Acupuncture West London is a fully certified member of the Acupuncture Fertility Network (AFN). Membership to the AFN indicates a particular interest in the treatment of fertility with traditional acupuncture. All AFN practitioners have completed postgraduate-level training in gynaecology with a specific emphasis on training to support assisted protocols. AFN membership denotes a commitment to ongoing postgraduate study in the areas of fertility and gynaecology, working to maintain an understanding of all current treatment protocols.
WHAT DO OUR PATIENTS THINK?
“I was recommended to try acupuncture to help relieve menopausal symptoms and some digestive issues I’ve had over the last couple of years. I’m truly amazed at the results I’ve seen so far. No night sweats in a few weeks now. I really appreciate how much Ben has helped me in such a short time. He always takes his time to explain what he’s doing and to check in with me. I’m booked in for my next treatment next week.”Jane, London
Acupuncture for Menopausal Symptoms
What is Menopause?
Menopause is a natural phenomenon defined as 12 consecutive months without a period. The average age of menopause in developed countries is 51 years.
Symptoms: what does menopause mean to you?
Although it is a natural process, the years preceding and succeeding menopause can be associated with various symptoms, ranging in severity from mild to debilitating.
Most women will experience some symptoms around menopause, but the duration and severity of these symptoms vary from woman to woman. Symptoms usually start a few months or years before your periods stop, known as perimenopause, and can persist for some time afterwards. Studies have shown that acupuncture may relieve some of the most common menopausal symptoms. These include but are not limited to the following:
- Vasomotor Symptoms (night sweats and hot flashes)
- Mood changes, such as low mood or anxiety
- Sleep Disturbances and Insomnia
- A reduced sex drive (libido)
- Problems with memory/concentration
- Vaginal dryness and pain, itching or discomfort during sex
- Migraines and headaches
- Heart palpitations
- Joint stiffness, aches and pains
- Reduced muscle mass
- Recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Digestive issues
On average, most symptoms last around four years from your last period. However, approximately one in every ten women experience them for up to twelve years.
If you experience menopause suddenly rather than gradually—for example, as a result of cancer treatment—your symptoms may be more severe (NHS, 2018).
Menopause and Western Medicine:
Within western medicine, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is most commonly prescribed to relieve symptoms of menopause. It works by replacing hormones that are at a lower level as you approach menopause—most notably oestrogen and progestogen (progesterone). However, some types of HRT are said to increase your risk of breast cancer, blood clots, heart disease and strokes. The benefits of HRT are generally believed to outweigh the risks, but the NHS recommends speaking to your GP if you have concerns about taking HRT (NHS, 2019).
The benefits of acupuncture—treating the individual:
Since the menopausal transition is an individual and elongated process, tailored treatments such as those used in acupuncture may provide significant benefits. Therefore, many women now choose other modalities, such as acupuncture, as a first-line treatment. In addition, acupuncture is safe and
What does the research say?
According to recent research reported in the British Medical Journal (BMJ, 2019), among women dealing with moderate to severe menopausal symptoms, acupuncture was associated with reductions in hot flushes, excess sweating, mood swings, sleep disturbances, and skin and hair problems in 80% of women who underwent treatment.. These findings prompted researchers to conclude that acupuncture offers “a realistic” treatment option for women who can’t or would prefer not to use hormone replacement therapy (HRT). In addition, research by Avis et al. (2016) showed acupuncture to significantly reduce menopausal symptoms, most notably in relation to hot flushes, night sweats and anxiety.
Acupuncturists can also play a crucial therapeutic role by helping to inform and support women in adopting beneficial lifestyle changes.
Can acupuncture help me?
The medical community’s research and opinion on acupuncture are mixed and often controversial. However, there is much high-quality research suggesting that acupuncture is effective in the treatment of menopausal symptoms.
For the most up-to-date research and evidence on the efficacy of acupuncture, please visit the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) website.
If you would like to learn more about how acupuncture may be able to help you, please contact us today.
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