Acupuncture Continuing Education

Menopause and Sweating

Acupuncture and Herbs Ease Transition


Acupuncture and herbal medicine have long been used for the treatment of menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, irregular menstruation, dysmenorrhea, difficulty with sleep and mental restlessness. One of the most interesting phenomena is that the combination of acupuncture and herbal medicine has a multiplicative therapeutic effect. Each therapeutic modality is capable of treating these conditions but together they are significantly more effective.

Acupuncture efficiently opens channel pathways and herbal medicine powerfully nourishes Yin and Yang. Acupuncture points LI11, HT7, P7, K3 and auricular acupoints uterus, liver and kidney combined with the herbal formula Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan complement each other for the resolution of many menopausal conditions. They are but one example of an effective combination and represent important tools to prevent Qi depletion and bone demineralization associated with menopause.

The synergistic effects of the herbs within Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan have the ability to address both Kidney and Heart Yin deficiency, vacuity. Night sweats are not only uncomfortable but are one of the pathological forms of sweating that deplete the body’s internal essence. Night sweating is typically due to Yin deficiency and is classified in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as a form of stealing sweating. All forms of stealing sweating have one characteristic in common, they occur when one is not aware of it. Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan, Heavenly King Tonify the Heart Special Pills, nourishes the Yin and Blood while simultaneously harmonizing the Kidney and Heart. Naturally, modern variations of this formula do not contain Zhu Sha because of its toxic properties. This ancient formula helps not only to halt night sweating but also to resolve palpitations, mental restlessness, anxiety, irritability, difficulty with concentration and improves the memory. Its cooling properties help to control hot flashes and reduces instance of ulcerations in the mouth and tongue. The Sheng Di Huang is effective in cooling the Blood and addressing Heat in the Blood. It also helps to move the stool and the overall effect of the formula treats the condition of dry stools.

Night sweats are but one type of pathological sweating. Spontaneous sweating is usually due to Wei Qi deficiency or a depletion of the entire body’s Qi. Head and face sweating is the type that is usually caused by excess intake of hot and spicy foods or by upper jiao damp-heat. Fighting sweating occurs when the good Qi and pathogenic influences clash. The fighting sweat may involve shaking of the body or convulsions. A good outcome would be a fighting sweat followed by a lowering of a fever that had been causing seizures. A poor outcome would be if the disease process deepened into one expressed by a rapid, deficient and slow pulse. This is often present when Shaoyang and Yangming stage illnesses deepen into the Taiyin stage. Alternately, Qi level heat may deepen into Ying level heat. Worldwide, malaria is a major cause of the fighting sweat. The cold sweat is watery and is often involved in Qi and Yang deficiency. This is common in hypoglycemia. Perhaps one of the most severe types of sweating is end sweating. This type of sweating occurs when Yin and Yang collapse. Yin collapse is manifest in a watery and profuse sweat. Yang collapse presents with a salty, profuse, sticky, oily sweat and the limbs remain warm due to the false heat being kicked to the surface. In biomedicine, shock is commonly a cause of end sweating. The half side sweat is one where only one side of the body sweats. It is common when phlegm, dampness and other pathological influences block one side of the body. Another type of sweating is the absence of sweating when it is appropriate. This blockage of the channels is due to a variety of influences and prevents the normal ventilation of the body.

Acupuncture Continuing Education Credits