Acupuncture for Menopause - Treatment Protocols

General Approaches

Acupuncture For Menopause - Treatment Protocols

Acupuncture treatment protocols are generally directed towards the deeper root of a persons set of health issues, not at each individual issue. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, treatment is generally directed towards the individuals diagnostic pattern(s) and their primary issue is only a part of the information required to approach the correct patterns to treat (see "treating the cause vs. the symptoms" for an introduction to this process.).

In designing an acupuncture protocol for menopause (hot flashes), one might find one or a combination of the following patterns: blood stagnation, heart blood deficiency, kidney yang deficiency, kidney yin deficiency, liver qi stagnation, phlegm stagnation among many other possibilities and possible combinations.

Below you will find some of the more common tcm diagnoses and acupuncture treatment protocols for menopause and related issues. There are many ways to approach the treatment of this condition within TCM. Our presentation describes foundational approaches that would need to be further tailored in most cases to be effective for a given individual.

  • Etiology & Pathology:
    • Differentiation:
    • KD Yin Deficiency leading to LV Yang Excess
      • Signs & Symptoms:
        • Sensations of heat, especially in the face & in the afternoon, sweating, mallor flush, dizziness, blurred vision, irritability, heavy menstrual flow, possibly lingering.
        • Tongue: Red w/little coat
        • Pulse: thin, fast (yin def) & wiry (LV Yang)
      • Treatment Principle:
        • Harmonize LV
        • Tonify Yin
        • Descend Excess
      • Treatment Points:
        • Valaskatagis Point Selection:
        • LV 3 - tonify LV Yin, descend Qi
        • KD 1 - descend Qi (can needle LV 3 towards KD 1 instead)
        • KD 3 - tonify KD
        • GV 20 - descend Qi
        • GB 20 - descend Qi
        • PC 7 - Tonify Yin, balance emotions
        • UB 23 - KD Shu
        • If nightsweats - KD 6
        • If soreback - Yaoyan
        • Maciocia Point Selection:
        • Maciocia differentiates this pattern as KD Yin Deficiency
        • S/S: Dizziness, heat in the 5 palms, mallor flush, dry hair, skin, night sweats, hot flashes, constipation, vaginal dryness
        • LU 7 w/KD 6 - yin qiao ren mai, tonify Yin
        • KD 3 - tonify Yin
        • KD 10 - tonify Yin
        • CV 4 - tonify Yin
        • SP 6 - tonify Yin
        • If nightsweats - HT 6
        • Sweating issues - KD 7 w/HT 6 a/or LI 4
    • HT Blood & Yin Deficiency / HT KD Imbalance
      • Signs & Symptoms:
        • Palpitations, anxiety, insomnia a/or dream disturbed sleep, heat in the 5 palms.
        • Tongue: Red w/scanty coat
        • Pulse: Thin, rapid
      • Treatment Principle:
        • Tonify Blood
        • Tonify Yin
        • Harmonize HT
        • Harmonize KD
      • Treatment Points:
    • Excess Phlegm & Qi Stagnation
      • Signs & Symptoms:
        • More digestive involvement than hot flashes, distention of the epigastrium a/or abdomen, belching, nausea, poort appetite.
        • Tongue: White greasy coat
        • Pulse: Slippery
      • Treatment Principle:
        • Resolve Phlegm
        • Tonify SP
        • Tonify Qi
      • Treatment Points:
        • Valakskatagis Point Selection:
        • CV 17 - descend the Qi
        • CV 12 - ST Mu, descend the Qi
        • CV 6 - abdominal distention, tonify Qi
        • TH 6 - breast distention, descend Qi (esp. w/constipation)
        • ST 40 - resolve phlegm
        • SP 9 - resolve phlegm
        • Maciocia Point Selection:
        • Maciocia has the same differentiation and similar points, he adds:
        • SP 6 - tonify SP
        • ST 28 - resolve damp in the lower warmer
        • PC 6 - nausea
        • LU 7 w/KD 6 - yin qiao ren mai
        • CV 10 - lower abdominal issues
        • CV 4 - lower abdomen, tonify Qi
    • KD Yin & Yang Deficiency
      • Signs & Symptoms:
        • Hot flashes w/cold hands & feet, night sweats, frequent pale urination, feels chilled, dry throat, dizziness, back ache, possibly low libido.
        • Tongue: Pale or red (pale more yang def and red more yin def)
        • Pulse: Floating, empty or Thin, rapid (if yin def) or Deep, weak (if yang def)
      • Treatment Principle:
        • Tonify KD
        • Tonify Yin
        • Gently Tonify Yang
      • Treatment Points:
    • Blood Stagnation
      • Signs & Symptoms:
        • Not often seen clinically, more likely in women who are experiencing a long period of perimenopause.
        • Hot flashes, irregular menstruation (periods stopping and starting again), dark clotted blood, pain.
        • Tongue: Purplish
        • Pulse: Wiry or choppy
      • Treatment Principle:
        • Resolve Blood Stagnation
        • Harmonize Qi
      • Treatment Points:

The information on our site is drawn from our own lecture notes and clinical experience. The following lecture notes were consulted within this section:

  • St. John, Meredith: New England School of Acupuncture, Etiology and Pathology Lecture Notes
  • Valaskatgis, Peter: New England School of Acupuncture, Etiology and Pathology Lecture Notes

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