According to the United States Office on Women’s Health, roughly 90 percent of all women experience some form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). In addition, if you menstruate, eventually you will experience menopause. It may surprise you to learn that acupuncture can help with the symptoms of both these conditions. At NuView Health Medical we provide acupuncture services for these conditions to the entire greater New York City area. We can help you too.
PMS and menopause are caused by fluctuations in the hormonal balance of the body. With menopause, these fluctuations involve the natural decrease in estrogen experienced with the end of fertility. Conversely, PMS fluctuations tend to be more erratic, shooting up and dropping down. This can lead to an assortment of issues that include mood swings, hot flashes, and others.
The insertion of acupuncture is known to cause the body to produce and release more endorphins. These hormones help to regulate the body’s temperature. They also trigger opiate receptors within the brain to produce a calming pain-reducing effect. When combined with proper diet and exercise, acupuncture stimulates the body’s natural functions, correcting imbalances, and bring lasting relief of menopausal and PMS symptoms.
The journal Acupuncture in Medicine published a study in 2011 that indicates acupuncture can relieve many of the symptoms of menopause. In this study, researchers used 53 women who were clinically diagnosed as postmenopausal. These women rated the severity of their symptoms – hot flashes, urinary symptoms, mood swings, vaginal dryness, etc. – using a five-point scale.
Half of these women – 27 – were treated with traditional Chinese acupuncture while the other half – 26 – were treated with blunted needles that did not penetrate the skin. Otherwise, their treatments were identical, two times per week for five weeks at the exact same legitimate acupuncture points. Their hormone levels – including estrogen – were measured prior to beginning the study. They are also measured after the first and last “treatments.”
Those who received true acupuncture at the hands of a trained and licensed acupuncturist reported markedly lower scores on that five-point scale than prior to beginning treatment. When compared to the rate of change in the control group, this difference in relief was considerable.
These changes were most pronounced in the severity of psychological symptoms and hot flashes while urogenital symptoms – vaginal dryness – show little to no change. Moreover, while estrogen levels in the control group showed little to no change, those women who received actual acupuncture demonstrated higher levels of estrogen and lower levels of luteinizing hormones. All of this adds up to relief from the common symptoms of PMS and menopause.
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