Acupuncture has been used to treat menopause hot flashes. Questions on whether, why and how that works have been around in the western medical community for a long time. Even with the researchers conducted so far, these topics may still go on. Science is a study to explain the phenomena with existing human knowledge. However, for normal people, they care whether acupuncture or similar needling work on them more than how that works. Yes, acupuncture works. However, with people who want to know maximum benefits, they may be interested in knowing some research results.
First, choosing where to needle and how to needle is a big question. Unlike western medicine which has clear documentation, Chinese medicine is knowledge and experience science, with so many points documented and undocumented(such knowledge are found through experience by the practitioner), researchers have to use those points and procedures documented in textbooks.
Since the result can vary among different practitioners, what we currently find in researches are done by an average level practitioner or even western trainer acupuncturist/dry needle-like.
With these in mind, let us look at hot flush researches on acupuncture.
In research done by scientists at Duke University “Acupuncture in Menopause study: a pragmatic, randomized controlled trial Avis NE, et al. Menopause. 2016.”
OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to evaluate the short and long-term effects of acupuncture on vasomotor symptoms (VMS) and quality of life-related measures.
CONCLUSIONS: We found that a course of acupuncture treatments was associated with significant reduction in VMS, and several quality-of-life measures, compared with no acupuncture, and that clinical benefit persisted for at least 6 months beyond the end of treatment.
In University of Melbourne study, funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council and supported by Jean Hailes for Women’s Health, researchers find traditional treatments are no different from their “fake equivalents”. It was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Remember its first CONCLUSION: women who received both the real and sham treatments reported a 40 percent improvement in the severity and frequency of their hot flushes at the end of eight weeks of treatment.
In a surprise twist, this is already a tremendous result. Better than pills which have side effects. Go for acupuncture! or sham treatment alike.
In the second CONCLUSION: “In Chinese medicine, there are many ways to stimulate acupuncture points including skin penetration with needles and techniques like acupressure and Chinese massage,” researcher, Dr. Ee says. “So sham acupuncture does a have a mild effect, given the blunt needles still stimulate nerves in the skin, albeit not as intensely as real needles.”
As an acupuncturist, I am very pleased with such a result. As I point out in the beginning of this blog, the selections of acupuncturists, points, and protocols are highly controversial for acupuncture research. The results already give the answer on whether stimulation in or on human body works for alleviating hot flashes.
In another blog, I will talk about herbs remedy of Chinese Medicine for hot flashes .