Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine to support older Mums in Perimenopause
Welcome to all Mothers whatever age you are! Some women have children in their 20s, some in their 30s and some in their 40s. Here at MumSafe believe that age is just a number and that every stage of life deserves to be embraced with vitality and balance. In this article, Dr. Julia Bartrop explores how Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal medicine can assist older mums, who have had babies later in life (ages 37-40+), in navigating the complex terrain of perimenopause while balancing the demands of parenting and maintaining a fulfilling lifestyle. We’ll delve into how these holistic therapies can provide support for common issues such as sleep disturbances, libido changes, hot flushes, fatigue, joint pain, night sweats, and insomnia. Additionally, we’ll discuss strategies to manage lifestyle, stress, and anxiety effectively. Let’s embark on this empowering journey together!
Embracing the journey
Being an older mother, especially giving birth in your late 30s or 40s, can have an impact on your experience of perimenopause & menopause. Here are a few ways in which being an older mum can affect these midlife transitions:
- Timing of menopause: Women who have children at a later age tend to experience menopause at a slightly later stage compared to women who have children earlier in life. This is because the biological clock is delayed, and the ovaries continue to produce hormones for a longer period. It’s important to note that the age of menopause is influenced by various factors, including genetics and overall health.
- Perimenopause symptoms: Perimenopause is the transitional phase leading up to menopause, characterized by hormonal fluctuations. Older mothers may experience more pronounced perimenopausal symptoms due to the natural aging process of their reproductive system. These symptoms can include irregular menstrual cycles, hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, sleep disturbances, and vaginal dryness.
- Emotional aspects: The emotional aspects of menopause can be influenced by the circumstances surrounding motherhood at an older age. Women may experience mixed emotions during this phase, including sadness or regret about the end of their fertility journey or concerns about being an older parent while going through menopause. On the other hand, some women may feel a sense of relief, having completed their child-rearing responsibilities.
- Health considerations: Women who give birth later in life may have a higher risk of certain medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease or osteoporosis, which can also be influenced by menopause. It’s important for older mothers to be mindful of their overall health and seek appropriate medical guidance to manage any potential health risks associated with menopause.
My experience of being an older Mum
I’m now 45 and have a 7 and an almost 6-year-old. I’d like to share here my main challenges
- SLEEP. I have found the lack of sleep to be my biggest issue. In terms of my emotional health, a lack of sleep has led me to being irritated quite easily. This is where I have learned deep breathing techniques to help assist me to reduce the irritability and volatility – assisting to calm my nervous system down. I have found this invaluable and now teach many of my female clients the same breathing technique. I also use acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine to assist with energy, digestive health and overall hormone support. A fornightly acupuncture session helps to keep me sane! My family also notice this and reap the benefits of my regular sessions.
- PERIODS . Entering perimenopause I, like many women, have noticed that my cycle begins to shorten. Some cycles may become 21 days in length. Then the cycle may begin to lengthen out to 30+ days. This due to the change in the hormones of estrogen and progesterone. I use TCM to enable my hormones to be produced naturally and for as long as I can. TCM assists me with a gentler transition into menopause. And beyond menopause it will help me to reduce hot flushes, night sweats, sleep issues and many other issues.
Other factors that impact perimenopause & menopause
While being an older mum can impact the experience of menopause, it’s essential to remember that every woman’s journey is unique. Factors such as overall health, genetics, and lifestyle choices also play significant roles in how menopause unfolds. It’s advisable to consult with a healthcare provider who can provide personalized guidance based on your specific circumstances and help you navigate the menopausal transition.
Issues that may affect older mums when beginning Perimenopause:
As older mums we may find that we are facing unique challenges as we navigate both the joys of parenting and the transitional phase of perimenopause. Let’s explore how Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can assist you in reclaiming your well-being and maintaining a balanced lifestyle.
Sleep Disturbances and Insomnia.
Sleep disruptions are common during perimenopause and can be particularly challenging when coupled with the demands of parenting. Acupuncture treatments can help regulate your sleep patterns by addressing imbalances in your body’s energy flow. Chinese herbal medicine offers natural remedies that nourish and calm your system, promoting restful sleep. TCM can address your unique needs, helping you achieve better sleep and improved overall well-being.
Libido Changes and Intimacy
“Fluctuations in libido can be a natural part of the hormonal changes experienced during perimenopause. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can help rebalance your body’s energy and restore vitality. By improving blood flow and reducing stress, these therapies can enhance your sexual well-being and promote a healthy intimate relationship.”
Hot Flushes, Night Sweats, and Fatigue
“Hot flushes and night sweats can disrupt your daily life and leave you feeling fatigued. Acupuncture treatments target the root causes of these symptoms, helping to regulate hormonal imbalances and alleviate discomfort. Chinese herbal medicine provides natural remedies that nourish your body and support its ability to adapt to hormonal changes. Together, these therapies can reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flushes and night sweats, while also combating fatigue and boosting your energy levels.”
Joint Pain and Physical Discomfort.
Perimenopause can bring about joint pain and physical discomfort, which can affect your ability to stay active and enjoy quality time with your children. Targeted acupuncture treatments promote circulation, reduce inflammation, and alleviate pain. TCM can complement these treatments by providing natural remedies that support joint health and improve flexibility.
Managing Lifestyle, Stress, and Anxiety.
Balancing the demands of parenting, perimenopause, and a fulfilling lifestyle can be overwhelming. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine provide powerful tools to manage stress and anxiety effectively. Offering relaxation and stress reduction, promoting a sense of calm and emotional balance as well as adaptogenic herbs that support your body’s ability to cope with stress and maintain resilience. Tailored lifestyle advice can also empowering you to make choices that prioritize self-care and emotional well-being.
Navigating the journey of perimenopause as an older Mum, you deserve support, balance, and vitality. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine offer holistic solutions that address your physical symptoms, hormonal changes, and emotional well-being. I am committed to providing personalized care, guiding you through this transformative phase with compassion and expertise. Together, let’s embrace the journey and reclaim your well-being, ensuring that every aspect of your life is nourished and harmonized.
Interested in trying acupuncture for perimenopause?
- What to expect in your treatment.
- Acupuncture treatment tailored specifically to you
- Chinese Herbal prescription to strengthen the acupuncture treatment
- Dietary advice – what foods to eat, what to avoid
- Lifestyle advice
If you are interested in acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine then contact us
- Avis, NE et al. Acupuncture in Menopause (AIM) Study: A Pragmatic, Randomized Controlled Trial. Menopause. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4874921/
- Better Health Victoria. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and menopause. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/hormone-replacement-therapy-hrt-and-menopause
- British Medical Journal. Acupuncture may ease troublesome menopausal symptoms. https://www.bmj.com/company/newsroom/acupuncture-may-ease-troublesome-menopausal-symptoms/
- Darling Health. Menopause: A Second Spring. http://darlinghealth.com.au/second-spring/
- Shen Nong. TCM Syndrome Differentiation for Menopause Problems. http://www.shen-nong.com/eng/exam/specialties_menopause_syndrome.html
- The Royal Womens Hospital. CBT and hypnosis effective in treating menopause. https://www.thewomens.org.au/news/cbt-and-hypnosis-effective-in-treating-menopause