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Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics

, Volume 294, Issue 1, pp 193–200 | Cite as

Traditional Chinese medicine valuably augments therapeutic options in the treatment of climacteric syndrome

  • Sarah Eisenhardt
  • Johannes Fleckenstein
Gynecologic Endocrinology and Reproductive Medicine

Abstract

Climacteric syndrome refers to recurring symptoms such as hot flashes, chills, headache, irritability and depression. This is usually experienced by menopausal women and can be related to a hormonal reorganization in the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal axis. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, originating 1000s of years ago, above-mentioned symptoms can be interpreted on the basis of the philosophic diagnostic concepts, such as the imbalance of Yin and Yang, the Zang-Fu and Basic substances (e.g. Qi, Blood and Essence). These concepts postulate balance and harmonization as the principle aim of a treatment. In this context, it is not astounding that one of the most prominent ancient textbooks dating back to 500–200 BC, Huang di Neijing: The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine gives already first instructions for diagnosis and therapy of climacteric symptoms. For therapy, traditional Chinese medicine comprises five treatment principles: Chinese herbal medicine, TuiNa (a Chinese form of manual therapy), nutrition, activity (e.g. QiGong) and acupuncture (being the most widespread form of treatment used in Europe). This review provides an easy access to the concepts of traditional Chinese medicine particularly regarding to climacteric syndrome and also focuses on current scientific evidence.

Keywords

Menopause Integrative medicine Acupuncture Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) Hormone therapy Physiologic mechanism Heat flush 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Julia Fleckenstein, B.Sc., for her tremendous work in the conception and design of Fig. 2.

Compliance with ethical standards

Funding

No funding was obtained for this article.

Conflict of interest

Both authors declare to have no financial conflicts of interest.

Disclosure

JF is the Deputy Head of the Scientific Committee of the German Medical Acupuncture Association DÄGfA and both authors received honoraria from the DÄGfA for academic teaching. JF received honoraria for academic teaching from the Swiss Medical Association for Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine and Auriculomedicine SACAM and the Association of Swiss Acupuncture Societies ASA.

Human participant/animal statement

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of TCM/Acupuncture, Institute of Complementary Medicine (IKOM)University BernBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.University Hospital of PsychiatryBernSwitzerland
  3. 3.Department of Sports Medicine, Institute of Sports SciencesGoethe-University FrankfurtFrankfurtGermany

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