The therapy reduces the number of flashes and sweats by around 36 per cent, and the benefits continue for up to six months after treatment has stopped.
Benefits start to kick-in after around eight sessions, say researchers from the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre. They tested the therapy on 209 women, aged between 45 and 60, who were going through the menopause, and who suffered an average of four hot flashes or sweats each night.
Half the group had up to 20 acupuncture sessions in the first six months, and the rest had their sessions in the second six months of the year-long trial. The number and frequency of the sessions were down to each woman to decide.
The first group—which had their acupuncture in the first six months—reported a 36 per cent decline in the frequency of their hot flashes, and it was still 29 per cent less frequent six months after treatment stopped. The second group reported a similar decrease.