Menopause and Chinese Medicine (with Dietary Suggestions)
By Brian Benjamin Carter and Dr. Lynda Harvey, L.Ac.
Menopause is a natural process that alters
the balance of Yin and Yang. After menopause many women discover
(and may be disturbed by) the more yang (energetic, aggressive)
side of themselves. As men grow older, they tend to discover their
yin (passive, yielding) side.
Many people don't realize how powerful Oriental Medicine treatments
can be for women's health conditions. In fact, gynecological problems
have been treated with acupuncture for over 2000 years, and for
5000 years with herbal medicine.
Oriental Medicine holds that mind and body are one, and considers
the whole woman and her experience of life in diagnosis. These
life experiences (especially when out of balance and not dealt
with properly) can manifest as disease in the body, and especially
as gynecological problems in women.
Interestingly, TCM considers all premenstrual and perimenopausal
symptoms to be signs of ill-health. The biggest factors in determining
your comfort through this time will be the dietary and emotional
health you have maintained throughout your adulthood. Even if
you haven't lived perfectly, there's still hope! Acupuncture and
herbs can eliminate your discomfort and restore internal balance.
So make an appointment to get treated with acupuncture and herbs!
In the meantime, try out some of these dietary suggestions:
- Cut back on your sugar intake.
- Take a break from coffee, chocolate, colas
(tough for a lot of people, but think about feeling better!)
- Eat more tryptophan-rich foods such as turkey,
bananas, figs, whole grain crackers, figs, and dates.
- Eat more foods rich in phyto-estrogens and
progesterones: soy flours and beans, red clover sprouts, yams,
- Eat more foods with high indoles: for example,
brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage.
Copyright 2001, Brian Benjamin Carter, The Pulse
of Oriental Medicine