If you’ve been putting up with annoying hot flashes and night sweats going through menopause, here’s something you may want to consider… Acupuncture.
A recent study tells us about the potential benefits of acupuncture for menopausal women. They’re finding acupuncture reduces hot flashes and night sweats.
Is this something new? Not at all… it’s just that alternate forms of medicine are getting a well-deserved, second look today.
Before I tell you more about the results of the study, let’s briefly talk about “Acupuncture”. What is it and why would you want to use it?
As you probably know, acupuncture has been around for a “little while”. To be more specific, it’s been around well over 2,000 years (that’s 2,000 years of recorded history).
Does Acupuncture Really Work?
At times people question if acupuncture really works…
I don’t know about you… but something thriving for over 2,000 years, there has to be something to it!
Granted, I’m a bit biased. I’ve been using acupuncture over 35 years as a consumer and have been a practitioner of acupuncture over 20 years.
So as far as I am concerned – it works.
Acupuncture uses very fine, stainless steel needles that are inserted at certain points on the body… acupuncture points. Contrary to popular belief, these needles don’t hurt. However, at times they can be experienced as uncomfortable.
Acupuncture Is A Part Of Asian Medicine
Acupuncture is part of a larger body of medicine – Traditional Chinese Medicine or Asian Medicine. So when you get treated by an acupuncturist, your condition is assessed, diagnosed, and treated using the principles of Asian Medicine
Acupuncture treats a wide variety of conditions, amongst them night sweats and hot flashes. It’s safe to use and has no negative side effects like so many drugs do. As an added bonus, you’ll feel relaxed after an acupuncture treatment… so what’s not to like?
But let’s get back to the study I mentioned earlier. This study found acupuncture treatment to lower the frequency of hot flashes for 50% of women:
The National Institutes of Health-funded study was designed to examine different patterns of responses to acupuncture. Participants included 209 perimenopausal and postmenopausal women ages 45 to 60 who had on average at least four hot flashes or night sweats per day. Women were randomized to receive up to 20 acupuncture treatments within six months or to a control group.
Of the 170 women who received acupuncture, a small group of women (11.9 percent) had an 85 percent reduction in hot flashes by the eighth week of the study, Avis said. Forty-seven percent of the study group reported a 47 percent reduction over this same time frame. However, 37 percent showed only a minimal reduction of 9.6 percent in frequency of hot flashes, while 4 percent reported a 100 percent increase in hot flashes.
If you’d like to read the entire article, you can go here to get more detail.
Here Is What You Can Do
As you’re going through menopause, putting up with night sweats and hot flashes, getting acupuncture is a valuable treatment. But don’t overlook what you can do on your own.
- Pay attention to what you take in… avoid sweets and high fats. Eat lots of fresh greens. Stay away from too much caffeine and alcohol, particularly before going to bed.
- Exercise regularly… go for a walk, take a swim. Get on your bike. It will keep your heart healthy and your bones strong.
- Manage stress… stress can make menopausal symptoms worse (and who needs that). Try gardening, yoga, tai chi, or meditation.
- Consider adding supplements and herbs to your diet.
And of course, give acupuncture a go.
If you want to know more about acupuncture and Asian medicine, or perhaps find a practitioner, I recommend you start with two organizations.
- The NCCAOM – it’s the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. The NCCAO tests and licenses our profession. There is a lot of information and a database of Asian Medicine providers throughout the US.
- The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. You’ll find acupuncture information, research and more.