Acupuncture for Menopause Hot FlashesAccording to a new study, women who suffer from hot flashes and other uncomfortable symptoms of menopause may be able to find relief through acupuncture. These symptoms plague menopausal women and usual therapy for it is hormone replacement therapy but that has its own problems including an increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and breast cancer.
Turkish researchers recruited 53 postmenopausal women and assigned 27 of them to a five-week course of acupuncture (twice a week for 20 minutes at a time) and 26 of them got sham treatments that they thought were real. The real acupuncture group got pierced with the needles at 10 acupuncture points while the sham group got poked with blunted needles that did not penetrate the skin.
Results showed that at the end of the study period, the women who got acupuncture showed more relief from their symptoms compared to their counterparts who got the fake treatment. Their hot flashes were less severe (there was no change for women who got the sham treatment). Both groups had improvements in their psychological symptoms (as measured by the Menopause Rating Scale), though the benefit was much greater for women who got acupuncture.
n addition, estrogen levels were significantly higher for the women in the treatment group compared to the controls. There were no differences between the two groups in terms of vaginal dryness and urinary tract infection. Had there been more than 10 sessions, the benefits of acupuncture might have been even greater, the researchers said. The results were published online March 7th in the journal Acupuncture in Medicine.