Advice during the Menopause
Including the use of Cosmetic and body Acupuncture for Menopausal Care
Women should begin preparing for menopause at the age of 35. According to women's seven year Jing cycles, the fifth cycle beginning at age 35 marks the start of decline of Jing. At this point Women's self-care becomes increasingly important. Tonics such as Ren Shen (Ginseng Radix) and Ling Zhi (Ganoderma), should be taken regularly. Women should practice menstrual renewal with great care. If a women has children after age 35, as is the trend today, postpartum recovery should be practiced for a full five weeks. Women who undergo IVF or other medical interventions in order to fall pregnant should receive regular treatment and Herbal medicine in order to recover their vitality. This will delay the decline of Jing and make for an easier transition through the Menopause.
Care immediately before and during the menopause centers on strengthening the Kidney Jing. In my Clinical experience I have observed women pushing their bodies their whole lives (much more pronounced these days (km)) overworking and neglecting themselves during menstruation and postpartum. Then, at menopause, their Jing is no longer sufficient to carry them through. The problem then becomes not only their decline in Jing but the opportunity that this creates for other imbalances to manifest (this can also contribute to infertility (km)). Most of the turmoil experienced by menopausal women is due to other imbalances that surface at this time. These imbalances likely showed themselves as a whisper during menses, and perhaps a stern voice during postpartum - but then become a howling scream during menopause!
Women should practice exercises such as Daoyin and Yin Yoga, which focuses on maintaining joint mobility and improving circulation, they should continue weight bearing and cardiovascular exercise, but should aim to finish feeling energised rather than depleted. (Most gentle exercise is good, such as swimming, Tai Chi, Yoga, Chi gong, dancing, just don't over do it. (km)). They should take time for daily relaxation such as meditation, (or self hypnosis (km)). They should also keep an eye on optimal sleeping schedule and go to bed by ten pm. Physical and mental work must be balanced by rest. I recommend rejuvination practices such as Cosmetic Acupuncture to all women. COSMETIC ACUPUNCTURE utilizes acupoints on the body to strengthen the vitality and balance hormones with local points to beautify the face. (younger face, more confidence (km)). These treatments should start prior to final cessation of menses, as such rejuvenation requires reserves of energy. After menopause these reserves are lower and it takes longer to achieve results. Weight gain often becomes an issue during menopause. (Acupuncture can help with this as can self control (km)).
Protein and dark leafy vegetables are the key to nourishing Blood and Yin. Peri-menopausal and menopausal women should increase the percentage of vegetables in their diet in order to clear heat and Liver excess and help to regulate body weight. They should also emphasize Jing and Yin nourishing foods such as bone marrow based soups, Kidney, Pork, Bai Mu Er (Tremella), black beans, black sesame oil and seeds, soy products, seaweed, micro-algae, walnuts, Gou Ji Zi (Lycii Fructus), Sang Shen Zi (Mori Fructus), yams, dairy (not too much (km)), nuts and seeds. Leading up to and during the first years and after menopause most women experience heat symptoms and should avoid or restrict heating foods such as alcohol (especially Red Wine), coffee (and sometimes black and Oolong tea), garlic, lamb and spicy foods. Women can adjust this restriction based on the severity of their heat symptoms. ( you can keep a food diary and see which foods heat you up the most and then avoid them (km)).
Women should take Yin and Yang tonics regularly. (as well as herbs to address any further imbalances (km)). many women require frequent Acupuncture treatments during this time in order to treat any imbalances and to convey them on to a healthy course for older age. (menopause is not the end of a women's life in many ways it is the start of their freedom (km))
Thank you to Dr Lia Andrews, DAOM, L.Ac from Cinnabar Acupuncture Clinic & Spa in San Diego, California for the above excerpt from The Journal of Chinese Medicine October 2013. My comments were added in brackets along with (km).