Menopause and peri-menopause are natural occurring processes which take place when the secretion of estrogen and progesterone in our body diminishes. As a result, menstrual cycles become irregular and eventually stop. Menopause becomes “official” when a woman has not had a cycle for one year. Symptoms of menopause can vary from woman to woman. However, typical symptoms include: hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, changes to skin and hair, sleep and mood. Symptoms vary from woman to woman as does the length and severity of symptoms. There are many women who are looking for an integrative approach to managing peri-menopause and menopause and there are a number of options available.
A study conducted at Henry Ford Hospital and published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (volume 28, number 4) compared the use of acupuncture vs. Effexor for the management of hot flashes for patients undergoing treatment of breast cancer. In this study, 50 patients were assigned either to receive acupuncture 2 times a week for 2 weeks followed up by once a week for 4 weeks or take Effexor. Both groups experienced significant decreases in hot flashes, depressive symptoms and other menopausal quality of life symptoms indicating that acupuncture is at least as effective as Effexor; with none of the side effects commonly associated with this medication.
Most remarkably, the duration of reduced symptoms lasted much longer with acupuncture (2 months) vs. Effexor in which most symptoms returned within 2 weeks after the medication was discontinued. [Read more…]