Menopause doesn’t have to mean misery, thanks to acupuncture. An increasing number of women are finding that acupuncture helps relieve the problems that can make the menopause a misery. The menopause is the time when a woman stops having periods, and she’s no longer able to get pregnant. It’s common to have symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats and mood changes when you go through the menopause.
Acupuncture makes you feel so much better, according to Jean, 52. “I was a bit sceptical at first,” she says, “but my doubts disappeared after I had treatment.” Jean who is married with three adult children, had reached such a low with menopausal symptoms she hardly recognised herself in the mirror.
“When I started the menopause I had dreadful nightmares, sweats and hot flushes,” explains Jean. “I felt uptight and anxious, and life was a real struggle. I started on HRT but that gave me such severe headaches I had to stop taking it.”
Like many people, Jean knew very little about acupuncture before her first visit – except of course, that it involved having needles inserted into the body. “I thought it would hurt,” she recalls, “so I was pleased and surprised to find that in fact, it’s actually a very relaxing feeling. The needles are very fine and give a lovely, warm, tingling sensation. It’s nothing like having an injection. You lie back on the couch and just let your cares drift away. It makes you feel light and dreamy.”
After a few weekly treatments, Jean said she felt noticeably better and had a far more positive outlook on life. “I’d become a bit of a recluse,” she remembers, “but I could slowly feel myself emerging again, and my night sweats and headaches went completely. I now have acupuncture every three weeks – and although I still have the occasion off-day, I feel far more energetic and able to cope. It definitely works!”
Since the Seventies, when acupuncture first became popular in this country, there has been a growing body of scientific evidence to show its safety and its efficacy – and many western medical doctors are now practising and recommending it.
By inserting special needles into specific points, acupuncturists are able to rebalance the flow of energy, known as qi, through the body to help restore health and well-being. There are around 500 recognised acupuncture points on the body, with around 100 of them being most commonly used.
“The correct points are chosen after a very thorough consultation,” explains Gabriella Kispal, acupuncturist and clinical director of the Chichester Natural Health Centre. “Everyone is an individual, so we find out about symptoms, medical history, diet and other factors that may be causing an imbalance of energy in the body. We also check the tongue and the pulses in the wrists, as both give a good guide to general health. With this information, we are able to work out the individual point prescription.”
“Most people need around 8 to fifteen needles per treatment. We don’t treat symptoms in isolation as they’re all interrelated. We work on restoring the body’s natural healing mechanisms. So not only do the symptoms clear up, but you also have a greater sense of well-being.”
Gabriella is keen to stress that acupuncture is not a replacement for HRT and many patients on HRT use acupuncture as a compliment to it. However, it can also help those women who are unable or unwilling to take HRT or those who, with the knowledge of their GP would like to stop taking it.
Generally speaking, the sooner you have acupuncture to ease the symptoms the faster you respond, but everyone is different. Most people have a course of five to 10 treatments, then return for maintenance sessions on a regular monthly or quarterly basis. An initial consultation and treatment will last about an hour and a half. Follow-up treatments take between 45 minutes to an hour.
It’s important to check your practitioner is a qualified member of the British Acupuncture Council. Both our acupuncturists, Gabriella Kispal and Georgina Wise are registered members of the British Acupuncture Council.
If you are interested in booking in, there is always a warm welcome for you at Chichester Natural Health Centre – so why not call in or telephone to find out more. Our reception is covered six days a week.
Chichester Natural Health Centre, 5 City Business Centre, Basin Road, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 8DU