Hot Flashes & Menopause Clinic

Is acupuncture right for you?

Acupuncture is viable, safe, and an effective treatment for many women experiencing hot flashes and perimenopausal symptoms. Please read the following information to see if acupuncture is right for you.

Expertise

Dr. Brian Grosam graduated with his PhD in Acupuncture from the Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SDUTCM) in 2009, where he studied under Dr. Fudong Wu, the Chief of acupuncture studies and a leading neurological acupuncture expert in China and his clinical professor, Dr. Qiuhua Shan, the Chief doctor of the (SDUTCM) teaching hospital and a noted top auricular acupuncture expert in China. Alongside his studies in acupuncture, Dr. Grosam completed extensive clinical studies in gynecology, neurology, and Chinese herbal medicine.

Dr. Brian Grosam is a leading expert in the treatment of perimenopause symptoms with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine based on years of clinical research. In 2008, he organized and completed his doctoral clinical research on “The Effects of Acupuncture in the Treatment of Perimenopausal Symptoms.” His clinical results showed a dramatic reduction in the overall symptoms that accompany the perimenopausal stage in women’s lives.

Dr. Brian Grosam is one of only a handful of acupuncture doctors in Minnesota and has a proven track record with a high success rate. Based on his extensive training and research, he has developed his acupuncture techniques and skills and designed an effective acupuncture treatment system tailored specifically for each individual and your unique symptoms. 

Dr. Brian Grosam is a member of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine (ABORM), a licensed acupuncturist in the state of Minnesota, a Diplomate of Chinese Medicine from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), and a proud member of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS). 

What are hot flashes?

Hot flashes are the most common symptom of menopause. Although hot flashes can be triggered by internal and external influences, such as stress, excitement, spicy foods or even room temperature, their exact cause is unknown. The current theory is that neurons in the body’s central thermoregulation system in the hypothalamus may act differently when exposed to the low estrogen environment of menopause, causing the body to flush. If the hypothalamus mistakenly senses that you are too warm, it starts a chain of events to cool you down. Blood vessels near the surface of the skin begin to dilate (enlarge), increasing blood flow to the surface of the skin to try and dissipate body heat. This produces a red, flushed look to the face and neck in light-skinned women. It may also cause you to sweat (sometimes sweating excessively) to try and cool your body down. An increased pulse and a feeling of momentary high heart rate may also occur.

What is menopause?

Menopause is a normal, natural event that is the permanent end of menstruation and fertility, defined as occurring 12 months after your last menstrual period. Certain surgeries and medical treatment can induce menopause.

It’s a turning point that all women experience, not a disease, but it can have a big impact on a woman’s wellbeing. Although menopause can be the source of disruptive side effects, such as hot flashes, night sweats, and tiredness, menopause can also be the start of a new and rewarding phase in a woman’s life. Menopause is usually confirmed when a woman has missed her periods for 12 consecutive months (in the absence of other obvious causes). American women experience menopause at age 51 (on average), according to the National Institute on Aging, but menopause can start earlier or later – some women may experience menopause as early as 40, others as late as 60.

What is Perimenopause or Premenopause?

Menopause happens gradually. The menopausal transition phase is called perimenopause (literally meaning “around menopause”). Perimenopause is defined as the period of your life shortly before menopause, when your body gradually begins to produce less estrogen, and your body begins to show the physical symptoms of menopause. Perimenopause begins many years before the last year of your menstrual period. Perimenopause can last six years or more, and ends one year after the final menstrual period.

Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine Information

What is acupuncture?

It has been scientifically determined that human beings are unique bio-energetic systems. Acupuncture is a medical system that has been used to diagnose, treat and prevent illness for over 2000 years. When our body is disturbed due to age, trauma, poor diet, medications, stress, hereditary conditions, environmental factors or excessive emotional issues, then illness results. Acupuncture is the administration of hair-thin needles into specific places on the body to naturally stimulate the body to heal, regulate, and return itself to normal function. Acupuncture focuses on correcting these imbalances, which stimulates the body’s natural ability to heal itself. In other words, Acupuncture focuses on treating the factors that cause disease.

How Does Acupuncture Work Based On Western Medicine?

