Leaping into a furnace is how some menopausal women describe “hot flashes.” Acupuncture for hot flashes may help alleviate the unpleasant symptoms that may include an intense feeling of heat, rapid heartbeat, and profuse sweating. As if those weren’t lovely enough, there is also the possible headaches, nausea, anxiety and dizziness that can go along with the hot flashes. For simple ways to find relief, click here.
Acupuncture is a technique in which specific points on the body are stimulated by inserting thin needles into the skin by a skilled practitioner. In Chinese medicine, acupuncture is intended to affect the life-energy, called Chi, that runs through the body along specific pathways.
Small Study Proves Promising
A small study published in the Acupuncture in Medicine journal, showed promising results for reducing the severity of hot flashes. The researchers claim that acupuncture increases the production of endorphins, which helps stabilize the temperature control system of the body, thereby reducing the severity of hot flashes.
The researchers noted that more investigation is needed but they do believe that traditional Chinese acupuncture could be an alternative for women who are seeking relief of menopausal symptoms through safer more natural methods rather than using hormone replacement therapy.
Causes of Hot Flashes in Menopause
As you think about how you want to treat your hot flashes, you should know that researchers don’t exactly know what causes them. Most theories suggest that hot flashes are a result of the drop in female hormones called estrogens. During menopause, this hormone drop affects the hypothalamus, which is an area of the brain that regulates body temperature.
Menopause begins once a woman has not had her period for12 months. The production of sex hormones estrogen and progesterone significantly decline, and a woman’s fertility comes to an end. This is the period that you may consider using acupuncture for hot flashes.
Post menopause is defined as the years following menopausal changes in a woman’s body. It is during this time that symptoms such as night sweats and hot flashes tend to diminish for most women.
To Acupuncture for Hot Flashes or Not
Most women understand that menopause is a normal, healthy transition into the non-fertile time of their life. Negative symptoms are expected during menopause, and many women go through menopause without complications. Moreover, there are women that experience a somewhat easy menopause with few side effects, while others have more problematic symptoms.
Treatment options include conventional and alternative treatment methods that lessen these symptoms and ease the transition period. There are many avenues for relief, from hormone replacement therapy to herbs to stress reduction techniques. By talking with your doctor about menopause, you can decide what, if any, treatment is right for you.