The Basics

Menopause represents a sacred transition in a woman’s life. Research into the physiological processes of women going through perimenopause reveal that indeed, a full rewiring takes place during this time. With support for the physical symptoms brought on by hormonal changes, women can gracefully move into a place of higher intuition and discovery of their own internal resources.

The majority of women begin perimenopause somewhere in their 40’s. This signals a progressive decline in the hormones progesterone, estrogen, testosterone and other androgens. Irregular menstruation, due to declining ovarian function, is often the first sign of perimenopause. High levels of FSH may be used to diagnosis perimenopause, although since levels fluctuate regularly, one test is not sufficient to confirm diagnosis. The extended transition known as perimenopause lasts on average 3-4 years, although it may be as short as a few months or as long as 10 years.

Menopause is diagnosed after it’s been a full year since your last period. The average age for menopause is age 51, but most women experience it anywhere between ages 40-58. Some women move into menopause as early as their 30s or as late as their 60s. Menopause can also be brought on by surgery or trauma.

Symptoms of perimenopause and menopause are as individual as women themselves. Here is a general timeline and stages of symptoms.


  • Hot flashes
  • Mood swings
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • “Fuzzy thinking”
  • Irritability
  • Breast swelling and tenderness
  • Water retention


  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Depression or mood swings
  • Decreased energy or sense of well-being
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Loss of sex drive

How Acupuncture and Functional Medicine can help

Studies have shown that Acupuncture and Functional Medicine can help to decrease many of the symptoms associated with menopause. By regulating the HPAO Axis (Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal-Ovarian) naturally and supporting the endocrine and parasympathetic systems, symptoms are milder, less sudden and the overall transition smoother.

Since every woman’s journey is so different, treatment protocols vary. Most women gain the best results from weekly or bi-monthly sessions. Patients who are on HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) with unresolved symptoms may also improve with treatment. Treatments generally include nutritional coaching, herbal medicine, stress management and lifestyle tools.

Tools for women in Menopause

  • Keep your blood sugar balanced. Eat 5-6 small meals a day that are high in protein and healthy fats.
  • Exercise regularly to help decrease stress, regulate serotonin levels and mood swings.
  • Regulating cortisol levels is essential. Practice daily deep breathing exercises or meditation.
  • Make time for yourself. Part of the blessing of this part in a woman’s journey is that she has reached a point in her life when she is able to focus less on taking care of others, and more on taking care of herself. Embrace this opportunity and open yourself to the experience this special time has to offer.