“I am only 40, and I am too young to have night sweats.” I hear this statement a lot in my clinic. I also hear the frustrations of many other perimenopause symptoms like irregular periods, foggy-headedness, fatigue, extreme mood swings, and more.
Even the anticipation can bring about feelings of dread and even the desire to avoid the whole thing altogether. “If I feel like this now at 42, what will I feel like at 55?”
What if I told you that there was a 100% natural way to lessen the severity of perimenopausal symptoms and be ready for a much more smooth transition in the journey to menopause?
Read on to learn how to navigate the perimenopause journey naturally.
What does perimenopause mean for you?
Menopause is a natural stage of life, and much of the stress is from confusion about when it generally begins. Many women think that the changes related to perimenopause start only a couple of years before menopause.
Every young woman begins menses at a different age. So it makes sense that perimenopause and menopause would progress at varying rates and ages as well.
Perimenopause is when a woman experiences changes in menstrual flow and regularity leading up to a complete stop of menses which is menopause. Perimenopause typically begins around 40-45 years of age but can start as early as 30.
This natural process causes physical and emotional symptoms such as mood and hormonal changes, night sweats/hot flashes, reduction in libido, vaginal dryness, and many more.
Typical Western Treatment for Perimenopause
Since perimenopause is a natural process, treatment is unnecessary. However, when perimenopause symptoms are strong, many women seek help to manage the ups and downs of the journey.
From a western biomedicine perspective, these treatments include:
- Hormone therapy like estrogen or estrogen and progestins to regulate hormone levels
- Antidepressants to stabilize moods
- Lifestyle changes.
Lifestyle changes that your doctor may suggest are:
- a healthy diet with fruits and vegetables and whole grains
- getting at least 1,000-1,200 mg of calcium each day via diet or supplementation
- regular exercise
- finding the triggers of hot flashes(i.e., alcohol, coffee, recreational drugs, etc.).
100% Natural, Chinese Medicine Approach to Perimenopause
Many of my patients are looking for a more natural, medication-free approach in navigating their journey with perimenopause, especially since hormone replacement therapies and medications often come with unwanted side effects.
Chinese medicine is a perfect match for this goal. Chinese medicine sees perimenopause as a natural condition and a natural part of the aging process. Since perimenopause is a natural condition, the symptoms are treated proactively through a balanced lifestyle throughout one’s life.
To explain further, Chinese medicine views aging in terms of the balance of Yin and Yang. Yin is the material basis of our being and Yang is the energy and heat of our bodies. As we age, we “use up” Yin, and that balance can get thrown off.
When the Yin and Yang balance is thrown off, it manifests as too much Yang (hot flashes, sweating, etc.)
When you see an acupuncturist for help with navigating the perimenopause journey naturally, they will look for the root cause of your specific symptoms.
Then, they will treat you proactively by nourishing the Yin with acupuncture, food, herbs, and cooperative activities and reducing the “Yin burning” activities (stress, alcohol, overwork, late bedtime, etc.)
To help with your natural, healthy journey of womanhood, I offer the following five tips.
These are the same tips I share with my perimenopause and menopause patients in the clinic all the time. Incorporating these simple, 100% natural changes can make a positive impact.
5 Tips to Navigate Perimenopause Like a Pro
Tip #1 to Navigate the Perimenopause Journey Naturally: Be proactive.
The most effective way to treat any condition is by being proactive. The earlier in life you learn to take care of your body and mind, the better.
If you are approaching perimenopausal age, taking proper care of yourself now will make a world of difference. It is not too late, and hope is never lost.
We are living beings which means that we are constantly recreating ourselves on a cellular level, and we need to right building blocks to perform that recreation with.
Tip #2 to Navigate the Perimenopause Journey Naturally: Stay active and have fun.
- Increase your low-impact exercise – Taking a walk every day will benefit your digestion and circulation. A 30-minute walk after meals helps balance blood sugar.
- Have fun – The endorphin release from exercise, laughter, and communicating with friends reduces pain–such as pain from headaches or menstrual pain. So, be sure to get out as much as you physically can and enjoy time with friends and family. Do so outside as much as you can.
Tip #3 to Navigate the Perimenopause Journey Naturally: Discontinue toxic habits/behaviors.
- Minimize or stop consuming alcohol, caffeinated beverages, sugary foods.
- Work less – Taking frequent breaks during the workday will benefit your health and make you more productive.
- Worry less – Unless you can control the outcome of a situation, it does not benefit anyone for you to spend energy worrying about it.
- No more late nights – This is for work and play. You should be asleep no later than 10 pm and sleep for 8 hours. Sleep is when your body regenerates. Think about it as leaving for a trip with a full tank of gas. If you don’t fill the tank, you will not get as far.
Tip #4 to Navigate the Perimenopause Journey Naturally: Nourish yourself.
- Drink water – At least 75 oz of water per day. More optimally, 96 oz per day.
- Eat good food – Consume only nutrient-dense foods like vegetables and high-quality meat and fish. Consume high-quality natural fats like nuts, seeds, avocados, and olive oil.
- Meditate – Meditate morning and night to nourish your mind and body by regulating stress hormones. Think of this as practicing to breathe.
- Enjoy life – We live in a fantastic world. Learn to enjoy any activity by being mindful and present.
Tip #5 to Navigate the Perimenopause Journey Naturally: Get acupuncture regularly.
Additionally, getting regular and frequent acupuncture treatments can help balance your central nervous system, which will help your hormones regulate.
Acupuncture also improves digestion, sleep, and mood. In addition to performing acupuncture, Acupuncturists (Chinese medicine practitioners) help people with diet and lifestyle strategies, mind-body medicine (ex. stress management techniques), and how to help people blend all of these into their lives.
Our aim is always to help your body, mind, and spirit fall back into their natural rhythms. The journey through perimenopause can be graceful and managed naturally.
By following these Five Tips to Navigate Perimenopause Like a Pro, you’ll reduce the severity of perimenopausal symptoms as well as increase your chances of staying healthy and well.
Of course, we’re always here to help when perimenopause and other women’s health concerns arise with 100% holistic care, no matter the issue. We’ve given over 18,000 treatments and counting, so we’ve seen pretty much every woman’s health and fertility issue, hormonal issue, or chronic illness out there.
We know how to awaken your body’s natural resources using a unique combination of acupuncture, Chinese herbal medications, targeted nutritional support, and mind-body medicine.
It’s easy to take the next step for in-depth support. Click here to request your free initial consultation. You are welcome to speak to us to determine if our 100% holistic healthcare services are a good fit for you.
**This article’s content, information, opinions, and viewpoints are intended for educational purposes only and should not form a basis for self-diagnosis.
About the Author – Michael Hurley, L.Ac.
Michael is the co-founder and acupuncturist at Cup of Life Healing Center located at 82 Washington Street Suite 2 in Keene, NH. (603) 352-3625. He specializes in Women’s Health and Fertility. Michael holds a Master of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM), one of the top-rated acupuncture schools in the country. He is nationally certified with the NCCAOM and licensed by the State of New Hampshire to perform acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine. Additionally, Michael is certified in 5-Element Functional Endocrinology and Reproductive Medicine.