“Menopause may be way off your radar or something that is indeed pending. Whatever the case it’s always important we know as much about our bodies as possible to set ourselves up for the win. Today I’m going to talk about Menopause from a TCM perspective.
Before we dig in, it’s important to understand that menopause isn’t a condition or an illness but rather a change in hormones. Menopause is characterized by the cessation of menstruation, the transition from ‘fertile’ to ‘infertile’ and should typically span out over 2-5 years. Often what is most frustrating with menopause are the symptoms that come with it. These will very often differ from woman to woman because we are all unique. Some of the most common symptoms of menopause are sweats and hot flushes – almost like a wave that propels through the body. Other common symptoms include night sweats, thirst and a general feeling of heat, skin irritations and insomnia.
From a TCM viewpoint, the kidneys (alongside a few other key players) are responsible in the regulation of hormones. Remember, TCM is an ancient form of medicine and sees the body quite differently than how we do in the west. When the Kidney energy is flourishing, our hormones are thriving. As we get old this ability diminishes, just as our skin loses elasticity or our eyesight dwindles – it is all part of the process. Generally menopausal symptoms are due to a decline in kidney activity. As mentioned, there may be other influences, including excess dampness in the body (much like congealed body fluids that become ‘stuck’) or stagnation of qi (likened to qi).
Menopause is greatly influenced by our earlier years. What we do in our 20’s and 30’s can beautifully set us up for long-term wellbeing. If we treat our bodies kindly in our early years and nourish ourselves well, we can expect the transition through menopause to be with ease. If we abuse our bodies, disregard our hormones and lose respect for health, it can have long-term consequences. Most commonly in modern living, menopause is greatly influenced by too much oestrogen; in our diet, our body-care products, water quality and environment. It’s so important to constantly be aiming to rebalance and heal our bodies to make each and every day count. Stress also contributes to rising oestrogen levels. Too much of one thing is never a good idea. Too much oestrogen can lead to all kinds of issues including increased menopause symptoms, anxiety, depression and irregular menstrual cycles even in young women.
Finally, many women are being told they are going through ‘early menopause.’ In my experience this isn’t the case, but more so they are experiencing hormone imbalance. Balance your hormones and balance your life”.