Kampo, Japanese Traditional Medicine, And Menopause

Author

Gregory A. Plotnikoff, University of Minnesota, Division of General Medicine MMC, 194 420 Delware Street Se Minneapolis, 55455 USA

Proceeding

1st International Conference & Exhibition on Women's Health & Asian Traditional (WHAT) Medicine

Date

23/8/2005

Keyword

menopouse, kampo, Japanese traditional medicine, hot flushes

Abstract

Menopause (konenki) in Japan is experienced differently than in Western cultures. For example, leading symptoms, including hiesho and katakori, have no equivalents in Western cognition. Hot flushes may be experienced less frequently. And the other frequently experienced significant symptoms have no correlation with hormonal levels and do not respond to hormonal therapies. Kampo, traditional Japanese herbal medicine, includes a number of formulas which address menopause symptoms that may be of interest to non-Japanese women. However, history, diagnosis and treatments within the Kampo tradition are distinctly different than Western approaches. These may reflect the Japanese culture’s priority for the subjective/non-quantifiable aspects of human experience and may not easily translate across cultures. However, Kampo’s emphasis on the intuitive/qualitative approach to health concerns represents a significant counter-balance to the Western preference for quantifiable, objective and non-intuitive approaches. As such, through the study of Kampo, significant new insights and advances in women's health might be possible. This presentation will draw upon the presenter’s clinical experience in both Japan and the United States. Specific reference will be made to the cultural, epistemological and methodological challenges identified in the current clinical trial in post-menopausal American women of the Kampo formula entitled TU-025 Keishi Bukuryo Gan.