6 menopause symptoms you can treat with acupuncture

Menopause can make you miserable. But despite the hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, itchy skin, and hair loss, you still might not feel safe turning to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for relief.

Why?

Because there’s evidence HRT increases your risk for breast cancer, ovarian cancer, womb cancer, blood clots, and stroke.

Even in your state of extreme discomfort, it’s hard to justify those risks. So, you tough it out. But you don’t have to.

There’s another way to relieve menopause symptoms that doesn’t involve such high stakes. In fact, researchers believe this may be the best option for women with moderate to severe menopause symptoms who don’t want to (or can’t) try HRT…

Acupuncture.

Acupuncture puts a pin in most menopause symptoms

A new study published in the online journal BMJ Open found that acupuncture can relieve many of the most common (and most annoying) menopause symptoms…

The study included 70 menopausal women. Half of these women received 15-minute, once-per-week standardized Western medical acupuncture sessions for five weeks.

At the end of five weeks, 80 percent of them said the acupuncture relieved their menopause symptoms. More specifically, they noticed a difference in:

  • Hot flashes
  • Excess sweating
  • Mood swings
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Skin problems
  • Hair problems

These results convinced researchers that acupuncture is a realistic treatment option for women who have moderate to severe menopause symptoms who don’t want risky hormone replacement therapy.

So, why not try it?

Treating menopause through acupuncture

You may be wondering…

What is standardized Western medical acupuncture? Is it the same as the traditional Chinese stuff?

The answer is… pretty much.

Related: Natural ways to cope with menopause, part 1

Acupuncture used by professionals in western medicine is adapted from the Chinese version and uses many of the same needle insertion points. Although, some points do vary based on updated knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and pathology.

The biggest difference between Western medical acupuncture and traditional Chinese acupuncture is the belief behind why it works…

In traditional Chinese medicine, practitioners believe acupuncture works by circulating qi (energy). In the Western view, practitioners believe acupuncture works by stimulating the nervous system.

Either way, acupuncture could work for your menopause symptoms. Whether you go to a Western practitioner or someone who follows the traditional Chinese method, make sure to find someone who is trained and experienced.

There are many different types of medical professionals who provide acupuncture, including chiropractors, physicians, doctors of oriental medicine, naturopaths and more.  So, choose the provider you feel most comfortable with. Here’s a list of resources you can use to find a trained acupuncturist near you.

Sources:

  1. Acupuncture may ease troublesome menopausal symptoms — MedicalXpress
  2. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) — National Health Service
  3. Western medical acupuncture: A definitionAcupuncture in Medicine

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Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine, TheFix.com, Hybridcars.com and Seedstock.com.