Many women come to me seeking relief from hot flashes and night sweats. Yes, there are hormonal changes taking place, which have physiological effects. From a Chinese Medicine perspective, their thermoregulatory system is in need of assistance.
Quite simply, the heat is stuck in the wrong place.
Our ideal state is a cool head and warm feet.
When a woman is perimenopausal or in menopause, their Yin (fluids) and Blood, which nourish the body, are in a diminished state.
If we look at the various symptoms that arise during these times such as vaginal dryness, dry eyes, diminished eyesight and loss of skin elasticity, to name just a few, we can understand the connection. Bone density, joint deterioration, insomnia and decreased libido are also are linked to Yin and Blood.
As we age our Liver Blood and our Kidney Yin become deficient. The Blood in the Liver nourishes our tendons, joints and eyes. The Kidney Yin, which is connected to the Water element, checks the Fire element, which leashes the heat rising upwards causing hot flashes and night sweats.
After a couple of treatments, a patient often reports feeling cooler, more comfortable and less agitated.
Even after 23 years of practice, I am amazed that these physiological changes can take place by simply needling a couple of points that influence the Fire and Water elements, without the use of herbs or HRT.
As my teacher in Tokyo, Edward Obaidey, is fond of saying, “we can do a lot with a piece of wire and a bit of fluff (moxa)”.