Acupuncture for hot flashes

Written by: DrTonyWillcox | May 24, 2013

Acupuncture for hot flashes

Women taking tamoxifen experience hot flashes and night sweats (HF&NS); acupuncture may offer a nonpharmaceutical method of management. This study explored whether traditional acupuncture (TA) could reduce HF&NS frequency, improve physical and emotional well-being, and improve perceptions of HF&NS. DESIGN/SETTINGS/LOCATION: This was a single-arm observational study using before and after measurements, located in a National Health Service cancer treatment center in southern England.

Dr. Tony Willcox giving a lecture in BoZhou, China with Professor Yang Jun

Participants received weekly individualized TA treatment using a core standardized protocol for treating HF&NS in natural menopause.

Hot Flash Diaries recorded HF&NS frequency over 14-day periods; the Women’s Health Questionnaire (WHQ) assessed physical and emotional well-being; the Hot Flashes and Night Sweats Questionnaire (HFNSQ) assessed HF&NS as a problem. Measurements taken at five points over 30 weeks included baseline, mid-treatment, end of treatment (EOT), and 4 and 18 weeks after EOT. Results for the primary outcome: Mean frequency reduced by 49.8% (95% confidence interval 40.5-56.5, p < 0.0001, n = 48) at EOT over baseline. Trends indicated longer-term effects at 4 and 18 weeks after EOT. At EOT, seven WHQ domains showed significant statistical and clinical improvements, including Anxiety/Fears, Memory/Concentration, Menstrual Problems, Sexual Behavior, Sleep Problems, Somatic Symptoms, and Vasomotor Symptoms. Perceptions of HF&NS as a problem reduced by 2.2 points (standard deviation = 2.15, n = 48, t = 7.16, p < 0.0001).

These results compare favorably with other studies using acupuncture to manage HF&NS, as well as research on non-hormonal pharmaceutical treatments. In addition to reduced HF&NS frequency, women enjoyed improved physical and emotional well-being, and few side-effects were reported. Further research is warranted in this approach, which offers breast cancer survivors’ choice in managing a chronic condition.

1- Using traditional acupuncture for breast cancer-related hot flashes and night sweats.
de Valois BA, Young TE, Robinson N, McCourt C, Maher EJ.

Acupuncture Delray Beach with Dr. Tony Willcox has had extensive training in Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine. Trained in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and receiving the academic excellence award and receiving his DOctorate form the same school before embarking on a double Doctorate and PhD. in Anhui, China under the tutelage of the famous Professor Yang Jun from Hefei in Anhui Province.

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