For many women, the journey through menopause can be fraught with various symptoms that can range in severity from mild at one end of the spectrum to debilitating at the other. The menopausal transition is different for every woman and tailored treatments offered by acupuncture can provide significant benefits. Although studies outline more, let’s look at just three of the benefits of using acupuncture to treat menopausal symptoms. 

Hot Flashes

Most people in general (even men) associate hot flashes with menopause. And hot flashes can be one of the most unfortunate and uncomfortable symptoms. However, a 2014 study suggests acupuncture could be the ticket to reducing the severity and frequency of hot flashes.

Hot flashes involve a sensation of heat over all or parts of the body, resulting in redness of the face and neck, as well as red blotches on the arms, back, and chest, accompanied by heavy sweating. Hormone therapy is the most commonly prescribed treatment, but studies have demonstrated an increased risk of stroke, cancer, and heart disease with such treatments.

In a 2016 study, researchers recruited 209 perimenopausal and postmenopausal women aged 45-60 years experiencing four or more vasomotor symptoms (such as hot flashes) per day. These women received up to 20 acupuncture treatments within the first six months. The study concluded that a course of acupuncture treatments led to a significant reduction in vasomotor symptoms and improvement in several quality-of-life measures compared to no acupuncture. Furthermore, the clinical benefit persisted for at least six months beyond the end of treatment.

Depression and Anxiety

Many menopausal women can also suffer from mood disorders like depression and anxiety. A 2013 study found that “acupuncture was ‘promising’ as a therapy for menopausal women with depression.” A quick Google search finds that various studies show that acupuncture can offer relief to a variety of symptoms but is significantly under utilized in clinical practice today.

Poor Sleep and Insomnia

Research also points to acupuncture as a help in dealing with poor sleep and insomnia related to menopause. A 2015 review included 12 studies examining the effectiveness of acupuncture for sleep disorders in post-menopausal women. These dozen studies utilized a variety of treatment protocols, interventions, and various durations of time. But researchers ultimately found that 75% of participants reported improvements in sleep following acupuncture treatment.

As mentioned previously, menopause is unique to each woman. Women who have had children may have a different experience compared to those who have not in terms of type and severity of symptoms. Your acupuncturist will go through a detailed health history and examination to determine your specific needs. You don’t have to accept poor sleep, mood swings, or hot flashes as just something to endure. Talk to your acupuncturist today and explore your options. They can develop a treatment plan that fits your needs and makes the menopause journey a bit less turbulent!