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Chinese Medicine for the Treatment of Menopausal Problems

by Maria Mercati(more info)

listed in women's health, originally published in issue 122 - April 2006

Chinese Medicine embraces not only Acupuncture and Herbs with Diet, but also Tui Na, a powerful energizing Massage, Manipulation and Qigong. This package of therapies contains within it the power to strengthen our energies, cure illness and help maintain good health.

All of Chinese Medicine is based on the concept of vital energy called Qi and its correct Yin and Yang balance. Good health depends on it. The Chinese have thousands of years of clinical experience to underpin their medicine.

One of my patients, June, was 58 years old when she came to me. She had never previously experienced Acupuncture or Tui Na and had, like most of us, relied on Western medicine to treat her health problems.

She was suffering from excruciating hot flushes day and night and a bright red face condition called acne rosacea. The flushes were so bad that she was sleeping in a separate room from her husband under a fan to keep cool.

Briefly, her medical history is that at 39 she had had a hysterectomy. At 48 she was put on HRT and sent to a dermatologist for acne roseacea. She tried dozens of different creams but to no avail. When she was 57, she suffered a prolapse and had an operation to support her bladder while at the same time had her ovaries removed. She had by then been on HRT for ten years. At the menopause clinic, the GP took her off HRT, because it made her face flare up very badly and made the whites of her eyes very red. The GP referred her to me; her first appointment was May 2000. She also had high blood pressure and a frozen shoulder.

After asking her about her medical history, I carried out a Chinese tongue and pulse diagnosis. The diagnosis indicated that her Kidney, Stomach and Liver energies were yin deficient, which meant that she had too much internal heat in her body, the likely cause of her red face and red eyes. Her spleen Qi energies were also deficient, causing her to feel bloated. I told her she would need to have 10 treatments of both Acupuncture and Tui Na combined. I believe that having both Acupuncture and Tui Na together produces more powerful results than having either one of them alone.

She had the first six sessions of treatment in quick succession – three per week and the remainder twice weekly. Initially, I decided to strengthen the energies of the Kidneys, Stomach and Spleen and treat the frozen shoulder. When she returned for the third treatment, she was ecstatic because she had been able to sleep without a fan. As the treatments progressed, her hot flushes subsided, and by the tenth treatment, she said she was feeling absolutely normal. The odd hot flush was no longer a problem and to her surprise, the embarrassingly vivid redness of her face had also disappeared. With Acupuncture and Tui Na on her shoulder it soon regained pain-free mobility. She agreed to come once a month to have top-up treatments to maintain her overall improvement.

Three months later while popping down to her local shop, she fell through an open trap door and badly injured her lower back, coccyx and right knee. She was covered with huge bruises. She decided to wait seven months, till the orthopaedic surgeon had assessed the damage for insurance purposes, so that she could claim the cost of Acupuncture and Tui Na. As before, she had 10 treatments at twice weekly intervals and then reverted to monthly sessions once more. Her right knee needed only four sessions. (In my experience, keyhole surgery can often be avoided by having a few sessions of acupuncture). After an initial rapid improvement it took about a year for her lower back and coccyx to become entirely pain-free. After five years, hot flushes are no longer a problem and the livid face but a distant memory. However, she does still take medication (atenol, which is a beta blocker) for her high blood pressure.

I have treated many women including myself for menopausal problems. The menopause is a period of change where the body's hormones can play havoc with a woman's life. The menopause produces not only hot flushes but a whole spectrum of symptoms such as achy joints, back pain, mood swings, headaches, bloated stomach, constipation, tiredness and insomnia. In fact, the more women I treat, the more convinced I am that it is during this period that women are most prone to injury and even the development of arthritis. After treating hundreds of menopausal women I am left in no doubt that the Acupuncture and Tui Na combination is effective. Chinese herbs, taken alone or together with Acupuncture and Tui Na can also play an effective role during this period in addressing the underlying causes of chronic conditions. Every woman has her own individual energy imbalances. These need an individually structured treatment or herbal mixture specifically formulated to restore balance. It is also important to have a diet with foods that are high in natural oestrogen, calcium, omega 3s, fibre and daily regular exercise.

I myself have Acupuncture at least once a week, Chinese herbs daily and because I have trained my family, some Tui Na every day.

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About Maria Mercati

Maria Mercati BA(Hons) ITEC MTI Dip Thai Massage, Dip Shiatsu Mem AcuC, Cert Tui Na (Shanghai College Traditional Medicine), Cert. Acu (Xiangshan Hospital of TCM Shanghai), Cert Acu (Weihai Hos) is an authoritative and innovative teacher, best-selling author and practitioner in the field of Tui Na Chinese and Thai Massage as well as Acupuncture. Her books Step-by-Step Tui Na and Thai Massage are definitive texts and have been translated into twelve languages. She has also produced and directed a series of DVD's (filmed by professionals) to accompany her books.

The methods Maria uses and teaches have been developed from her many periods of study in China, Indonesia and Thailand working with the leading experts in their respective fields.  She brings a wealth of practical experience to her courses, having achieved outstanding results with thousands of patients over the last twenty years.

She may be contacted via maria@bodyharmonics.co.uk; www.bodyharmonics.co.uk

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