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Acupuncture: A Remedy for Your Symptoms?

No matter what kinds of symptoms you are experiencing, there are typically alternative treatments to help combat them. The same holds true for menopause and the treatment of its symptoms. Some alternative treatments include St. John's Wort, evening primrose oil, and black cohosh. Yet there is one popular alternative that doesn't involve taking any type of medication or supplement whatsoever. That treatment is called acupuncture.

HFN 086 Accupunture 3 F35720246What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture originated in ancient China and is the practice of inserting thin, solid needles into the body. It is thought that the insertion of these needles at precise points can correct imbalances and problems in the flow of one's energy (qi), thus relieving the symptoms caused by those problems.

Clinical Studies and Trials 
Currently, there is very little evidence that suggests acupuncture is a definitive solution for treating symptoms or pain. That doesn't necessarily mean that it doesn't work. One of the primary reasons study results have been inconclusive is because it is nearly impossible to include a placebo test when conducting research on the effectiveness of acupuncture.

Acupuncture and Menopause
Despite the difficulty in establishing acupuncture as a viable source of treatment in general, studies have attempted to address its viability when it comes to dealing specifically with the symptoms of menopause. In one such study, one group of women underwent acupuncture designed to reduce menopausal symptoms, while another group underwent acupuncture designed simply to improve the flow of the body's natural energy.

The study showed that women who had menopause-specific acupuncture experienced a slight reduction in hot flashes and sleep disturbances, while mood changes improved in both groups.

In another study, acupuncture was administered to a group of women. In the control group, women were told they were receiving acupuncture, yet the needles did not penetrate the skin. The group of women that did receive acupuncture reported a significant drop in the severity of their hot flashes and night sweats.

The Exam
An acupuncturist's exam will focus on identifying your imbalances by conducting some simple tests, such as assessing your tongue, listening to your chest to perceive any unusual sounds, sensing your body's odor, and palpating various points on your body.

As long as acupuncture is administered by a well-trained professional in a clean environment with fresh sterile needles, it is considered safe. However, you should always speak with your physician before embarking on any type of treatment. Different people react to the same treatment in many different ways. A doctor who is familiar with your body and your specific symptoms can give you safe and reliable advice when it comes to treating your symptoms of menopause. Once you've decided to see an acupuncturist, choose one certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAUM). ♀

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