Acupuncture for Menopause

Here’s the latest on how to relieve the symptoms of menopause. A study out of Turkey finds that acupuncture can help with hot flashes and other uncomfortable symptoms.

The idea of having to lie still for 20 minutes with needles sticking out of you may not appeal to everyone. However it’s something to consider given the controversy over hormone replacement therapy — which can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and breast cancer.

Turkish researchers recruited 53 postmenopausal women and assigned half of them to a five-week course of acupuncture while the other half got sham treatments that they thought were real. Women in the treatment group had needles inserted at 10 acupuncture points, women in the placebo group were treated with blunted needles that didn’t penetrate the skin.

At the end of the study period, the women who got acupuncture showed more relief from their symptoms compared to their counterparts who got the fake treatment. Their hot flashes were less severe. In addition, estrogen levels were significantly higher for the women in the treatment group compared to the controls.

The researchers believe the benefits might have been even greater if the treatment lasted another ten weeks. The results were published in the journal Acupuncture in Medicine.

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