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Ah, perimenopause, the phase of your life that nobody quite warned you about. In this blog post, we are sharing everything you wish you knew about perimenopause — what it is, why it happens, and the symptoms that accompany it. As a Portland acupuncture clinic, we also dive into the ancient wisdom of Chinese medicine and the targeted relief that acupuncture and herbal remedies provide for those navigating this natural phase of life.  

If you’re looking for a Portland acupuncture clinic that specializes in women’s health, we would love to invite you to book a private consultation here to get started.

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What is Perimenopause?

Technically, perimenopause signifies the transitional phase before menopause, marking the end of a person’s reproductive years. It usually begins in the mid-30s to 40s and is often characterized by a series of hormonal shifts (primarily in estrogen and progesterone levels). These changes can lead to a range of symptoms, including irregular periods, hot flashes, night sweats, mood fluctuations, and sleep disturbances. 

Sounds fun, right? While the symptoms are not always enjoyable, recognizing perimenopause as a natural part of aging is the first step towards managing its symptoms effectively. Don’t be afraid to embrace this new stage of life!

Chinese Medicine, Herbs, and Acupuncture: A Holistic Approach to Treating Perimenopause

Chinese medicine, known for its holistic approach, views the symptoms of perimenopause not as isolated issues but as signals of underlying hormonal imbalances that throw off your body’s ability to effectively defuse anxiety, regulate body temperature, control metabolism and keep your circadian rhythms humming efficiently. The combination of symptoms is associated with a diagnosis that leads us to a specific root cause that is specific to you. What this means for you is that acupuncture and herbal remedies work to resolve the underlying cause of the symptoms, instead of treating the symptoms themselves. 

Here are some examples:

  • Regulating Hormonal Balance: Regular acupuncture promotes a more balanced endocrine system, which can alleviate many perimenopausal symptoms caused by hormonal imbalance.
  • Improving Sleep Quality: By targeting specific energy meridians within your body, acupuncture can help relax the body and aid in combating sleep disturbances and insomnia.
  • Reducing Hot Flashes and Night Sweats: Regular acupuncture can decrease the frequency and intensity of hot flashes by helping regulate body temperature.
  • Enhancing Mood and Energy: Acupuncture can stimulate the release of endorphins (the body’s natural mood lifters!), which can minimize any mood swings, depression, and fatigue.
  • Improving Libido: Combining Chinese herbs and acupuncture can also positively affect your libido, which often declines during perimenopause.
  • Clearing Brain Fog and Improving Memory: By increasing overall circulation through acupuncture, many patients have noticed that the combination of acupuncture and herbs can reduce brain fog and memory issues.
  • Alleviating PMS and Menstrual Irregularities: Finally, combining acupuncture and other Chinese medicine can regulate menstrual cycles and reduce the severity of PMS symptoms, making the rest of the perimenopausal symptoms more manageable.
A professional woman in blue scrubs sitting at a desk with a laptop, diplomas related to womens health and tips to improve your egg quality hanging on the wall behind her.

Lifestyle Changes to Support the Perimenopause Transition

As an acupuncturist, I also want to share a few things you can do in addition to acupuncture to support yourself through the perimenopause transition. 

Firstly, one of the most beneficial steps you can take is to focus on rest and stress management. I know it can be hard in today’s climate (where everyone seems to be busier and busier), but adding relaxation practices such as meditation, yoga, or deep-breathing exercises into your daily routine can significantly help in balancing your hormones and enhancing your overall health.

Next, let’s talk about diet and exercise. It almost goes without saying that eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins is key to supporting your hormonal health and maintaining your energy levels. Alongside eating well, staying hydrated and keeping an active lifestyle can make a huge difference during this time as well. 

Additionally, quality sleep is another cornerstone of good health, particularly now. Ensuring that you get enough rest each night allows your body to recover and regulate hormone levels more effectively. It’s also wise to moderate your intake of stimulants such as alcohol and caffeine, as these can exacerbate hot flashes and disrupt your sleep.

Lastly, don’t underestimate the power of self-care. It’s so important to carve out time for activities that bring you joy. Whether it’s reading, gardening, or spending time with loved ones, these moments are vital for your mental and emotional health during perimenopause (or really – any time!). 

Two people having a conversation about pregnancy care at a table in an office with diplomas on the wall in Portland, Oregon.

Perimenopause and Acupuncture

If you are currently navigating the early (or late) signs of perimenopause and are looking for holistic treatments like acupuncture, herbs, or other Chinese medicine, we would love to chat more. The doors at our Portland Acupuncture Clinic are always open. So why wait? Book a consultation at our clinic, here!

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