The findings showed that after six months, women reported an average 36.7 per cent decline in frequency of hot flashes compared to baseline measurements.
“Although acupuncture does not work for every woman, our study showed that on average, acupuncture effectively reduced the frequency of hot flashes and results were maintained for six months after the treatments stopped,” said Nancy Avis from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in the US.
The study showed that acupuncture from a licensed acupuncturist can help some women without any side effects and the maximum benefit occurred after about eight treatments, Avis added in the paper published in the journal Menopause.
The team examined 209 women of ages 45 to 60 who did not had a menstrual period for at least three months and had on an average at least four hot flashes or night sweats per day in the previous two weeks. The participants received a baseline assessment and were then randomised to one of two groups.
The first group received acupuncture treatments during the first six months and were then followed without receiving acupuncture for the second six months.
The second group did not receive any acupuncture during the first six months, but did receive acupuncture for the second six months.
The participants were allowed up to 20 treatments within six months provided by licensed, experienced acupuncturists in the community.The results revealed that after a year, the benefits persisted, with the group members maintaining an average 29.4 per cent reduction from baseline.
The second group reported a six per cent increase in symptom frequency during the six months when they were not getting acupuncture, but had similar results - an average 31 per cent reduction in frequency - to the first group after receiving acupuncture during the latter part of the trial.