Objective: To evaluate the effect of acupuncture on hot flushes and other menopause-related symptoms used in an integrated system, including such therapeutic techniques as diet therapy and Tuina self-massage.
Design: Randomized trial.
Setting: Outpatient center.
Participants: One hundred women in spontaneous menopause with at least three episodes of hot flushes daily were randomly allocated to two treatment groups (50 per group): Women in group A were given diet, self-massage training, and treatment with acupuncture, and women in group B (the control group) were given the same diet and self-massage training, but treatment with acupuncture started 6 weeks after they were enrolled into the study.
Intervention: Acupuncture treatments were scheduled twice weekly for 6 consecutive weeks.
Outcome measures: Mean change in frequency and/or intensity in menopause-related symptoms were estimated by questionnaire after treatment at week 4.
Results: Treatment with acupuncture significantly reduced the occurrence of hot flushes and sudden sweating (p<.001). Other symptoms (sleep disorders, tightness in the chest, irritability, bone pain, feeling depressed) significantly improved.
Conclusions: Acupuncture in an integrated system that includes therapeutic techniques such as diet therapy and Tuina self-massage can be used to treat hot flushes and selected symptoms in postmenopausal women.