A new study shows that acupuncture significantly reduces the incidence of hot flashes associated to menopause. Hot flashes and night sweats are some of the most common symptoms of the menopause. Almost 80% of women will get them at some point, sometimes lasting up to 10 years or more. According to their severity, they can consistently affect quality of life by interfering with sleep and mental wellbeing. Hormone therapy is currently the most effective treatment for hot flashes, but unfortunately is linked to health risks and side effects, and therefore more women are seeking alternatives. The effectiveness of acupuncture in decreasing frequency and severity of hot flashes has been documented before. One of the most relevant studies focused on women receiving hormonal therapy for breast cancer, published online in 2016 by the Journal of Clinical Oncology. You can read the abstract here.
Another study published in the journal Menopause, included 209 women ages 45 to 60, who were going through or had recently gone through menopause. All women had at least four hot flashes or night sweats per day, on average. They were separated into two groups, one of them having 20 acupuncture treatments over 6 months. After eight weeks, which equaled about eight acupuncture treatments on average., 47% of the women in the acupuncture group reported a 47% reduction in hot flashes and 12% reported a major reduction (85%) in symptoms. After a year, the treatment group reported having 29.4 percent fewer hot flashes than before treatment, suggesting the benefits persisted for 6 months after treatment ceased. The participants also reported an improvement in other conditions associated with the menopause, i.e. anxiety and depression. You can read about the study here.
Acupuncture safely treats hot flashes by balancing hormonal activity without side-effects. In Chinese medicine terms, the treatmentI focuses on reducing excessive heat while nourishing the Yin aspect of the body, that naturally decreases during the menopause.