Mrs M. D., Dundee:

I am going through the menopause, and have tried many different methods to treat my symptoms, including drugs and evening primrose oil. So far, nothing seems to work, and I'm worried about the chemical content of some treatments. Is there a natural way to help menopausal symptoms according to TCM?


Dr Xu:

The menopause, also known as the climacteric syndrome, is the stage in a woman's life (usually around 49 yrs of age) when changes in hormone levels can cause a variety of problematic symptoms. These include irregular periods, finally ceasing altogether, hot flushes, night sweats, fatigue, dizziness, tinnitus, palpitations, insomnia, lower back pain, feelings of heat in the feet and hands and a general lack of vitality. There may also be a propensity to emotional upsets including restlessness, irritability and depression.


TCM believes that the root of this disease is associated with 'a lack of kidney essence.' (The kidney in TCM is seen as the store of all the energies of the body) This depletion of kidney essence leads to a general imbalance of the body, known in TCM terms as an imbalance on yin and yang, resulting in the above symptoms.


HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) is one treatment method available through western medicine. Unfortunately, it is unable to treat the root of the problem, and there are growing concerns about the links with HRT and breast cancer, heart disease, stroke and gallbladder stones. Accordingly, doctors are now prescribing HRT more cautiously.


Chinese Herbal medicine and acupuncture have a long history of treating this problem. We choose the appropriate herbal prescription or acupuncture points to tonify kidney essence (yin), warm kidney yang, strengthen the heart and calm the spirit and achieve a balance between yin and yang.


Acupuncture and herbal medicine, administered correctly, are a safe, effective and an entirely natural means of treatment. TCM treats the condition by improving the woman's natural ability to adjust to physiological changes and rebalance. As long as the therapy is administered correctly it will be free from side-effects.