Acupuncture for Hot Flashes and Other Menopause Complaints
There are two types of menopause transitions that I typically see. For some women, it’s relatively smooth sailing. For others, it’s a frenzy of heat, sweating, irritability, insomnia, mood swings and feeling completely fed up. For some, these symptoms only last a year or two. Others feel like they’ve been dealing with these symptoms for years after their period stopped.
I like using acupuncture as a tool to help women with these symptoms. Several studies have shown that acupuncture makes hot flashes less intense and less frequent. Some studies show that even after you stop acupuncture, the benefits continue.
You may be wondering, if acupuncture helps women, why isn’t every perimenopausal and menopausal woman doing it? It seems like some women benefit a lot from acupuncture, and some don’t benefit as much.
One study found that one group of women noticed an 85% reduction of hot flashes. A larger group of women (about half) notice a 50% reduction of hot flashes. And then there was a group of women who only noticed a 10% reduction of hot flashes initially but this later went up to 23%.
This same study tried to figure out why there was such a wide variety of responses to the acupuncture. It concluded that women who benefited from acupuncture for hot flashes had sessions more often. They had roughly 8-9 sessions within the first 8 weeks. The study also found that women with more severe hot flashes tended to respond better to acupuncture.
So, more sessions increases your chance of success. Also, I like to increase the odds of success by adding certain herbal remedies, nutritional supplements, diet and lifestyle changes to the treatment plan.
Acupuncture also does a good job of improving other symptoms beyond hot flashes that go hand in hand with perimenopause and menopause like depression, anxiety, irritability, insomnia and pain. As a naturopathic doctor who focuses on mental health, that’s always exciting to see!
You don’t have to suffer through your menopause. You have far better things to do than worrying about your next hot flash or bout of anxiety. Get the support you need to thrive during this transition.
Dr. Samantha Dass is currently a naturopathic doctor working at Holland Landing Health Centre in East Gwillimbury, Ontario, which services Holland Landing, Newmarket, Aurora, Keswick and Bradford areas. If you are interested in naturopathic services please contact Holland Landing Health Centre at 905-853-7900 or via e-mail at [email protected]