Relief for Mood Swings

jennJennifer McGrath, L.Ac., Dipl.OM from Points of Wellness in Oakbrokk Terrace, IL shared that there are many things that can provoke mood swings, such as chemical imbalances in the brain, side effects from medications, everyday stressful events and, in the case of women in menopause or men going through andropause, fluctuations within the hormonal system.

Rapidly changing moods can present quality of life issues and may be a symptom of a larger problem. Even the emotion of joy, when taken to the extreme, can lead to an unhealthy and exhausting expression of mania.

From the perspective of acupuncture and Oriental medicine, symptoms of menopause and andropause reflect the changes in an individual’s level of yin and yang. Together they reflect the belief that the universe consists of two opposing, yet complementary energies. The interplay of yin and yang is the process that maintains balance in the world.

This philosophy of yin and yang can help explain the condition of a menopausal woman who is suffering from severe mood swings and hot flashes.

In this example, the fluids and cooling factors, which represent yin forces, are said to be drying up as a woman undergoes the process of menopause. This means the yang forces, manifesting as excess heat in the body, become stronger, which ultimately may be experienced as hot flashes and mood swings.

A study published in the journal Acupuncture in Medicine, owned by the British Medical Journal, brings good news about the use of acupuncture and Oriental medicine in treating these issues.

The patients receiving proper acupuncture treatments received a statistically significant reduction in mood swings and hot flashes, as compared to the sham acupuncture group. The authors of the study were able to conclude that acupuncture could be a viable therapy to treat symptoms of menopause.

While menopause and andropause are perfectly natural conditions for aging men and women, for some, the severity of symptoms can be debilitating.

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