Our acupuncturist Emily writes her top ten tips for self care during the menopause:
‘Traditionally Chinese medicine views the symptoms associated with the menopause as related to Yin deficiency. Yin is the calming, cooling, lubricating aspect of the body’s energy. So it’s easy to see that when it becomes depleted we overheat and get symptoms like hot flushes as Yin can no longer cool, we become more anxious/ suffer from insomnia and Yin no longer calms and feel dry as Yin no longer lubricates.
To help avoid symptoms like these here are my top 10 tips for self care to help nourish Yin during the menopause:
Rest when you are tired. As Yin is the opposite of the busy, outward, doing Yang energy it is really important not to overwork. Rest, rest, rest! I recommend this lovely guided relaxation for women which engenders deep rest and helps nourish Yin: Click here to go to this YouTube video.
2. Avoid too much screen time especially in the evenings when Yin is at it’s most deficient. Screens really deplete Yin and will make anxiety and sleeplessness much worse.
3. Buy a wheat bag eye pillow and spend some time lying quietly with it across your eyes (even better use it whilst doing the guided relaxation above). The weight and darkness over the eyes helps calm the nervous system and replenish Yin.
4. Avoid too many stimulants such as coffee, refined sugar and alcohol as these will introduce even more heat into the body, deplete Yin further and make symptoms like hot flushes worse.
5. Take gentle relaxing exercise like yoga or pilates. Yin yoga, yoga nidra and restorative yoga are all ideal.
6. Avoid foods like chilli, hot curries, black pepper, raw garlic, raw onions, cinnamon, cloves and excessive salt as these will make symptoms like hot flushes and anxiety worse.
7. To help with vaginal dryness, dry skin and eyes make sure to include plenty of wet foods in your diet. Reduce cooking methods that remove water like frying or baking and increase wet foods like salads, steamed vegetables (especially dark green leafy vegetables), soups and stews.
8. Avoid excessive sweating and keep well hydrated.
9. Eat three regular meals a day, preferably at the same time.
10. Get some acupuncture treatment! The benefits of acupuncture during the menopause are huge. Systematic reviews (Lee 2009; Cho 2009) and randomised controlled trials published since these reviews were done (Kim 2010; Venzke 2010; Boroud 2010; Boroud 2009; Parks 2009; Avis 2008) found that acupuncture is at least as effective, and sometimes superior to, hormonal drug treatment.’
If you would like to know more about how acupuncture can help you manage your menopausal symptoms contact Emily Brightwood on 07903159010 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Appointments are available at The Soma Wellbeing Centre and The Complementary Health Care Clinic both located in Norwich city centre. Alternatively if you would like help but are not sure about trying acupuncture please email the team at email@example.com to see what other options are available.