A recent study in the University of Pennsylvania has shown that women are suffering menopausal symptoms at a younger age and at a longer timeframe than what is presently believed. Normal as it seems, menopausal has been one of the most stressful stage in a woman’s life because in this period, they start to suffer symptoms and unwanted feelings that leads to depression and constant uneasiness. And the worst thing is- women tend to suffer menopausal period for a considerable period of time, 5-10 years to be particular in worse cases. Symptoms include night sweats, sleep disorders, fatigue, loss of sexual drive, constipation, breast tenderness, skin itch, and the most common: hot flushes.
Women and their Menopausal Period
Menopausal period begins when a woman stops to menstruate. This normally happens in her 50s (though recent studies show women in their 30s and 40s are already starting to suffer the symptoms. Menopause entails hormonal changes. As women get nearer to the menopausal stage, their ovaries tend be less responsive and cease to function normally which causes the changes in their hormones and signals the end of fertility.
This hormonal changes cause the symptoms in women’s physique as stated above. Aside from these, women under menopause also undergo psychological symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, poor memory and the worst- depression. This is then aggravated by ageing, career, and family challenges like children leaving home, retirement, and marital challenges.
Treating the symptoms
Doctors prescribe Hormone/Estrogen Replacement Therapy (HRT) and the use of antidepressants to fight menopausal symptoms. HRT was introduced in year 1930 and was regarded as a treatment to keep women “forever young”. This treatment involves the implants of artificial progesterone and estrogen.
Antidepressants, on the other hand, only provide temporary relief from tension and anxiety and do not totally cure symptoms especially physical ones. Moreover, these treatments were later found to produce side effects such as breast and endometrial cancer, stroke, bloating, weight loss, and many more.
Acupuncture to treat hot flushes
Hot flushes are caused by the expansion of the blood vessels in the skin that creates intense feeling of hotness causing severe irritation and sleep interruption at night. In a study conducted by experts from Ankara Research and Training Hospital in Turkey, 27 out of the 53 menopausal volunteers who were given acupuncture treatment had lesser symptoms of hot flushes and fewer mood swings. Said study was then published in The Journal Acupuncture in Medicine. The claim became stronger when many more studies have been performed showing the same results. One of which was carried out by experts from the National Centre in Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Tromso, Norway. They divided the 260 postmenopausal respondents into two – one group undergoing acupuncture treatment and the other undergoing consultation advises. The result showed that the number of hot flushes fell by 5.8 in 24 hours in the acupuncture group and 3.7 in the control group.
Acupuncture, Acupressure, and Reflexology
It has been noted that acupuncture can produce greater results when combined with acupressure and reflexology. Acupressure works the same way with acupuncture, only that it uses fingers instead of needles. This therapy locates for the body’s key points and release tension and develops proper blood circulation. On the other hand, massaging encourages relaxation, and self-awareness on the body needs. Reflexology is also a good way of uplifting a person’s mood and a great way to let the mind and body unwind.
The good thing about having these traditional Chinese therapies is that they do not cause any side effect to a woman’s body unlike the medical method of HRT and antidepressants. Remember that menopause is a natural biological process that happens in every woman’s life and not a disease that necessitates medical and drugs treatment.