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Clincal Evidence Supports Acupuncture As A Safe Alternative Treatment For Menopausal Symptoms.

Updated: Sep 28, 2018

An umbrella review from Duke Clinical Research Institute that was a comprehensive assessment of previous systematic reviews and randomised controlled trials has found that women who received acupuncture had less frequent and less severe vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause than women who did not have acupuncture. The women who had acupuncture also reported improved health-related quality of life.

Women seeking acupuncture for the relief of menopausal symptoms may suffer from a variety of symptoms that may present in a configuration that is unique to them. One of the strengths of acupuncture is that each treatment is tailored to the individual.

Common symptoms of menopause are hot flushes, night sweats, reduced libido, mood swings, depression, painful intercourse, fibrocystic lumps, osteoporosis, muscle spasm, forgetfulness, heart palpitations, loss of bladder control, frequent urination, joint pains, allergies, high cholesterol, and dizziness.

Although this is a natural phase in a woman’s life, western medicine considers menopause a condition requiring treatment. It is considered that due to the fact that the ovaries stop producing oestrogen, women at this stage will be therefore deficient. What is important to acknowledge and reassuring for women going through menopause, is that the body is no longer preparing to conceive, therefore does not need the same level of oestrogen.

Acupuncture may help reduce symptoms of the menopause and perimenopause by:

{i} regulating serum estradiol, follicle stimulating hormone and luteotrophic hormone (Xia 2008);

(ii) increasing relaxation and reducing tension (Samuels 2008). Acupuncture can alter the brain's mood chemistry, reducing serotonin levels (Zhou 2008) and increasing endorphins (Han, 2004) and neuropeptide Y levels (Lee 2009), which can help to combat negative affective states.

(iii) stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues, which leads to release of endorphins and other neurohumoral factors, and changes the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord (Pomeranz, 1987, Zijlstra 2003, Cheng 2009).

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