In Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda Menopause Natural Treatment begins with the premise that menopause, and andropause, like puberty, like the transitions that occurs around ages 2, 5, and 36, are just that, transitions, not diseases. We get symptoms because of the wild fluctuations in hormones that occur at times of change.
Change is hard on human beings. Moving from one city is a stressor. Even traveling on a plane to Hawaii for a wonderful vacation has certain elements of stress. Its always nice to come home. But what if you carried “home” with you, wherever you were, whatever stage of life you were in?
Menopause Natural Treatment in Ayurveda
How Change Affects the Body Mind in Ayurveda:Vata
In Ayurveda change can elevate Vata dosha because Vata by its very nature is increased by movement, whether commuting to work on the bus or in your car, whether the stimulating movement of sound waves through the cell phone, whether the barrage of noise and images from media like t.v. and video games. We were not designed, biologically, for the modern world, and much that we have created elevates Vata. And Vata, by its nature reacts to change with fear and anxiety and insomnia, which is most often a symptom of anxiety.
How Change Affects the Body Mind in Ayurveda: Pitta
Pitta responds with the ability to push through, to fight, to be aggressive. Unfortunately Pitta also reacts that way to perceived danger where there is none. I am from New York City, but I live in San Diego. I easily notice when my New Yorker friends, from an uber Pitta city, come to visit, that they can be aggressive when there is no need to be. On the other hand they tend to be alert, funny, easy to tease, good at teasing back, and never dull.
Ayurveda would say that in the USA and in the modern world we have also created a society that is very Pitta by nature. The modern world is full of pressure, high stress, and intensity. This has a negative effect on Pitta dosha, producing a lot of mental and physical tension. We may even be self selected, as an immigrant nation, for people with the Pitta fire drive to get up leave their homelands and come here. It takes energy and intensity to decide one fine day to leave Poland, or India, or Mexico, or Ireland to travel across the sea and leave all behind. One has to ask the obvious question, why did some leave and others stay behind.
What it took, really, was Pitta, which is synonymos with chutzpah, moxie, huevos, pelotas, drive, intensity, organization, precision, but also fire, heat, over-controlling, dominance. Pitta does not know when to let go or how to unwind. Fire burns continuously so long as there is fuel.
Vata and Pitta Elevation in Menopause
Why is this relevant? Because at Menopause and Andropause we get strong elevation of Vata and Pitta. People who are nervous types to start with, ergo, Vata elevated, will develop anxiety, insomnia, and heart palpitations, which is itself a symptom of fear. In the natural world, in order to flee from a predator you have to experience the emotion of fear in order to get the adrenalin pumping and the heart beating fast so that your resources are mobilized in order to run away. And, in menopause, if there is Pitta dosha present then the winds of Vata will fan the flames of Pitta and you will get sweating and hot flashes and irritability. If enough constrained heat the hair will even fall out.
Also typical of the transition of menopause are changes in the menstural cycle, which becomes frequent or infrequent, and gradually heavier, even to the point of massive bleeding. These are symptoms of Pitta elevation, and if painful, Vata elevation as well.
Menopause Natural Treatment: Ayurveda, Acupuncture, and Chinese Medicine
Hot flashes, Night Sweats, Insomnia, and Feeling Like You Not Yourself, or as one of my patients put it, “as if someone has taken over my brain” arethe symptoms of Menopause most responsive to Classical Chinese and Japanese Acupuncture, Ayurveda Lifestyle, Diet, and Herbal Therapy. I can almost guarantee success with 6 acupuncture treatments and a course of Chinese and/or Ayurvedic Herbs.
In the case of changes to menstrual cycle I use Chinese herbs that regulate the bleeding really well, and can almost guarantee success with heavy bleeding using a formula by Blue Poppy Herbs with the funny name Added Flavors Supplement the Center and Boost the Qi/Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang Jia Wei. If there is pain I may use a modified version of Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang. If there is heavy bleeding I stop it with Long Life Herbs brand MenoBleeding Stat which uses hemostatic herbs with blood nourishing herbs.
While I may use any of the above formulas for the nervous system aspect of menopause, ergo, the nervousness, sweating, hot flashes, difficulty concentrating, feelings of not being oneself, and insomnia, here I find Classical Chinese Acupuncture especially effective, and have had great results with the Ayurvedic herb from Ayush brand Sitawari, also known as Shatavari in Ayurveda. Shatavari is the female herb for middle age on, and does a lot of things that estrogen does, but without the risk. If there are problems with cognition I often add the Ayurvedic herbs Bacopa and Gotu Kola, which interchangeably get referred to as Brahmi.
It is unfortunate that the Western Medicine Pharmaceutical Industrial Complex has turned normal variation in the human condition into diseases, but that is how it is. We do have a choice and there is an alternative. Here is an article from the Times about that process, called Menopause, as Brought to You by the Drug Companies
Good Luck with Your Journey!
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