Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) offers women another option to consider for use in menopause.
- CAM is a diverse group of medical and health care systems, practices and products not part of conventional medicine.
- Integrative medicine combines conventional and CAM treatments for which there is evidence of safety and effectiveness.
- Examples of CAM include acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, herbal medicine, dietary supplements, aromatherapy, yoga, reiki, therapeutic touch, mindfulness based stress reduction, biofeedback, hypnotherapy, guided imagery, visualization and homeopathy.
- The most common symptoms in the menopause transition are hot flashes and insomnia. Mild symptoms can be helped by acupuncture, herbal medicine, dietary supplements and mind body therapies.
- CAM therapies are supportive although hormone therapy is most helpful for moderate to severe symptoms during the menopause transition. CAM can be a helpful adjunctive therapy
- CAM (if carefully chosen and properly used) can improve quality of life.
- It is important to let your healthcare practitioner know about any CAM therapies you use or are considering using as not all have evidence of safety and effectiveness.
- Many CAM modalities are not covered by insurance and therefore have an out of pocket expense.
- Visit the website from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine for more information
It's important to consider the benefits and risks of complementary therapies and alternative treatments in the context of the other forms of treatments that are available. Denise Vincent, CNM of our practice specializes in these applications, including dietary and herbal supplements, homeopathy, and benefits of certain foods for your menopause years. If you are considering complementary therapies, we can offer guidance in your planning. To schedule an appointment, please contact us.