FINDING BALANCE through the menopausal transition
Where I Started
I am self-employed and run my own coaching practice and love what I do. Life, in general, was pretty good though there were some areas in my life where I wasn’t particularly supported.
At the end of 2018, I had started experiencing insomnia brought on by a period of stress after a family member got ill and I was in the early stages of menopause. I had no trouble getting to sleep but after 4 hours would find I was wide awake and it would take a good hour or so before I got back off to sleep. Although I could function ok I had noticed I was getting short-tempered and feeling quite down, very unlike me.
I had been offered HRT but wasn’t keen and was looking for alternatives to support my body through this time of transition and in particular get back into a more helpful sleep pattern.
The First Session
Emma offered some helpful lifestyle advice in addition to the acupuncture. I don’t smoke, drink and I work out daily so that I continued as normal with that. However, from day 1 Emma suggested I cut out coffee. I maybe only had one cup a day and after cutting it out, I noticed I had much less brain fog and much more clarity of thinking.
During Denise's initial consultation in mid-February, we talked about her sleep patterns, hormonal changes, diet, and stress levels. Denise's main concern was frequently waking in the night with a strong feeling of anxiety, being too hot, and not being able to get back to sleep.
I advised Denise to cut down on 'hot' foods and drinks such as coffee, black tea, and spicy foods, which can create too much heat in the body, worsening hot flushes and feelings of agitation.
The Follow Up
Within a couple of sessions, I started to notice a difference. I was still waking up but the mind chatter was a lot less. By the end of the first course of 5, I had started to notice an improvement. I was managing to drift back off to sleep when I awoke leaving me much more refreshed in the mornings and a lot less edgy.
Denise’s treatment was focussed on balancing Yin and Yang, in other words, promoting the homeostasis of the body. During the menopausal transition, the body is adjusting to the loss of estrogen produced by the ovaries and begins to produce more estrone. It takes time for the body to adapt to this, and acupuncture can reduce stress, improve blood flow, and help to regulate hormonal imbalance. In Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, treatment was aimed at tonifying Kidney Yin, clearing Heat, and calming the Mind.
Each session is individually tailored to each patient, in Denise's case, the most frequently used points were;
BL 17, BL19, HT6, HT7, SJ5, PC6, LI4, Ren4, Ren6, ST36, SP6, KID3, KID6, LIV2, LIV3
Denise came for weekly sessions for the first 8 weeks. After that, significant progress had been made so we decided fortnightly sessions would be more suitable, continuing as and when Denise felt like she needed them. After her 16th session, she was no longer in need of any further treatment.
Where I am Now
My night's sleep overall is just so much more restful. I am sleeping through to 6 hours and then can drift back to sleep when I wake up. I have more space to think and have therefore made some decisions that I hadn’t been able to make previously that has helped restore balance in my life.
To be able to provide support for anyone going through the menopause is very rewarding, I feel that a lot of women find it difficult to talk about with it still being such a taboo subject. I'm happy to talk openly about women's health issues and provide some relief. You are most certainly not alone! If you would like support with hot flushes, brain fog, or any of the weird and wonderful symptoms of the menopausal transition, please don't hesitate to get in touch.