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Friday, March 9, 2012

[AlternativeAnswers] New Study Finds Acupuncture Curbs Severity of Hot Flashes


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New Study Finds Acupuncture Curbs Severity of Hot Flashes

Research Finds Traditional Chinese Needle Therapy Provides Relief for Menopause

By Linsay Davis and Jennifer Metz

Many women are willing to try anything to get rid of the dreaded hot flashes and
mood swings associated with menopause.

The study, conducted by the Ankara Training and Research Hospital in Ankara,
Turkey, concluded that acupuncture, which treats patients by inserting and
manipulating needles in the body, curbs the severity of hot flashes and other
menopausal symptoms, largely related to mood.

The authors based their findings on the experience of 53 postmenopausal women.
The participants measured their symptoms using a 5-point scale before and after

Twenty-seven of the women received traditional Chinese acupuncture for 20
minutes, twice a week for 10 weeks. The rest thought they were given acupuncture
treatment, but the needles didn't actually penetrate the skin.

The women who received real acupuncture showed significant drops in the severity
of their hot flashes -- and that's not just true of women in this study.

Jacqui Danilow said she turned to acupuncture to ease her hot flashes that would
come on with no warning.

"Suddenly, you are very warm and you think the thermostat has gone up inside
your body and you never know why it happens or what causes it," she said.

Weekly acupuncture treatments "were like a miracle," Danilow said. She rated the
severity of her hot flashes at a "10" before her treatment -- after four months,
they were a "3."

Dr. Arya Nielsen from the Beth Israel Medical Center Department of Integrative
Medicine said acupuncture, which she has been performing for 35 years, is
effective for women who are having menopausal symptoms -- and can help provide

"I think women experience fewer hot flashes and less intensity when they have
hot flashes, so it returns the quality of life," she said. "This is very

Nielsen said that after a series of treatments, women experiencing menopausal
symptoms generally "start to feel much more relaxed -- the anxiety is also
associated with hot flashes."

By the second or third treatment, she said, patients come in and say, "Actually
I'm not hot flashing during the day anymore, maybe a couple at night, and then
that starts to decline as well."

Menopause is the latest use of the 2,000 year-old Chinese tradition -- it's
already being used to reduce symptoms related to arthritis, back, neck, knee and
shoulder pain, and anxiety.

At the Mayo Clinic, acupuncture is part of the standard of care for all patients
in the Joint Replacement Center. Doctors there are also involved in their own
trial of the benefits of acupuncture for hot flashes.

Researchers suggest the reason why acupuncture may work for women suffering from
hot flashes is that the treatment is able to boost the production of endorphins
and that could help stabilize body temperature.

Authors of this study caution that their sample size was very small, and they
did not follow up with patients after treatment, so they do not know if the
positive effects of acupuncture continue.

Andrew Pacholyk, MS, L.Ac
Purveyors of Healthy Qi
New York, New York

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