by Dr. Seema Alavi on August 31, 2011 at 12:38 PM
flushes (also called as hot flashes) are caused due to hormonal changes during
menopause. It is characterized by spreading of intense heat in the upper body
with profuse sweating and rapid heart beat. This can be accompanied by feelings
of nausea, dizziness, headache, anxiety, depression, and feeling of suffocation
or weakness. Hot flushes are very common in menopausal women.
medicine is known to have a long tradition of treating hot flushes quite
effectively. Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine, which aims at
treating or healing the sufferings of the patient by insertion of needles at
specific points. This therapy treats pain, prevents diseases and promotes
health and well-being.
acts on Xi (the inner wind, spirit or energy). It helps in treating hot flushes
and other symptoms in menopausal women.
multicentre, pragmatic, randomized controlled Acuflash study was conducted in
Norway during 2006-07. The study aimed
the efficacy of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) on postmenopausal symptoms.
The participants were given a questionnaire comprising of questions regarding depressed
mood, somatic symptoms, anxiety/fears, vasomotor symptoms, sleep problems,
sexual behavior, menstrual symptoms, memory/concentration, and attractiveness.
objective of the study was to compare the efficacy of acupuncture along with
self-care against self-care alone in treating hot flushes and postmenopausal
About 267 women with menopause participated in the
study. Around 134 of them were given 10 acupuncture treatments by a qualified
acupuncturist and advised on self-care. The remaining 133 women in the control
group were given advice on self-care only.
the treatment session, no complications like fainting or bleeding were
reported. However one skin reaction, one unacceptable bruising and five cases
of unacceptable pain were noted. In comparison to conventional medications,
acupuncture produced no harmful side-effects.
conclusion drawn from the Acuflash study was that the point selection and
factors other than the diagnoses of TCM syndrome may affect the final outcome
of the treatment. The study showed that treatment with acupuncture along with
self-care contributed significantly to the reduction of hot flushes in
no serious adverse events, acupuncture proves to be a promising alternative
therapy for treating hot flushes.
treatment for postmenopausal hot flushes (Acuflash) study: traditional Chinese
medicine diagnoses and acupuncture points used, and their relation to the
treatment response; Einar Kristian et al; Acupuncture in Medicine; 27:101-108