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Is your period changing? Maybe it started to get lighter, or you have now started experiencing flooding episodes? 


What is menopause and its different stages?

Menopause refers to when a woman has not had a menstrual cycle for 12 consecutive months, and continues for the rest of her life. It signals the end of a woman’s reproductive life, as her reproductive hormones begin to decline, and her ovaries no longer produce any eggs. The average age of menopause in Australia is 51 years old.


Perimenopause is the early transitional stages of menopause that can last up to 10 prior to actual menopause finally happening. This is when the symptoms of menopause begin to start, as a woman’s hormones begin to fluctuate and the hormones that usually stimulate the ovaries, begin to decline. For some women perimenopause can begin occurring in their late 30’s or early 40’s.


Premature menopause can also occur due to surgery or a medical condition.


What are the signs and symptoms of perimenopause and menopause?

Due to the sometimes extreme fluctuations in hormones during this time, this can bring on many different types of symptoms that can be associated with perimenopause and menopause. Some symptoms are short lived while others can last for years. Some symptoms are easy to manage while others can impact women daily.


Physical symptoms may include:

  • Hair loss

  • Weight gain

  • Hot flushes

  • Night flushes

  • Joint pain

  • Vaginal dryness

  • Headaches

  • Heart palpitations

  • Dry skin

  • Insomnia

  • Low libido

  • Digestion upset

  • Painful intercourse


Psychological symptoms may include:

  • Forgetfulness

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Irritability

  • Mood swings


Chinese medicine's view of menopause 

Menopause is called the 'Second Spring' and is seen as a natural process when a woman’s Kidney qi (energy) declines. Kidney qi is responsible for our hormones, adrenals, qi that we gain at conception and through life.


We can increase the strength of our Kidney qi from the way we live, the nutritious foods we eat, the clean air we breathe, sleep, and how much stress we have in our lives.


In Chinese Medicine it is important that we conserve and strengthen Kidney qi by ensuring we live a healthy life. If we don’t, as we age, our bodies do not cope well. Such as the transition through menopause, it is important to keep working on ensuing the body is as healthy, strong and in balance as much as possible. 


What are some things you can do now to assist you through menopause?



Diet is one of the most important and easiest things you can change for better menopausal health.


Increasing your intake of foods containing phytoestrogens which are foods that mimic the actions of oestrogen, which decline during the transition of menopause. Some foods that contain phytoestrogens are tofu, whole grains, walnuts, and soy. 

Decreasing the number of processed foods, sugars, chocolate, coffee and yes even alcohol are beneficial in a woman’s health and these foods are considered quite hot natured in Chinese medicine, so they love to bring on a hot flush.


To cool the body down, ensure you are drinking enough room temperature water, green leafy vegetables, and fruit.


Lifestyle and stress

We know that stress is bad for our health. Well during menopause, this is even more heightened. Many women report having hot flushes during stressful situations, for example a presentation at work.



While going through menopause, women begin to notice more fat around their hips and waistline, and other places as well. This is due the drop in oestrogen levels.


Some women love doing cardio, working out hard at the gym, or cycle classes, but many women find that during menopause strong workouts can leave them more exhausted, bring on exercise induced hives, or they just don’t enjoy them the same way anymore.


I always advise women to help maintain a healthy weight to mix up their exercise between resistance training to help build strong bones and muscles, cardio for fitness, and to include calming exercises such as yoga, tai qi and Pilates.


How can I help?

As a menopause advocate I have spent years working with women during the menopausal transition. I will spend time with you re-analysing your overall health, looking at what the root cause of your issues, and discuss what options could work for you, to help get you back to feeling great. 


Treatment plan

Acupuncture doesn’t work after only 1 treatment, but ongoing weekly treatments that assists the imbalances in the body to harmonise. The number and duration of treatments varies for each person.


You do not need to do it alone.


Some other great online menopause groups for you to check out.




Borud EK, Alraek T, White A, et al. The acupuncture on hot flushes among menopausal women (ACUFLASH) study, a randomized controlled trial. Menopause. 2009;16:484–493.


Nedeljkovic M, Tian L, Ji P, et al. Effects of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine (Zhi Mu 14) on hot flushes and quality of life in postmenopausal women: results of a four-arm randomized controlled pilot trial. Menopause. 2014;21:15–24


Kim KH, Kang KW, Kim DI, et al. Effects of acupuncture on hot flashes in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women-a multicenter randomized clinical trial. Menopause. 2010;17:269–280

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