A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine reports that women may experience menopause symptoms such as hot flashes for more than a decade, sometimes up to 12-14 years. The findings, reported by CBS News last week, also included some startling statistics: 4 out of 5 women experienced hot flashes and other symptoms before their periods ceased completely, and more than half of all women experienced symptoms for 7 years or more, with the average duration being 4.5 years.
The researchers who conducted this study at Wake Forest School of Medicine also observed that these symptoms affected quality of life, sleep patterns, and overall physical health. They strongly recommended that more research should be implemented to find safe and effective ways to alleviate menopausal symptoms.
Did you know that Chinese medicine has effectively and naturally treated menopausal symptoms for thousands of years? Considered to be signals of deeper imbalances from the body, these symptoms should not be ignored or dismissed simply as being normal. As even Western researchers are beginning to realize, they can indicate that a woman is on her way towards developing more serious health problems should the imbalance remain unaddressed, possibly worsening over time. Chinese medicine practitioners actually consider menopausal symptoms as being pathological. If a woman is healthy and balanced, she should have a totally symptom-free cessation of her menstrual cycle.
What many women may also not realize: if they are experiencing a difficult menopause, they most likely have been getting signs of imbalance from the body for a while, especially in the form of PMS symptoms such as cramps, etc. The good news is that if these early signs are recognized in advance and treated appropriately through Chinese medicine – acupuncture, dietary and herbal therapy, and Qigong – one may be able to avoid a difficult menopausal experience altogether!
Even for those who are already experiencing an uncomfortable menopause or post-menopausal symptoms, one can still naturally address imbalances with Chinese medicine to alleviate symptoms – for immediate and long-term relief. An experienced Chinese medicine practitioner will be able to diagnose and treat these imbalances, paving the way for a woman to really heal herself and set the stage for a healthy, long life.
Things you can do
Considered one of the three major gateways when a woman can totally transform her health – the other two being pregnancy and post-pregnancy – menopause can be a time of great physical and emotional healing, even spiritual transformation. As Dr. Lu writes in his popular book on TCM and menopause: “Menopause creates the opportunity for a transformation, a new beginning, as a woman becomes free to discover, pursue or complete her life’s mission and touch her spirit—and the spirits of those around her—in a profound and meaningful way.” Check out this book
Participate in a wellness program, The Dragon’s Way Qigong, that offers a solution for women seeking to prevent or alleviate symptoms of menopause and cultivate long-term health for themselves. A recent exploratory research study conducted by TCM World Foundation showed that 80% of participants experienced reduction of or complete disappearance of chronic physical and emotional symptoms, including many symptoms associated with aging and menopause. 90% of subjects also experienced an improvement in depression and anxiety, which can be huge emotional burdens associated with menopause.