The Chinese medicine acupuncture has been one of the most preferred treatment for menopausal hot flashes. But a recent study has showed that this technique may not be an ideal treatment.
A study published in the Journal Annals of Internal Medicine
was led by Dr. Carolyn Ee of the University of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia, who is a trained acupuncture physician. She and her colleagues examined 327 women over the age 40 in late menopause or post-menopause reporting at least seven moderate hot flashes daily.
‘Chinese medicine acupuncture is not superior to sham acupuncture for women with moderately severe menopausal hot flashes.’
Half of the participants were given acupuncture for eight weeks while other with sham acupuncture that does not involve needle insertion. At the end of the treatment, they found that 16% of participants in the acupuncture group and 13% in the sham group were lost to follow-up. But both groups improved by about 40 percent at the end of the treatment.
"The answer seems to be that needling makes no difference, although the overall effect of seeing a therapist regularly and having blunt stimulation of the skin does improve hot flushes," Ee said.
"I would recommend that women consider all their options, be presented with the evidence, and decide accordingly. If they wish to continue having acupuncture, they need to be very clear that our findings show that the needling itself does not make any difference," she added.
Reference: Carolyn Ee, Charlie Xue et al. "Acupuncture for Menopausal Hot Flashes: A Randomized Trial," Annals of Internal Medicine