Hot flashes? Insomnia? Irritability? Perimenopause and menopause can wreak havoc with our health and happiness.

Fortunately, Lisa Pugliese, R.N., L.Ac., says “Acupuncture is very effective at treating these symptoms. It works quickly and is much lower risk than hormone therapy.” Indeed, a recent Wake Forest University study showed that acupuncture helped most menopausal patients, ranging from a moderate to significant reduction in symptoms.

“Hormone replacement therapy has its place, but it’s the big guns of treatment options,” Pugliese says. Of course, estrogen is needed to promote the health of vaginal tissue. “But otherwise, we like to start with the gentlest, lowest risk alternatives. And many women have great success with acupuncture and herbal supplements.”

Pugliese points to a patient who came to Concept Wellness a year ago “very sick,” with lab results that demonstrated significant imbalances in the body. She was also overweight and felt depressed. But with acupuncture, cleanses, and supplements, the patient feels like herself again, has lost weight, and is free of uncomfortable menopausal effects.

Pugliese shares, “We have a ‘secret’ go-to supplement, an amino acid called 5-HTP. It’s a precursor to serotonin, and acts as a mild to moderate anti-depressant. It also drastically reduces hot flashes.” Many patients have benefitted from 5-HTP and thus avoid the side effects of antidepressants that might otherwise have been prescribed.

At Concept Wellness, Pugliese says, misery does not have to accompany menopause. “We want everyone to feel good!”