With Dr. Fiona Barry PhD – Key Member of the Meno Active Formulation Team
Chinese Medicine by its very nature is holistic. It is based on the philosophy that you cannot separate the mind from the body, and you cannot separate the person from their environment. Therefore, it is the individual that you treat not the condition that they present with. The two main modalities of Chinese Medicine are acupuncture and herbs. Acupuncture supports all the systems of the body, from the cardiovascular system to the nervous system to the digestive system. Hormonal changes in menopause can negatively affect the functioning of some or all of these systems, which is why support is needed.
Acupuncture can effectively balance hormones, modulate the immune system, boost digestive functioning, as well as regulate the nervous and cardiovascular system. Therefore, it can successfully be used to treat hot flushes, night sweats, digestive issues, palpitations, fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, allergies and joint aches & pains. As we cannot separate the mind from the body, we cannot separate the mental/emotional from the physical. This means that not only does acupuncture improve the physical wellbeing of menopausal women, but it also supports their mental and emotional wellbeing. It can significantly reduce or even eliminate feelings of anxiety or depression, and that feeling that so many women describe of ‘just not being myself’ or, in its more extreme form of ‘I feel like I’m going crazy’. Acupuncture is particularly good at lowering stress levels and balancing one’s mood.
In situations where a woman’s quality of life is being more severely impacted by menopause Chinese Herbs may be indicated, in combination with acupuncture, to alleviate symptoms faster. They can also be used as a stand-alone treatment, and often are, particularly if the person doesn’t like the idea of acupuncture. Just like everything in Chinese Medicine the mix of herbs given to a woman will be bespoke and specifically tailored to her needs.
It is this nuanced approach that makes Chinese Medicine so powerful and so effective in the treatment of menopause.
My area of special interest is women’s health, particularly hormonal health, which I view as central to a woman’s wellbeing. However, women are taught to mistrust and fear their hormones from a young age and changing the rhetoric and language around this is one of my missions.
I blend the science of the West with the wisdom and healing powers of the East, and it is this integration that is the cornerstone of my holistic approach to women’s health. In Chinese Medicine menopause is known as ‘The Second Spring’. It is recognised as a time when a woman’s reproductive energy is transformed into creative energy; it is a time when a woman steps into her wisdom.
Using the modalities of a medicine that honours this wisdom is a particularly effective way of supporting women through this new phase of their lives.
Dr. Fiona Barry PhD is a Key Member of the Meno Active Formulation Team, and will speak at the Menopause Success Summit, October 22nd 2022. You can learn more about Meno Active here.
Meno Active by Revive Active are a sponsor of the upcoming Menopause Success Summit.
Dr Fiona Barry is a qualified Chinese Medicine practitioner with a degree in Biomedicine, a PhD in Pharmacology and several years research experience in cardiovascular medicine. She has successfully treated thousands of clients in her two clinics in Cork and, prior to that, in Mayo.