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Would acupuncture be beneficial in helping with my menopause symptoms

A:  We have a factsheet on the treatment of menopausal  symptoms

which makes some very encouraging noises about the treatment of some aspects of menopause. Hot flushes always feature heavily in these trials, and meet with some success, but most trials are conducted testing 'real' treatment against 'sham' treatment, which we are far from believing is a satisfactory way of assessing the benefits of treatment. We don't believe for a moment that the sham treatments have no effect!

The studies cited in our factsheet are quite old, and there have been some more recent ones which have been very positive. Examples such as


make just as interesting reading.

However, hot flushes are not the only menopausal symptoms, and unless we had more specific information it would be foolish for us to be too definite. What we can say, though, is that menopausal treatments have been a part of Chinese medicine for over 2000 years, and the Chinese view of the energetic transformations which take place as women age can really help to inform treatment in a way that is much more sophisticated than simply using set protocols for specific symptoms, which is how most trials are conducted. Traditional Acupuncture treats the individual and seeks to understand the ageing process by looking at how generic changes in the system affect someone's unique balance. This can have a significant bearing on how successful treatment might be.

Our advice in these situations is always to visit a local BAcC member to discuss your particular presentation. This will give you the best possible chance to make an informed decision about whether treatment may be beneficial. We suspect that the answer will be that it could well be, but sight unseen it is not proper for us to make a recommendation.

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