Hot flushes are one of the most common and well-known symptoms of the Menopause. Most women will experience them at some point during the Menopause. Some women may only experience a few, mild hot flushes, while others can experience them frequently, even so much as multiple times a day. In this case, hot flushes can become a problem that needs treatment.
There are many ways that hot flushes can be treated, including acupuncture.
The Guy Protocol
At Acupuncture That Works, I developed the Guy Protocol© to help treat breast cancer patients using Tamoxifen to help reduce the side effects of hot flushes. However, hot flushes are not the only symptoms that breast cancer patients experience. Hot flushes are an extremely common menopause symptom. This article will provide you with a little more information about the benefits acupuncture can bring when dealing with hot flushes.
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the ancient Eastern art of providing therapy to individuals who have ailments.
The principle is that if you are suffering from pain it is because the body’s Qi (Chi) has been disturbed, and the process involves the insertion of very fine needles into the ‘channels’ which Eastern medicine believe flow around your body, helping your Qi to flow and to re-establish a balance between the body’s Yin and Yang.
Along each ‘channel’ (or meridian) in the body, there are certain points which when stimulated can have different effects. The table below shows all of the points used in the Guy Protocol ©, which was specifically designed to treat hot flushes.
Table – Acupuncture For Hot Flushes
|ST 36||Tonify||Below the knee, 3 cun inferior to the lower border of the patella, one fingerbreadth lateral to the anterior crest of the tibia||Harmonises the Stomach Fortifies the Spleen and resolves dampness. Supports the correct qi and fosters the original qi, Tonifies qi and nourishes blood and yinActivates the channel and alleviates painRevives the yang and restores consciousness|
|KI3||Tonify||Appears on the medial border of the foot, posterior to the medial malleolus, in the dip between the end of the medial malleolus and Achilles tendon.||Tonifies the Kidneys and fortifies yang. Benefits essence – Nourishes Kidney yin Firms Kidney qiRegulates the water passages and benefits urinationBenefits the ears and eyes|
|SP6||Reduce||On the medial side of the lower leg, 3 cun superior to the prominence of the medial malleolus, in a depression close to the medial crest of the tibia.||Regulates qi and blood, hot flushes however works well with pain relief- Resolves dampness|
|SP9||Reduce||In the depression between the medial malleolus and the Achilles tendon, level with the prominence of the medial Malleolus.||Helps intestines due to medications – overall regulate lower jiao/swelling – quite often breast cancer patients will get thrush so this point also helps with this. Harmonises the Liver and tonifies the Kidneys|
|LIV2||Reduce||On the dorsal aspect of the foot, on the web between the first and second toes. 0.5 cun proximal to the web.||Powerful point to soothe the liver and is primarily employed to clear heat and drain fire from the liver. It effectively cools blood, descends rising yang and subdues internal wind|
Other Methods For Reducing Hot Flushes
Acupuncture aims to relieve and reduce menopausal symptoms. A small study published in the online journal BMJ Open, found that acupuncture may help to ease menopausal symptoms, however, there are other methods you can use in your day-to-day life to try to reduce hot flushes.
The below methods are recommended by the NHS:
- cut out or reduce your intake of tea and coffee
- stop smoking
- keep the room you’re in cool and use a fan (electric or handheld) if necessary
- if you feel a flush coming on, spray your face with cool water or use a cold gel pack (available from pharmacies)
- wear loose layers of light cotton or silk clothes so you can easily take some clothes off if you overheat
- have layers of sheets on the bed, rather than a duvet, so you can remove them as you need to
- cut down on alcohol
- sip cold or iced drinks
- have a lukewarm shower or bath instead of a hot one
- if the medicine is causing your hot flushes, talk to your doctor about other ways you can take it to avoid this side effect
The Menopausal Godmother
The Menopausal Godmother was set up to support women going through the menopause. There are so many negative thoughts and stereotypes associated with the menopause, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Our mission is to change the narrative around the menopause.
Members of the group include:
- Menopause experts, to offer support and advice
- Women currently going through the menopause who can support each other
- Other Godmothers that can offer advice on a range of subjects
In summary, The Menopausal Godmother creates a place where anyone seeking support, advice, or even just a chat can turn to. It’s a safe space where everyone is going through or has been through the same thing.