We can understand how acupuncture treats menopausal symptoms from a western medical perspective by looking at the following:

  • Acupuncture stimulates and promotes healthy blood circulation leading to optimal hormone circulation and utilization.
  • Acupuncture stimulates and regulates the nervous system and the brain’s ability to regulate the body temperature.
  • Acupuncture regulates body metabolism and hormone fluctuation.
  • Acupuncture facilitates proper body fluids and nutrient movement to supply all the cells in the body.
  • Acupuncture aids in controlling brain and neurotransmitter interaction with the blood and hormones to calm the mind, body, and spirit.
  • Acupuncture stimulates all of the body systems to function optimally and support a healthy life.

What is Chinese Herbal Medicine?

Chinese Herbal Medicine is a large component of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Herbal formulas are carefully chosen to target both the symptoms and the underlying cause of your condition. Although the side effects of Chinese Herbal Medicine are minimal compared to Western pharmaceuticals, it is still potent medicine and should only be prescribed by a skilled, licensed practitioner.

Menopausal Transition symptoms such as hot flashes, anxiety, sleeplessness, and fatigue, often times respond well to herbal medicine. Dr. Brian Grosam will let you know which herbal formulas are best for your situation and when is the best time to take them. Some patients do need to take herbal medicine for a period of time for effective menopausal transition relief.

Does acupuncture improve quality of life?

The short answer is yes. Most people will notice improvements in most areas of their health including sleep, mood, digestion, metabolism, immunity, and overall wellbeing. Much like a car that runs better after an oil change and tune-up, your body will function at its optimal level.

What other symptoms does acupuncture help?

Acupuncture is effective at treating many common menopausal transitions symptoms including: Hot flashes, night sweating, sleep irregularities, heart discomfort or palpitations, anxiety, melancholy or depression, heavy or prolonged menses, irregular or ceasing of menses, vaginal irregularities, sexual problems, bladder irregularities, fatigue and weakness, arthralgia, etc.

How long does it take for acupuncture to work and how many treatments will I need?

Some respond quickly while others respond slowly. Each individual is different and will respond uniquely to acupuncture, based on your particular lifestyle, diet, exercise, work, and sleep habits. Other necessary considerations such as emotional, environmental, and genetic factors, along with certain supplements, medications, or medical procedures, may also play a role in the efficacy of acupuncture.

The number of treatments needed before we see results will differ from person to person, based on the above mentioned, and the severity and duration of the symptoms. For example, severe symptoms or chronic conditions, we may recommend one or two treatments per week for several months. On the other hand, for mild symptoms or acute problems, fewer visits are usually required. 

As your symptoms begin to respond and start to diminish, fewer treatments are required. Once symptoms are controlled and the quality of life is restored, maintenance treatments are recommended or may be necessary to keep symptoms from returning and controlled. Maintenance treatments may only require one treatment per month or even less such as four sessions a year. 

Can acupuncture be done if I’m using HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) or taking different types of medications (e.g., blood pressure, cholesterol-lowering, heart disease, ulcer, GERD?)

The short answer is yes. Of course, there are situations to consider, but most of the time acupuncture is safe to use in conjunction with other therapies and medications.

Treatment Schedule & Frequency

How often should I get acupuncture for hot flashes and menopausal symptoms?

The quantity and frequency of treatments you may need are based on the severity and the duration of your symptoms. So, for example:

  • Mild Conditions: Generally respond with 3-6 treatments at 1 treatment per week.
  • Moderate Conditions: Generally respond with 6-12 Treatments at 1-2 treatments per week.
  • Severe Conditions: Generally respond with 12-24+ treatments at 1-2 treatments per week.
  • Short Duration and Acute Conditions: Generally respond with 3-12 treatments at 1-2 treatments per week.
  • Long Duration and Chronic Conditions: Generally respond with12-24+ treatments at 1 treatment per week.H

How long does acupuncture take to work?

Generally, women’s health related issues, including menstrual irregularities, PMS issues, infertility, and menopausal symptoms, respond real well to acupuncture. Dr. Brian Grosam notices on average that 7 out of 10 women can reach their full healthcare goals with acupuncture and Chinese medicine. You should generally notice a difference within the first few weeks of treatment.

Remember this is only a general guideline and every individual person is different and will respond uniquely to acupuncture, based on your particular lifestyle, diet, exercise, work, and sleep habits. Emotional, environmental and genetic factors will also play a role and are a necessary consideration. We can safely give you a better understanding and a more accurate plan once we have met you and gone through the initial intake.

What do I do if acupuncture doesn’t work for me?

