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Dao Clinic - flowers on a ceramic  boat to picture the fertility boat sailing


In Western medicine, pre-menopause, also known as perimenopause, is the transitional phase leading up to menopause. It typically begins in a woman's 40s, although it can start as early as the mid-30s. During this time, the ovaries gradually produce less estrogen, leading to various symptoms that can last for several years. Common pre-menopause symptoms include:

  1. Irregular periods

  2. Hot flashes

  3. Night sweats

  4. Sleep disturbances

  5. Mood swings

  6. Vaginal dryness

  7. Decreased libido

  8. Urinary incontinence

  9. Fatigue

  10. Breast tenderness

In Chinese medicine, pre-menopause is seen as a natural decline in the body's energy, or "Qi," blood, and the balance of Yin and Yang. The main organs involved are the kidneys, liver, and spleen. The primary imbalances contributing to pre-menopause symptoms include:

  1. Kidney Yin deficiency: As women age, Kidney Yin declines, leading to symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. Kidney Yin represents the body's cooling, nourishing, and restorative energies.

  2. Kidney Yang deficiency: Kidney Yang, the body's warming and active energy, can also decline during pre-menopause. This can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, cold intolerance, and water retention.

  3. Liver Qi stagnation: The liver is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi and blood throughout the body. Emotional stress or an unhealthy lifestyle can cause liver Qi stagnation, contributing to mood swings, irritability, and breast tenderness.

  4. Spleen Qi deficiency: The spleen is essential for the production of Qi and blood. An imbalanced spleen can result in symptoms like fatigue, digestive issues, and weight gain.

To strengthen and rebalance the body during pre-menopause, Chinese medicine practitioners use a combination of approaches:

  1. Acupuncture: By stimulating specific points along the meridians, acupuncture helps regulate and balance the flow of Qi and blood, alleviating pre-menopause symptoms and promoting overall well-being.

  2. Herbal remedies: Customized Chinese herbal formulas can nourish and strengthen the organs, Qi, blood, Yin, and Yang, addressing the root cause of pre-menopause symptoms.

  3. Tui Na massage: This therapeutic massage technique stimulates acupressure points and meridians, encouraging the flow of Qi and blood, and improving overall health.

  4. Qi Gong and Tai Chi: These gentle exercises combine movement, meditation, and breath control to enhance the flow of Qi and blood, promoting overall health and alleviating pre-menopause symptoms.

  5. Dietary therapy: A balanced diet tailored to individual needs can help support organ function and address the imbalances contributing to pre-menopause symptoms. Foods that nourish the kidneys, liver, and spleen, and promote the balance of Yin and Yang are particularly beneficial.
    Examples include:

    • Kidney Yin foods: black beans, kidney beans, eggs, yams, and dark leafy greens.

    • Kidney Yang foods: walnuts, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, cinnamon, and ginger.

    • Liver Qi-regulating foods: leafy greens, beets, carrots, lemon, and turmeric.

    • Spleen Qi-nourishing foods: oats, rice, pumpkin, squash, and lean proteins like chicken or turkey.

  6. Stress management: Practicing relaxation techniques, such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga, can help reduce stress and alleviate symptoms related to Liver Qi stagnation.

  7. Adequate sleep: Ensuring sufficient rest and maintaining a consistent sleep schedule can support overall health and hormonal balance during pre-menopause.

Chinese medicine's holistic approach to pre-menopause aims to treat the underlying imbalances contributing to symptoms rather than focusing solely on symptom relief. By addressing the root causes and promoting overall health and well-being, Chinese medicine can provide valuable support for women during this transitional phase of life.

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