Are hot flushes, mood swings, weight gain or insomnia driving you crazy? The transition into menopause can range from uncomfortable to unbearable, depending on how well your body copes with the changes that occur.
One option that many women turn to for symptomatic relief is acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Let’s take a look at whether acupuncture can help to relieve your symptoms during perimenopause and menopause.
Why do symptoms occur around menopause?
The body is changing the balance of hormones, which has a ripple effect throughout the body. If there is an imbalance in hormones, mild symptoms can become debilitating.
Remember that menopause is a natural part of your body’s journey. We can’t prevent menopause or fast-forward through it. All we can do is make it as smooth of a transition as possible.
Can acupuncture help with menopause?
Every woman is unique in her symptoms and journey with menopause. We can’t say that every woman with menopausal symptoms can benefit from acupuncture! However, there is some evidence that suggests acupuncture could relieve some of the symptoms associated with menopause.
One Australian study found that women who received acupuncture reported a 40% improvement in severity and frequency after 8 weeks of treatment and continued to benefit for 6 months afterwards.
However, the control group that received sham acupuncture (blunt needles) also reported the same improvements. The researchers suggested that this could be because sham acupuncture has a mild effect on stimulating the same nerves. Other studies have found similar benefits for acupuncture and hot flushes.
Some studies have looked at another common symptom associated with menopause – insomnia. Several trials have found improvement in sleep quality and quantity. Literature reviews found similar benefits but did caution that more research is required to confirm the benefits.
One of the most extensive research reviews of acupuncture is The Acupuncture Evidence Project. This study looked at 122 conditions and whether there was evidence to support acupuncture as effective for these conditions.
Overall, the researchers found weak positive evidence for menopause. It was also found that there were positive effects for perimenopausal and postmenopausal insomnia and menopausal hot flushes, but more research was needed to draw firm conclusions.
Is acupuncture a safe and effective treatment for menopause?
The research is still in early stages when it comes to menopause and acupuncture. It may be used to manage symptoms related to menopause such as pain, fatigue and stress.
Some studies suggest that it may be useful for managing insomnia and hot flushes related to menopause, but more research is needed to confirm this benefit.
Acupuncture is generally considered to be safe, but as with all health treatments, adverse reactions may occur in some individuals. If you’re unsure whether acupuncture is appropriate for your symptoms or concerns, contact us directly to have a chat.
Our approach to managing menopause symptoms
At Burnett House, we take an integrative approach to treating and managing the symptoms of menopause. Jamie offers acupuncture to help with pain, fatigue and stress, while Trish can offer herbs, supplements, diet and lifestyle advice to minimise symptoms.
If you’re suffering from menopausal symptoms, we’re here to help. To book an appointment with Jamie or Trish at our Bundaberg clinic, call us on (07) 41522372