Menopause is the permanent end of a woman’s menstrual periods. A woman is said to have completed natural menopause when she has not had a period for 12 consecutive months and for American women, this typically happens at around age 51 or 52. Menopause occurs naturally, or it can be caused by surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation.

During the period of the climacteric, a variety of symptoms may be experienced, which cause varying amounts of distress. The most common of these are hot flushes, night sweats and vaginal dryness, but insomnia, anxiety, depression, fatigue, aches and pains, headache, palpitations, genital and urinary problems are also common

Conventional treatment is usually hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which is considered to be effective in treating the symptoms, and may be prescribed for years. Some women find HRT effective, but others experience many distressing effects; some are advised against taking it, or are unwilling to take it.

Since the early seventies, studies around the globe have suggested that acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are effective treatments for hot flashes, anxiety, insomnia, vaginal dryness and many other symptoms associated with menopause. Recent studies show extremely positive results and with these promising results, the United Nations World Health Organization has approved acupuncture as a treatment for symptoms associated with menopause.