More and more women are looking for a natural, effective way to relieve menopausal symptoms and a safe alternative to hormone replacement therapy. Some have been on ERT or HRT for years and are among the 20 percent who have experienced its side effects. However this is not the only path, and while many have come to TCM as a last resort, what they learned has changed their life.
TCM works according to a completely different philosophy and system than Western medicine. While both can treat menopausal symptoms and reduce or eliminate a woman’s suffering, the true result is not the same. During a woman’s transition, TCM has the ability to help her adjust her body’s Qi, or vital energy, in as little as a few months, or sometimes even weeks.
Since TCM believes that everyone has the ability to self heal and the key to understanding how to heal naturally is to understand Qi.
Understanding Qi is essential to menopause, as virtually all menopausal problems are caused by a Qi imbalance. Generally speaking, this imbalance can be traced to the same source: kidney Qi deficiency and liver Qi stagnation. The kidney has become too weak to perform its regular functions and communicate its messages to its fellow organs; this condition is coupled with the problem of the liver’s Qi being stuck in either an organ or a meridian.
TCM works from the premise that as long as your Qi remains strong and flows freely, and your body’s organs work in harmony, disease or illness cannot enter.
Consequently, the principal Western treatments prescribed for menopause have become drugs: estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) or hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which includes a form of progesterone in addition to estrogen. If we examine this approach a little closer, you can see that it raises some serious questions. Just because something is lacking doesn’t necessarily mean that replacing it will restore normal function to a complex organism like the body.
Only now is science beginning to realize this, and the potentially dangerous side-effects that can occur.
According to Cancer Statistical Review referenced in the Harvard Women’s Health Watch,women who have been on HRT or ERT for five years or more, have an overall 30 percent greater risk of breast cancer than those who have not. This translates into a real rise in risk from 10 percent to 13 percent.
CHART SHOWING RISK OF HRT/ERT
AND BREAST CANCER
|| WITHOUT HRT 5
|| Years of HRT
||1 in 450
||1 in 320
||1 in 356
||1 in 276
||1 in 292
||1 in 209
||1 in 244
||1 in 144
When used alone, as in ERT therapy, estrogen has been shown to increase the risk of endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus) by 400-800 percent.
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