Does acupuncture help menopause? Yes, here’s how

Does acupuncture help menopause - woman receiving treatment

If you’ve tried everything for your menopause and perimenopause symptoms and nothing’s worked, you might want to see if acupuncture can help. Acupuncture is becoming more and more accepted in the United States and elsewhere and is even covered under some insurance plans.

How acupuncture helps perimenopause and menopause symptoms

In my practice, two common issues we treat and specialize in is perimenopause and menopause. Even though hormone declines in estrogen and progesterone in this time of life are natural, women struggle with symptoms. Periods become spaced further apart or absent. Progesterone can be low in relation to estrogen. And shifting and low levels of these hormones cause changes throughout the body, from the skin to your hydration status, vasomotor symptoms, and more.

With any issue, finding the root cause lets us treat without complicating other factors. Even though we know what causes menopause, there are often other conditions going on at the same time due to changing hormones. Once all of the underlying issues are addressed, connected symptoms resolve, too.

Part of acupuncture is incorporating lifestyle changes at home. We make recommendations, and patients who follow them do very well. For example, we look at a lot at setting your body up for success with your habits, from hydration to how you’re starting your day (coffee and sugar).

The acupuncture points we select during a treatment are individual to your needs. But we often see that, in menopause, how the liver and adrenal gland are functioning play a role in how severe your symptoms are. In many women, these are our primary and secondary focus.

A few of the menopause symptoms we can help with acupuncture treatment

Acupuncture helps menopause symptoms by allowing your energy to move freely through the body and helping you center and relax during a time of significant change. Because acupuncture helps remove any blockages of life force in the body, symptoms resolve on their own and many women feel more vibrant.

We see a number of women whose chief complaints are insomnia and hot flashes at night. Hot flashes are a common symptom in menopause, especially for women who live with a constant level of stress or anxiety. Their cortisol response keeps running at full speed, even when it should be at its lowest during sleep. Their circadian rhythms are off from elevated cortisol at night and it’s keeping them up.

Migraines are another symptom we see in perimenopause and menopause. Conventional medicine looks to fluctuating hormones as the root cause of migraines. HRT gets prescribed as a “fix.” But the real root cause of migraines is usually liver congestion.

Is cupping good for menopause or perimenopause?

Cupping has received more and more attention lately. It has many benefits, and we do perform it in the office. Because you’re pulling the fascia, cupping is like a reverse massage. It improves blood flow, helps remove toxins from the body, and promotes drainage.

You can still try cupping if you’re going through perimenopause or menopause. But we don’t typically use cupping for hormone imbalances of any kind, whether natural from aging or otherwise. Cupping is great for colds, allergies, moving through illness, and some injuries. But I don’t recommend it as part of a hormone-balancing treatment.

Other benefits of acupuncture (beyond menopause)

Acupuncture helps the root cause of so many issues and treats all types of conditions, not just pain. Many symptoms we experience are from organ systems that aren’t working optimally. What’s so beneficial and different about acupuncture is that, instead of trying to stop disease when there’s an issue, it promotes good health through fully functioning body systems.

Laura Puckett, LAc., MSAc.
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