Acupuncture treatments can effectively relieve perimenopausal symptoms, carries low risk, is minimally invasive, cost effective, and an excellent alternative to standard methods of treatment. If symptoms are not improving, the use of Chinese herbal medicine in conjunction with acupuncture is suggested.

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can effectively relieve hot flashes and menopausal symptoms for many patients when due to the natural aging effects. It should be noted that a patient with a history of a total hysterectomy, a long standing history of medications, long-term drug use,  or chronic illness, the effects of acupuncture and herbal medicine may be less.

The speed and amount of relief depends largely on the patient’s lifestyle habits including diet and exercise habits. Women with poor dietary habits and do not participate in routine exercise, may not improve as well as women who do. Dr. Brian Grosam will give you many resources in ways to improve your lifestyle habits.

Appointments, Prices & Payments

How much is acupuncture?

Your Initial Acupuncture Exam & Treatmentis $105.00 and that includes a full intake exam, diagnosis, treatment plan, and acupuncture treatment. Follow-up treatments or Standard Acupuncture Treatments are $85.00.

Some menopausal transition patients may need to take herbal medicine and supplements for a duration of time along with acupuncture to treat certain symptoms. If so, herbal formulas average $15.00-$25.00 plus tax on an average weekly basis while supplements average $30.00-$75.00 plus tax on an average monthly basis.

Certain patients may choose to only use herbal medicine. Herb Consultations are $45.00, with an additional charge for the herbal formulas.

How can I set up my initial exam and treatment?

You can call us at: 952-935-0600 or schedule an appointment online by clicking on the “BookNow” button located on the main page of our website at: www.sunacupuncturemn.com.

How can I contact Sun Acupuncture?

You can call us at: 952-935-0600 or email us at: info@sunacupucnturemn.com.

How can I contact Dr. Brian Grosam?

Established patients, health professionals, and colleagues can contact Dr. Brian Grosam directly at: brian@sunacupuncturemn.com.

Is acupuncture covered by health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid?

Every insurance provider and plan is unique. If you want to have your acupuncture treatments paid for by insurance, please contact your provider to see if you have acupuncture coverage.

Sun Acupuncture is an “in-network” provider with HealthPartners, Preferred One, Aetna and BCBS. We are “not in-network” with Medica, United Healthcare, MNCare or UCare, however, we can bill them as an out-of-network provider if your plan has that option.

Do I need to consult my physician / gynecologist before having acupuncture?

In most cases, there is no need to consult your primary care physician before starting acupuncture. If you have a special circumstance, health concern, chronic condition or disease, it is best to err on the side of concern. You can contact Dr. Brian Grosam and he can advise you on the best course of action, or consult your primary medical professional.

When will I be charged?

Acupuncture services paid at the time of service. If you are using insurance, you may have a co-insurance, deductible, or office visit co-pay due at the time of service. 

Can I use my Healthcare Savings Account (HSA) to pay for acupuncture?

Yes. Many patients utilize this cost effective way to pay for their acupuncture treatments, herbs, and supplements.

What payment methods do you accept?

We accept: Cash, Check, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.

Safety

What are the side effects of acupuncture?

Acupuncture is generally safe and is performed by the insertion of needles through the skin to specific points on the body to treat bodily dysfunction or disease, to modify or prevent pain, and to normalize the body’s physiological functions. There are always a risk of some side effects including but are not limited to: Bruising, bleeding, muscle weakness or soreness, sensations of heat, cold, tingling or numbness, brief light headedness or fainting, and the possible aggravation of symptoms existing prior to acupuncture treatment. Unusual risks of acupuncture include: Spontaneous miscarriage, nerve damage, and organ puncture, including lung puncture (pneumothorax). Infection is another possible risk, although the clinic uses sterile disposable needles and maintains a clean and safe environment. 

What are the side effects of supplements and herbal medicine?

Herbal formulas and supplements may be recommended to help treat bodily dysfunction or disease, to modify or prevent pain, and to normalize the body’s physiological functions. You are not required to take these substances, but you must follow the directions for administration and dosage if you do decide to take them. 

Herbs and nutritional supplements that have been recommended are traditionally considered safe in the practice of Chinese medicine. Certain adverse side effect may result from taking these substances and could include, but are not limited to: Changes in bowel movement, abdominal pain or discomfort, and the possible aggravation of symptoms existing prior to herbal treatment. Many supplements and herbal formulas may be inappropriate during pregnancy, so please inform Dr, Brian Grosam immediately of your pregnancy status.