Severity of Menopausal Hot Flashes Alleviated With Acupuncture

Posted by Admin on August 17, 2012

Traditional Chinese acupuncture can alleviate the severity of hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause, according to a study published in Acupuncture in Medicine. The effects did not appear to be directly relatable to hormone levels changes that are responsible for causing menopause and its related symptoms.

The authors based their findings on 53 middle aged women who all fell under category of postmenopausal – they had stopped menstruating for a year. Their somatic (hot flashes), urogenital (vaginal dryness), and psychological (mood swings) symptoms were measured using a 5 point (MRS) scale.

Of the participants, 27 received traditional Chinese acupuncture twice a week for 10 weeks, with needles left in position for 20 minutes without any manual or electrical stimulation. The rest were given placebo acupuncture. Prior to the study, estrogen levels, follicular stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormone levels were recorded and again after the first and last acupuncture sessions to determine any changes.

The results revealed that those women who received traditional acupuncture had greatly reduced MRS scores for somatic, psychological, but not urogenital, symptoms at the end of the 10 weeks than their peers given the placebo treatment. The symptom that saw the largest decline in severity was that of hot flashes. Furthermore, the effects of the treatments appeared to be cumulative, with stronger results occurring between the first and last sessions.

The researchers also observed a rise in estrogen levels, while luteinizing hormone levels fell in the Chinese acupuncture group. Low levels of estrogen and high luteinizing hormone and follicular stimulating hormone levels are characteristic of menopause, as ovarian function begins to decline.

However, since there were already differences among the groups in these various hormones to start, there was little in the way of additional evidence to indicate that hormonal changes were themselves responsible for any changes in symptom severity, according to the authors.

The authors suggest that the explanation for the reduced severity of hot flashes might be that acupuncture boosts endorphin production, possibly stabilizing the body’s internal thermostat. The authors caution that their study was small and they did not monitor long-term symptom relief. However they believe that Chinese acupuncture could be a viable alternative to hormone replacement therapy for women struggling to cope with unpleasant menopause symptoms.


Subscribe to our newsletter

Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new stories on

Featured Specialities:

Featured Doctors:

Ferraro Spine & Rehabilitation

Dr. Peter Ferraro, D.C.
Integrative Medical Center Bergen County, NJ

230 Midland Ave
Saddle Brook, NJ 07663

Call: 888-797-1692

Empire Physical Medicine & Pain Management

Dr. Steven S. Moalemi, M.D.
Treatment for Lower Back Pain Manhattan

551 5th Avenue Ste. 525
New York, NY 10176

Call: (888) 898-7795

 Associates in Family Chiropractic & Natural Health Care, P.C.
Physical Therapy Norwalk, Connecticut

156 East Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06851

Call: (203) 838-1555

Optimal Wellness Network

Dr. Damon Noto, MD
Hip, Knee & Shoulder Replacement Alternatives

777 Terrace Avenue, 4th Floor
Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604

Call: 877-412-4838