Last weekend we hosted our Wise Women Wellness community lecture. In case you missed it, Six Fishes Acupuncturist Melanie Miller shares some simple tips for hormonal wellness:
There are so many stigmas that surround womanhood in our later years, to the point where it’s common to think of a woman’s 40’s to 60’s as a period of decline. It’s fascinating to understand what is going on within during this transitional phase of life, as our bodies are undergoing so many dynamic and functional changes. Beginning as early as 35, estrogen decreases; meanwhile, a woman’s progesterone levels drop much more steeply. Due to these fluctuations, relative estrogen dominance surges in many women, and can create a host of bothersome symptoms. Often, women experience stubborn weight gain, or redistribution of weight; bloating or digestive issues; low libido; irritability or mood swings; memory changes or fuzzy head.
We write off these symptoms as the general effects of aging, though there is a distinct hormonal dynamic at play. Women typically seek relief for the hallmark signs of perimenopause and impending menopause, such as hot flashes, night sweating; dry tissues, particularly vaginal dryness, but also dry mouth and eyes; and osteopenia, which leads to osteoporosis of the bones. Fortunately, many of these issues can be helped with acupuncture and Chinese herbs.
For millennia, Chinese practitioners have been been treating heat conditions, think febrile and tropical diseases that can leave a person tired and parched, using sophisticated herbal formulas. We are also able to apply these strategies to also help clear the internal heat that menopausal women experience: including night sweats and hot flashes, working to preserve fluids and moisten tissues in women who are troubled by their menopausal symptoms.
There are various techniques to support bone health as well, which often include dietary changes and herbal supplementation. Our favorite methods include focusing on natural sources of minerals that can be found in leafy green vegetables. We’re also fans of bone or seaweed broth, used in conjunction with the nettle leaf, oatstraw, and raspberry leaf aids in your diet also bolsters bone density.
With regular acupuncture treatments and herbal therapy, many of the thorny problems that develop during the menopausal years can be managed quite well. Most people enjoy stellar results when they are an active partner in their health - by staying active, maintaining healthy weight, and eating a whole foods diet rich in vegetables, quality protein, and healthy fats. With thoughtful attention and compassionate treatment, moving into middle age and beyond can be a blissful transition
About Melanie Miller, L.OM:
Melanie experienced the power of Chinese medicine in her twenties, when she was struggling with menstrual pain. She continued to be helped by acupuncture and herbs for her nagging sports injuries. After years in the corporate sector, Melanie decided to dedicate her second act to learning and sharing Chinese medicine with a wide variety of patients. She specializes in joint and musculoskeletal issues (especially low back pain and sciatica), women’s health, digestive conditions, and cancer treatment support. You can read her full bio here and schedule an appointment with her here