It’s a problem that most middle-aged women dread. Menopause. While it’s pretty great to no longer have to get your period, menopause is associated with a slew of unpleasant symptoms due to hormonal changes, including hot flashes and night sweats. These symptoms make it harder to sleep, which can in turn lead to moodiness and lack of productivity the following day.
A recent study found that acupuncture may help reduce the frequency of night sweats and hot flashes during menopause.
Conducted at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the study was published in the journal Menopause. Two hundred nine women between the ages of 45 and 50 who had not had their period for at least 3 months and who had, on average, at least four hot flashes or night sweats per 24-hour period in the previous two weeks were recruited.
Participants were randomly assigned to either the treatment group, in which they received acupuncture treatment for the first 6 months and then were followed for an additional 6 months, or the control group, in which they did not receive acupuncture in the first 6 months but did receive it in the second 6 months. Each participant was allowed up to 20 sessions with licensed, experienced practitioners during their 6-month time slot, and was able to choose the frequency with which she received treatment.
In the first 6 months, the treatment group reported 36.7% fewer hot flashes per day compared to when they first started treatment, whereas the control group reported an increase of 6%. After a year, the treatment group reported having 29.4% fewer hot flashes before they started, suggesting that the benefits last for 6 months after treatment. After receiving treatment in the second 6 months, the control group experienced a 31% reduction in hot flashes.
In addition to fewer hot flashes and night sweats, those in the treatment group reported more improvements in quality of life measures compared to the control group.
While the study cannot prove that acupuncture caused reduction in symptoms, it demonstrates promising evidence about the benefits of acupuncture.
If you are experiencing hot flashes, night sweats, or any other chronic conditions and are seeking acupuncture services in the Boulder area, contact Marchand Orthopedic Acupuncture today.
Paddock, Catharine. (2016). Acupuncture reduces hot flashes, night sweats in menopause. Medical News Today.