Can Acupuncture Help Ease Your Menopause Symptoms?
Menopause symptoms affect your mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. They have the power to alienate you from every aspect of your life you considered to be normal in the era leading up to menopause, and to throw you into the ravine of menopausal depression and weight gain, amongst others. Some menopause symptoms can be cured, others managed, the rest, you might have to adjust your lifestyle to accommodate. While there are a number of ways in which these menopause symptoms can be managed, the remedies are far from perfect. In fact most of them come with their own set of side effects.
A number of women opt for hormone replacement therapy (HRT). They might find it quite effective in reducing menopause symptoms caused due to a fall in the production of oestrogen and progesterone in your body that leads to a hormonal imbalance. However HRT can come with it’s own set of side effects that just swaps one misery for the other. HRT is known to increase the risk of breast cancer in women among other things. Due to this the popularity that it enjoyed when it was first introduced has ever since seen a decline.
The next step on your adventure to find the elusive land of menopause symptom relief, are non hormonal therapies. However they come with their own set of pesky side effects such as sleep disturbance, nausea, dizziness, hot flushes, cold flushes, night sweats, depression, irritability and anxiety. A little ironic to opt for products that might cause the same symptoms they might claim to treat or reduce. Due to this most women might prefer opting for remedies that do not involve hormones or pharmaceuticals.
The alternative treatment comes in the form of acupuncture, riding in with full armour on a white horse, ready to protect you from the evil of menopause symptoms. With its benefits sprawled across history, the chinese being their primary propo nents, and a number of people advocating it’s benefits, acupuncture is up there with modern medicine in leading the war against menopause symptoms.
Acupuncture is thought to help reduce cancer side effects, depression, epilepsy, schizophrenia, chronic pain and epilepsy. Although the level of success you might achieve due to this might vary from person to person. There have been a number of studies conducted to ascertain the success of using acupuncture for treating menopause symptoms such as weight gain, hot flushes, etc.
Acupuncture for menopause relief has been studied by researchers all over the world. The most prominent of those studies conducted by researchers from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and the University of South Denmark, Odenseled. Regardless of the amount of research conducted on acupuncture treatment for menopause symptoms, the evidence to support its usefulness remains obscure.
Does Acupuncture Help
To Treat The Menopause Symptom Of Hot Flushes?
Hot flushes remain the bane of the existence of every woman going through the slow roast of menopause. It rears its ugly head during perimenopause and continues to haunt you for years afterwards. More than 75% of women going through menopause become victim to it. Hot flushes, if you haven’t met this bitch before, is the feeling of being set on fire from the inside out without any apparent causes or environmental factors contributing to it.
A study was conducted on a group of 70 women going through menopause and suffering from menopause symptoms, predominantly from hot flushes. The group was divided into two groups. The first group were subjected to acupuncture for 15 minutes per week. This went on for 5 weeks. The acupuncturists were well qualified professionals with at least 15 years of experience under their belt. The second group were not subjected to any change.
They were then given a questionnaire to rate their menopause symptoms. They had to fill this questionnaire 6 times. First, before the study began, then after the 3rd, 6th, 8th, 11th and 26th week consecutively. The questionnaire focused on menopause symptoms such as hot flushes, insomnia, mental changes and dry vagina and skin problems.
The results of the study saw a distinct decrease in hot flushes reported by the first group after just 3 weeks. After 6 weeks, 80% of the women were convinced acupuncture provided them with sweet menopause relief from hot flushes, night sweats, insomnia, mood swings, and skin and hair problems amongst other menopause symptoms.
While the study shed light on the various benefits of using acupuncture to treat menopause symptoms, the number of participants and the time the study was conducted for, were both pretty limited. In addition to this it is possible that placebo might have a heavy hand in swaying the results. Since we do not have a proper way in which to assess if the results are due to acupuncture’s benefits for menopause symptoms or if they are caused due to a placebo effect, we have to take the findings with a grain of salt. It is also noticed that when a subject gets focused attention from the acupuncturist, as opposed to just taking a pill, the placebo effect is heightened. The interaction with the person performing the acupuncture might also add to the placebo effect as their views on acupuncture as menopause treatment might colour the views of the subjects.
One way around this problem was thought to be sham acupuncture. In order to render placebo ineffective, one group could be subjected to acupuncture in which the needles are not put in the right acupuncture points meant to provide relief or to just make the individual think they have the acupuncture needles in the skin but not actually pierce through. The subjects will not be able to tell the difference and might end up giving comparatively more solid feedback than the former study. However this method is also not without its faults. It does not render placebos completely obsolete as it is not the same study, but merely two different studies testing two types of acupuncture. So it’s results cannot be stated as absolute facts for or against acupuncture treatment for menopause.
Since it is not a proper science, acupuncture used for perimenopause and menopause symptoms will always have it’s own set of placebo problems. The fact that the results experienced due to acupuncture can be easily achieved by alternative methods make the studies even more obscure. Relaxation is a key component of acupuncture that can be achieved by indulging in activities like meditation or a walk in the park, or listening to soothing music. A lifestyle change that takes into consideration the added needs of your body can also help relieve your menopause symptoms. Cutting back on alcohol, using lube to ignite your sex life and how to love your body during menopause, are some of the ways you can retain a sense of normalcy and happiness while standing knee deep in menopause symptoms.
The point, however, stands that does it really matter if you get relief either through placebo or actual effective acupuncture if you’re one of the women who have become a victim of menopause symptoms? Acupuncture does not have any side effects, so it can be tried by one and all. If you do find relief by acupuncture for your perimenopause and menopause symptoms, puncture away! In this case, the road taken does not matter. Only the destination!