The latest alternative treatment to receive validation from medical experts with regards to reducing the frequency of menopause symptoms is acupuncture. Medical experts have maligned acupuncture over the years, mostly because of a lack of notable scientific research to support the claims being made by practitioners.
Acupuncture hails from China. A common facet of medicine in Asia within which certain points on the body are stimulated using needles that are inserted through the skin, acupuncture has gained enthusiastic interest in the modern society. The fact that the practice doesn’t attract any notable complications or side effects explains its popularity.
Menopausal women can take heart knowing that acupuncture has the power to reduce hot flashes, night sweats and the various other symptoms that make life a little more difficult.
This study into acupuncture and its benefits for menopausal women was led by Nancy Avis, a professor of public science at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical center in Winston-Salem.
The research, which was published in the Menopause journal, admitted that acupuncture didn’t work for all women. Rather, it was shown that the practice could reduce the frequency of menopause symptoms in over a third of the women that were exposed to it, with the results lasting an estimated six months after the end of the treatment.
The term refers to a state where a woman’s menstrual periods begin to gradually diminish before stopping altogether. Menopause causes hormonal changes that result in symptoms of which hot flashes are the most common.
Professor Avis’ study observed over 200 women between the ages of 45 and 60. These are women who had not had menstrual periods for at least three months and who experienced hot flashes and night sweats.
The women were randomly separated into two groups. One group received acupuncture for two periods lasting six months each. The second group didn’t receive acupuncture for the first six months, only undertaking the practice in the second six-month period.
Participants were expected to record the frequency and severity of their menopausal symptoms every day.
After the first six months period, the women in the first group experienced 36 percent fewer hot flashes in any given day while women in the second group noticed a 6 percent drop in the number of hot flashes. These figures changed to 29.4 percent and 31 percent for the first and second group respectively a year later.
The study doesn’t exactly prove that the reduction in the frequency of hot flashes is a result of the acupuncture, with professor Avis admitting that additional research was necessary to ensure that less specific elements didn’t factor into the reduction. However, the study gives acupuncture some much-needed credence with regards to its ability to treat menopausal symptoms.