Email Us  |  Corsham: 01249 248392  |  Swindon: 01793 978270  |  Melksham: 01225 704883  |  London: 0207 315 4262

Can acupuncture help with menopause or is it a myth?

For many women, the menopause can be a physically and emotionally challenging time in their lives. Hot flushes, difficulty sleeping, anxiety and headaches are only a few of the symptoms encountered by 8 in every 10 women, according to the NHS. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the main treatment for menopausal symptoms, however a recent study, published in the BMJ Open, suggests that acupuncture may provide a highly effective treatment in reducing menopausal and perimenopausal symptoms.

University of Southern Denmark Trial

The randomised 5-week trial across nine Danish primary health care practices and 70 women with moderate-to-severe menopausal symptoms, concluded that:

“The standardised and brief acupuncture treatment produced a fast and clinically relevant reduction in moderate-to-severe menopausal symptoms during the six-week intervention. No severe adverse effects were reported.

Acupuncture for menopausal symptoms is a realistic option for women who cannot or do not wish to use HRT.”

The study showed reductions in hot flushes, night sweats, sleep disturbances and emotional problems. In the study, the group was split into two, with one group receiving no acupuncture until week 6, and the other group receiving weekly acupuncture treatment via qualified practitioners. All the participants completed a weekly questionnaire, recording the frequency and severity of any symptoms. At the end of the trial, 80% of the women in the acupuncture groups said the acupuncture sessions had benefited them.

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre Study

The Danish trial is not the first time that acupuncture has been linked to the relief of menopausal symptoms. A 2016 study, funded by the US National Institutes of Health, was designed to examine the effect of acupuncture on hot flushes. Participants included 209 perimenopausal and postmenopausal women ages 45 to 60 who had on average at least four hot flashes or night sweats per day.

The study, led by Nancy Avis, PhD, found that during the eight-week trial, 47% of the group receiving acupuncture saw nearly a 50% reduction in hot flushes, with just under 12% reporting an 85% reduction by the end of the study. Avis said:

“Women bothered by hot flashes and night sweats may want to give acupuncture a try as a relatively low-cost, low-risk treatment. Women will know pretty quickly if acupuncture will work for them. Women who had a reduction in their hot flushes saw a benefit beginning after about three to four weeks of weekly treatments.”

Will acupuncture reduce my menopausal symptoms?

Every woman is an individual and no two will have the same physiology or suffer exactly the same symptoms. What is clear from both studies is that a course of acupuncture is a highly effective approach to reducing a variety of menopausal and perimenopausal symptoms, for many women.

The only way you can know for sure if the approach will work for you, providing similar benefits to those women who took part in the studies, is to try a short course of treatment for yourself. We suggest a 4-week programme, keeping a journal of your symptoms and comparing them to those noted prior to the sessions. If the acupuncture is as effective as we believe it will be, an ongoing course of treatment can be agreed and reviewed regularly. The result should be a significant reduction of a wide range of symptoms, bringing an improvement in your quality of life.

How can Carl Todd Clinics help?

We are specialists in providing acupuncture treatment and have a team of qualified professionals that can help. We realise that if you have not used acupuncture before, you may have questions about how long the sessions take, what is involved and yes, about the needles themselves. We have worked with many patients, bringing the benefits of this traditional Chinese medicine approach, and we would be delighted to hear from you, and discuss how we can help. Please get in touch to find out more and book an initial session. We look forward to hearing from you.

Share Post