When it comes to treating the hot flashes of menopause, hormone therapy is considered by the medical community to be the most effective form of treatment. But some women, such as breast cancer survivors, are unable to use synthetic hormones. Other women choose not to use hormone treatment because of concern of associated risks or personal preference.
If you’re looking for an effective way to treat hot flashes without the hormones, you may want to consider acupuncture. In recent meta-analysis study, researchers report that acupuncture was effective in reducing the severity and frequency of hot flashes in menopausal women for up to 3 months.
The study appeared in Menopause , the medical journal of the North American Menopause Society. The researchers examined the data from 12 studies that included 869 women between the age of 40 and 60.
While the research confirmed that acupuncture lessened the frequency and severity of hot flashes, it didn’t explain exactly how acupuncture worked to reduce hot flashes. Their theory though, is that the procedure may trigger a reaction in the body that encourages self-temperature regulation (thermoregulation).
Acupuncture is a traditional form of Chinese medicine that is over 2,500 years old. It’s used to treat everything from asthma to headaches, from carpal tunnel to menstrual cramps. The traditional method involves inserting small needles into specific anatomical points along the body as a way to stimulate healing. Other methods of acupuncture (which were also deemed effective in the study) include ear acupuncture, acupressure, electro acupuncture and laser and laser acupuncture.
While some people find acupuncture uncomfortable, acupuncture generally shouldn’t be painful when performed by a well-trained practitioner.
Finding Relief From Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are one of the most bothersome symptoms of menopause, affecting the majority of women during menopause. Night sweats are another form of hot flashes that occur during the sleep cycle. Despite their frequency and prevalence, scientists are still trying to understand what causes hot flashes.
Despite the understanding of the causes of hot flashes, treatment options for women continue to expand. Besides acupuncture and traditional hormone replacement therapy (HRT), some forms of antidepressants are useful in reducing hot flashes. Adjusting lifestyle factors may also help reduce hot flashes.