Hot flashes can be one of the most uncomfortable symptoms of menopause, and so far western medicine has provided no cure.
But there’s hope for sufferers; a new study in the journal Acupuncture in Medicine found that traditional Chinese acupuncture, which treats patients by inserting and manipulating needles in the body, could reduce the severity of hot flashes as well as ease the psychological symptoms of menopause.
Researchers at the Ankara Training and Research Hospital in Ankara, Turkey, divided 53 postmenopausal women into two groups, with 27 receiving traditional acupuncture and the rest given fake acupuncture with blunt needles that didn’t penetrate the skin.
After twice-weekly treatments for 10 weeks, the women receiving actual acupuncture reported significantly reduced hot flashes and mood swings compared with the control group. A study of 260 postmenopausal women by the National Research Centre in Alternative and Complementary Medicine in Tromso, Norway, had similar findings.
Acupuncture May Provide Relief for Menopause Symptoms
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, patients say they’re 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.
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.
Another Natural Remedy That Works:
Increase vitamin E intake
Vitamin E has been linked to reduced severity of hot flashes in menopausal women. In a study conducted at Tarbiat Modarres University in Tehran, Iran, researchers assessed the effects of vitamin E on hot flashes in 54 patients. First, researchers conducted a placebo double blind-controlled trial daily for four weeks, followed by a one-week wash out, and then a 400 IU vitamin E soft gel cap daily for the next four weeks. The findings of the study indicated that when the patients took the vitamin E soft gel cap, there was a reduction in the severity of hot flashes among patients.