Yes, Acupuncture and TCM can treat menopause

Women's Health

According to the National Institute on Aging, more than 1 million women in the United States experience menopause each year.

Every woman transitions into menopause at some point in their life, usually around the age of 45-55 and some may ease into it smoother than others. We can define menopause as the time where a woman stops menstruating for twelve consecutive months until she no longer has a menstrual cycle, this marks the end of the reproductive years. This is the body’s biological response to the natural decline in reproductive hormones like estrogen and progesterone. Menopause related symptoms can range from vasomotor symptoms (VMS), like hot flushes/flashes and night sweats, to lower energy, dryness, emotional changes and sleep disruption. Symptoms and their severity (or level of distress they cause) will vary from person to person. The typical western treatment for managing the symptoms of menopause is Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) with estrogen and/or progesterone. The risks associated with HRT are not always appealing to women that are looking for relief and it is not uncommon to hear that the risks outweigh the benefits of HRT. These risks include: increased risk of breast cancer, heart attack or stroke. Fortunately, there are other low risk treatments for menopause in the realm of East Asian Medicine.

A 2017 randomized control trial of a group of 209 perimenopausal and postmenopausal women found that “Acupuncture had a significant positive effect on hot flash interference, sleep, somatic and memory symptoms, and anxiety and these benefits were maintained 6 months following the end of treatment,” (Avis et al, 2016). In 2015, another study performed a meta-analysis of 12 different randomized control trials with a total of 869 participants to evaluate the effects of acupuncture on the severity and frequency of vasomotor symptoms like hot flashes and flushes, other menopausal symptoms and overall quality of life in women experiencing natural menopause. Their findings confirm that acupuncture reduces hot flash frequency and severity, menopause-related symptoms, and improves quality of life in women experiencing natural menopause, (Chiu et al, 2015).

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) we view menopause as the natural decline of essence otherwise known as “jing” which is stored in the Kidneys. We have both Kidney yin and Kidney yang. The most common patterns for menopause are Kidney yin/water deficiency with symptoms like night sweating, hot flashes, vaginal dryness. We can think of yin as the body’s moisture or water that helps us thermoregulate and prevent dryness. The treatment for these patterns include a combination of weekly customized acupuncture treatments, nutritional guides, and herbal formulas. We love classical herbal formulas like Liu Wei di Huang Wan that nourish Kidney yin, and in turn, clear yin deficiency related heat. This decreases vasomotor symptoms like hot flashes/flushes, and also decreases dryness by supplementing more yin fluids to the body. Similar to acupuncture treatments, herbal formulas are individually tailored as well —there is no one size fits all when it comes to using herbal formulas.

If you’re struggling with menopause, then Be + Well Acupuncture can help you.

We offer individualized treatments plans which include acupuncture, herbal medicine, and lifestyle modifications to help improve quality of life.

To book a cappointment, please visit us online or give us a call at (760) 705-4432.

Written by Dr. Erica Albanese, DACM, LAc

Research References:

Avis, N. E., Coeytaux, R. R., Isom, S., Prevette, K., & Morgan, T. (2016, June). Acupuncture in Menopause (AIM) study: A Pragmatic, randomized controlled trial. Menopause (New York, N.Y.). Retrieved January 14, 2023, from

Chiu HY;Pan CH;Shyu YK;Han BC;Tsai PS; (n.d.). Effects of acupuncture on menopause-related symptoms and quality of life in women in natural menopause: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Menopause (New York, N.Y.). Retrieved January 14, 2023, from

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022, December 17). Menopause. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved January 14, 2023, from

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Research explores the impact of menopause on Women’s Health and Aging. National Institute on Aging. Retrieved January 14, 2023, from,of%20this%20natural%20biological%20occurrence