Acupuncture can be really helpful in the management of menopausal symptoms and I see many women in my clinic who find they have fewer hot flashes and sleep better when they have regular acupuncture treatment.
Current research supports my own clinical experience. For example, earlier in 2018 a meta-analysis (a study of all the available research) showed that acupuncture reduced hot flashes in menopausal women. Not only did they occur less often but they were also less severe. People who received acupuncture also reported having better health-related quality of life compared to those who did not receive acupuncture.1
The Acupuncture in Menopause study looked at 209 peri-menopausal or post-menopausal women and whether they had any change in hot flashes (vasomotor symptoms) during the first 8 weeks of acupuncture. They found that almost half the women found that their hot flashes reduced by half, and 12% of women reported that their symptoms had dropped by a massive 85%.2
Another study found that the benefits of acupuncture in terms of significantly reduced hot flashes and improved quality of life, compared with no acupuncture, persisted for at least 6 months beyond the end of treatment. They found that women received the most benefit after at least eight acupuncture treatments.3
Many women find that their sleep becomes disturbed during the menopause with obvious effects on their ability to function during the day. A study published in the journal Sleep showed that acupuncture can be really beneficial for insomnia in peri-menopausal women, with the acupuncture group having better quality sleep and sleeping for longer periods.4
The improvements in menopause-related sleep problems seen with acupuncture may be due to that fact that, compared with those not having acupuncture, women receiving acupuncture had significant increases in the secretion of serum estradiol, as well as a reduction in the secretion of serum follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone.5
So if you are having hot flashes or trouble sleeping then why not give acupuncture a try?
- Befus D, et al. J Altern Complement Med.2018 Jan 3. doi: 10.1089/acm.2016.0408.
- Avis NE, et al. Menopause.2017 Feb;24(2):171-179.
- Avis NE, et al. Menopause.2016 Jun;23(6):626-37.
- Fu C, et al. Sleep.2017 Nov 1;40(11).
- Chiu HY et al. Obstet Gynecol.2016 Mar;127(3):507-15.