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Women experiencing symptoms of menopause, like hot flashes and mood swings, don’t have many options for treating these symptoms. Hormones and antidepressants are sometimes prescribed, but both come with risks and side effects.

However, in March of 2011, Turkish researchers found that regular acupuncture treatments significantly reduced hot flashes and mood swings. Estradiol, a hormone that normally declines with the onset of menopause, actually rose slightly in women receiving acupuncture treatment. Individual studies have also shown that acupuncture can help with sleep problems related to menopause. Unlike hormones and antidepressants, acupuncture presents little to no risk when performed by an experienced, licensed practitioner.

Instead of viewing menopause as one particular condition, Chinese medicine treats symptoms that are unique to each individual, so the acupuncture treatment is customized for each patient. By detecting changes in energy in the body, acupuncture can help to alleviate hot flashes, irritability and a lack of mental focus. To help manage symptoms of menopause, we also recommend a balanced diet, regular exercise and adequate sleep.

Although menopause can be a difficult time for many, think of it as the Chinese do – a time of energy revival and an opportunity for personal growth and enlightenment. Acupuncture can make that journey a little easier.