Acupuncture for Menopause

A meta-analysis of research confirms that acupuncture can significantly help women with the distressing symptoms of menopause, including the frequency and severity of hot flashes (Chui, 2015). Here are some tips that you can use to help balance and support your health during this time.

Acupuncture Points

DU 24 calms the mind while reducing heat. It is located at the center of the forehead a little bit behind the hairline into the scalp. Activate this point by rubbing away from your face toward the back of the head.

HT 6 is the primary point for night sweats and hot flashes. Located a little bit above the wrist in line with the inside edge of the pinky finger about a pinky finger width above the wrist crease. Because the point is very small and precise press with your thumb in a clockwise rolling motion and press with the edge of your finger toward the point.

SP 6 also called Three Yin Crossing helps hot flashes and night sweats; insomnia, high blood pressure in turn helping to calm the mind. SP 6 is found by placing your pinky finger on the center of the inner ankle bone (malleolus) with your other fingers lying along the inner ankle. Use your other hand to find SP 6 on the center of the upper ankle along the edge of the bone right next to the index finger.

KD 1 bubbling Spring is the strong sedating and cooling point often used for cooling signs of heat including hot flashes, high blood pressure and insomnia. KD 1 is located below the ball of the foot between the second and third toe. You can stimulate KD 1 by pressing your foot on a small ball or marble while holding another point.

Begin at the upper left Ht 6 – then move to the right Sp 6 – right HT 6 and finish at KD 1.

Aromatherapy for Menopause

CLARY SAGE helps both to relax tension while reducing fatigue.

ROMAN CHAMOMILE helps clear heat while reducing inflammation. It is also good for frustration, resentment and depression.

PEPPERMINT is cooling, analgesic (reduced pain) while also being refreshing.

Use the essential oils by themselves or blend together. Place a few drops in an aroma vaporizer or place one drop of each oil in a dab of lotion in your hand, rub the lotion and oils together and then rub the back of your neck and feet. Wash your hands afterwards to avoid getting peppermint on your face or in your eyes. Try using aromatherapy before your hot flashes typically start; e.g. if you typically have most of your hot flashes after 5 p.m., then try using aromatherapy two to three hours before hand, and then again every two to three hours until you go to sleep. If you wake up in the middle of the night repeat your aromatherapy treatment.

Yoga for Menopause

Research shows favorable results for helping women manage the symptoms of menopause. One study, which focused on restorative yoga found that after seven restorative yoga classes the frequency of hot flashes were rescued by 30 percent and the severity of the hot flashes was rescued by 34 percent (Cohen, 2007). Another study found that yoga helped reduce insomnia and other menopausal symptoms (Afonso, 2012 and Newton, 2014).

FORWARD BEND: Uttanasana* stand with your feet parallel hip width apart. Bend your knees slightly, activate the core belly muscles by pulling the navel and then hinge forward at your hips joints on the exhale. Hang your torso forward, breathing into the back of your legs and lower back. Breath deeply enough to feel your rib cage expanding. Keep your knees bent if your hamstrings are very tight. Hold for 30 seconds up to three minutes. You can either come in and out of the pose three to six times or hold the poses up to three minutes. This is a very calming and cooling pose. Practice four to eight hours before you typically have hot flashes and not during a hot flash.

*This pose is contraindicated for those with uncontrolled high blood pressure, low blood pressure, dizziness or detached retinas. If you have these conditions you can do a seated forward bend.