Acupuncture Improves Hot Flashes

Acupuncture improves hot flashes

Figure 1: Acupuncture Improves Hot Flashes. A new study shows that acupuncture rapidly and significantly improves menopause symptoms. Hot flashes were reduced to 2.4/6 in the treatment group over 6 weeks, a significant improvement compared to 3.8/6 in the control group. Symptoms were measured on a patient-reported scale of 0-6. 70 patients were randomly assigned to acupuncture or a control group. (95CI = -2.3 to -0.8, p < 0.0001)

A new study finds that acupuncture may be helpful in reducing the symptoms of menopause. 70 women were randomly selected to receive either weekly acupucture at the start of the study or a control group that did not receive acupuncture until the end of the study.

Women who received acupuncture in this study reported significant improvements in their menopause symptoms. One of the most significant improvements was seen in hot flashes.

Hot flashes are a common and uncomfortable symptom of menopause. Hot flashes include sudden feelings of heat accompanied by sweating and skin flushing.

On a scale of 0-6, patients who received acupuncture reported a 2.4/6 after 6 weeks compared to a 3.8 in the control group that did not receive acupuncture. This improvement was seen as early as 3 weeks into the study, showing that just 3 treatments may be enough to help many patients.

About Menopause

Menopause typically occurs when a woman reaches her 40s and 50s. Symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, sleep difficulty, mood changes, weight gain, menstrual changes, sexual changes, and vaginal dryness.

Randomized Controlled Trials

Randomized Controlled Trials, such as this study, are considered the gold standard in medical research. In these studies, patients are randomized to either receive an intervention or a control. If performed correctly, the only difference between these groups should be the intervention itself. This minimizes bias and other potential sources of errors.

Source: Efficacy of a standardised acupuncture approach for women with bothersome menopausal symptoms: a pragmatic randomised study in primary care (the ACOM study)

Acupuncture Improves Sleep Symptoms

Acupuncture improves sleep symptoms

Figure 2: Acupuncture Improves Sleep Symptoms. A new study shows that acupuncture rapidly and significantly improves menopause symptoms. At the end of the study, patients who received acupuncture reported a 1.3/6 in their menopause related sleep disturbance compared to 2.9/6 in patients who did not receive acupuncture. Sleep Symptoms were measured on a patient-reported scale of 0-6. 70 patients were randomly assigned to acupuncture or a control group that was treated after 6 weeks. (95CI = -2.7 to -1.0, p < 0.0001)

Patients who received acupuncture also showed a significant improvement in their sleep. Menopause can worsen a woman's sleep by making it harder to fall asleep and/or to stay asleep.

Patients who received acupuncture demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in their self reported sleep. On a scale of 0-6, patients who received acupuncture reported a 1.34/6 compared to 2.94/6 in patients who did not receive acupuncture.

Source: Efficacy of a standardised acupuncture approach for women with bothersome menopausal symptoms: a pragmatic randomised study in primary care (the ACOM study)

Top 3 Symptoms Improved by Acupuncture

Acupuncture improves sleep symptoms

Figure 3: Acupuncture Improves Hot Flashes. A new study shows that acupuncture rapidly and significantly improves menopause symptoms. Patients reported the most significant improvements in their sweating, sleep, and hot flashes. Menopause Symptoms were measured on a patient-reported scale of 0-6. 70 patients were randomly assigned to acupuncture or a control group that was treated after 6 weeks.

Overall, patients reported significant improvements in many of the most common and bothersome symptoms of menopause.

Sweating, similar to sleep and hot flashes, is a common symptom of menopause. Night sweats can get in the way of sleep. Sweating can also accompany hot flashes.

Along with these 3 symptoms, significant improvements were also demonstrated in emotional symptoms and physical symptoms. Patients reported improvements in their skin and hair as well.

Previous Research on Acupuncture and Pain

Acupuncture has demonstrated benefits for multiple types of pain in past clinical trials.

One study found that acupuncture demonstrated similar benefits to medication for treating chronic spinal pain.

However, the highest quality studies have not demonstrated any differences between acupuncture and "sham acupuncture," where patients receive needles at random locations.

Learn More: Night Sweats

Night sweats are a very common and potentially concerning symptom. Most causes are harmless, according to the few available studies on the topic. However, some rarer causes, such as infections and cancer, are potentially dangerous.

Top Causes of Night Sweats