Acupuncture for hot flashes? Don’t sweat it! Research shows acupuncture reduces hot flashes. Women in menopause may needlessly suffer through hot flashes and other uncomfortable symptoms such as vaginal dryness, irritability, and weight gain. I treat menopausal symptoms regularly at my Downingtown acupuncture office with great success!
An acupuncture study for hot flash symptom relief was reported on Web MD. The study suggests acupuncture may be useful to reduce hot flashes and psychological symptoms associated with menopause. Turkish researchers studied 53 postmenopausal women. Half of the women received traditional acupuncture treatment. The remainder were treated with “sham” acupuncture needles that were blunted and did not penetrate the skin. They measured the severity of hot flashes, vaginal dryness, urinary symptoms, mood swings, and other symptoms before and after treatment. Estrogen and other hormone levels were measured before the study and after the first and last acupuncture sessions in both groups.
Women in the acupuncture group were treated twice a week for 10 sessions from an experienced and licensed acupuncturist. Those in the ‘sham’ treatment group were treated with at the same acupuncture points with non penetrating, blunted needles. The women who received real acupuncture had significantly lowered menopausal symptoms after 10 weeks, compared to those in the non acupuncture – sham treatment group.
Relief included a reduction in the severity of hot flashes and psychological symptoms. The severity of urogenital symptoms — such as vaginal dryness and urinary symptoms — was not significantly different in the traditional acupuncture group than in the sham acupuncture group after 10 weeks. Hormone levels improved, including estrogen levels. The researchers say reduced severity of hot flashes may have occurred because acupuncture boosts production of endorphins, which may stabilize the temperature control system of the body.
Although the study was small, the results were promising for women who are seeking alternative treatment for relief of menopause symptoms. The study is published in the journal Acupuncture in Medicine.