer body is warm, when comparing yin and yang.

The TCM principal to use in treating this condition is to improve the yin condition and remove the excess yang portion making yin and yang in balance. Once the balance achieved, hot flashes will disappear. All other symptoms can be explained this way.

Chinese herbs are an excellent way to treat menopause, too. All herbs are natural and there are no chemicals involved.

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