Complementary therapies offer women another way of managing their menopause symptoms. In this blog Anna Fra, a Shiatsu practitioner shares some approaches used by TCM to help support menopause symptoms.
From the point of view of Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM the menopausal symptoms imply a deficiency of yin fluids, particularly those that calm and relax the liver. There are different ways in which women can help themselves build their yin fluids. TCM looks into diet, herbal therapy and meridian points.
The concept of Yin and Yang is the basis of TCM. It comes from the observation of the cycle of every phenomenon in nature. Day, light, heat, activity, expansion and rising are yang. Night, darkness, cold, rest, contraction and descending are yin. Yin and yang can be thought of as complementary (rather than opposing) forces that interact to form a dynamic system in which the whole is greater than the assembled parts. Everything has both yin and yang aspects, (for instance shadow cannot exist without light). In TCM any disease that is acute, involves heat, restlessness, develops quickly is classed as yang and any chronic, slow, cold and weak symptoms as yin. Every aspect of life, every organ, every symptom can be seen as a manifestation of yin and yang.
Wheat germ, it’s oil, mung bean, string bean, seaweed, spiralling, millet, black bean, tofu, kidney bean, barley, black sesame seed. Wholewheat strengthens the kidney adrenal function and calms the nervous system. Also avoid products that damage the yin like alcohol, cigarettes, coffee, excessive and poor quality meat and intoxicants.
It is important to have sufficient vitamin E which stimulates the production of oestrogen and it’s found in wheat germ and its oil complex. If diet alone doesn’t help with hot flushes then a supplement will be effective vitamin D, calcium and magnesium to help with calcium absorption
The herb Angelica Sinensis, or Dang gui brings relief from all symptoms. Motherwort and saffron work well on their own but better combined with Dang gui. Saffron can be very beneficial for encouraging the yin receptive, compassionate and devotional temperament but toxic in high doses. It is safe at 1/3 of 1g and best stirred into food after being cooked and still hot.
Aloe Vera is also soothing and yin tonifying but too cooling for women who feel cold or have loose stools.
Royal jelly, the food of the queen bee can tonifying greatly the yin. It makes the bee more fertile and up to 30 times more longevous than other bees. These properties are used to improve women’s hormonal activity in terms of wellbeing.
To find out more about managing menopausal symptoms with TCM get in touch with a registered practitioner.