Here is the most common TCM pattern in perimenopause

Perimenopause patterns in TCM

Here is the most common TCM pattern in perimenopause.

You might be surprised by the combination of symptoms.

Remember, there is a distinct difference between a medical diagnosis and a TCM pattern. (ICYMI, click here for a quick description.)

I work with patterns – the most common one seen in perimenopause is called Kidney Yin deficiency with Empty Heat.

(***it’s important to read the description below – using the word Kidney here does NOT mean you have an issue with your actual kidneys, okay?)

Kidney Yin Deficiency with Empty Heat

Let me define the words first, then I’ll show you the pattern…


Whenever we refer to organ systems, we write them with a capital letter. The anatomical kidney is a lower case “k” and refers to what we typically think of kidneys.

A capital “K” Kidney refers to a broader energetic system which is more than the two organs at the back of your trunk. It also includes energetics relating to the reproductive system, adrenals, constitution, marrow, brain, bones, hair, teeth, low back, and knees.

Don’t worry about how all those things became related together – it goes all the way back to embryology and how we develop in the womb. Too much to go into right now.


Yin and Yang are ways of describing comparisons in the world, including in our bodies.

For a quick overview of Yin & Yang, click here for my YouTube video where I go over what they are. (The whole video is helpful, but the Yin/Yang description starts at minute 2:50.)

Empty Heat

Yin (cool) keeps Yang (heat) in check. When Yin is deficient, it loses the ability to keep heat in check.

Heat has a tendency to rise, which is why more symptoms are in the upper half of the body

Yin in this pattern primarily refers to form (physical body), moisture, and coolness.

In short, yin is deficient (or waning) which no longer keeps heat in check and allows it to rise up and cause symptoms.

Common menopausal-related symptoms in Kidney Yin Deficiency with Empty Heat

Hot flashes, often worse in the evening
Night sweats
Flushed cheeks
Lower dryness
Irregular or no period

Other possible (seemingly-unrelated) symptoms common in Kidney Yin Deficiency with Empty Heat

Tongue is medium to dark red, no coating or a geographic (patchy) coat, dry, possible cracks.
Pulse sensation varies, for example fine & rapid or deep & weak
More dryness: skin, hair, nails, lips.
Palms, soles and center of chest tend to run warm
DizzynessPerimenopause patterns in TCM
Ear ringing
Low back soreness

The list above is just a general reference – you may not have all of them or you may have different ones not listed.

How is it treated?

Even knowing which pattern is showing, treatment will still vary according to the individual.

I will typically do a combination of acupuncture treatments, herbal or whole food supplements, and essential oils.

The main goal is to nourish and cool the body.

The best part is that anything I offer won’t interfere with any other treatments you’re doing, which makes it easy to add in to your overall wellness plan.

If you recognize this pattern in yourself or someone you know, consider scheduling an acupuncture treatment or herbal consultation. Click here to schedule online.

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I may receive a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you use that link to make a purchase.   See my disclaimer.

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