Acupuncture could help women with menopause sleep issues

June 30, 2011 2 min read

Basic Acupuncture.
Menopause can be an uncomfortable time for women with night sweats and hot flashes. Doctors traditionally prescribe hormone replacement therapy, but many women find the side effects hard to bear. But there is another option- acupuncture. Janet Robinson is getting acupuncture from Doctor Gau in San Diego because of menopausal symptoms that were interfering with her life. "Hot flashes, I was counting them, like 10 to 15 a day," said Robinson. "Anxiety, especially at night, the night sweats." Prescription hormones could treat those symptoms, but studies have shown they may also increase the risk of certain diseases for certain women. Now there's evidence that acupuncture alone can do the same thing without the side effects. "Acupuncture has not been demonstrated to increase the risk of breast cancer, heart disease or stroke," said Dr. Taw. "It has been found to be very safe and most people tolerate it very well." Dr. Gau places the needles based on the patient's symptoms and what we know about heat producing spots. "Studies have shown that acupuncture may increase the level of estrogen in the human body, and it may also increase endorphin release as well," he said. Endorphins raise mood. Natural estrogens may prevent those hot flashes and mood swings. The entire procedure took less than 30 minutes. "Relaxed. I could just lay there all day," said Robinson. She says the treatment is painless. She has been getting the treatments for almost a year now and she says they've made a major difference in her life. "My symptoms are non-existent. My night sweats are  gone. My sleeping habits are so much better. It's just amazing."