Acupuncture Cools Hot Flashes
Posted 9/26/2016 by UHBlog
When a woman wishes for a smoking hot body, hot flashes aren’t exactly what she had in mind.
One way to cool down those annoying hot flashes is through acupuncture.
“Acupuncture can help reduce the severity and frequency of hot flashes for pre-and post-menopausal women who experience symptoms like intense heat, profuse sweating and anxiety,” says licensed acupuncturist Ted Gannon, LAC. “Our acupuncture centers throughout the UH system have had much success treating this condition.”
To help understand how acupuncture can be an effective treatment option for hot flashes and other conditions associated with menopause, Gannon answers six frequently asked questions:
- What exactly is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an age-old traditional form of Chinese medicine that involves the painless insertion of very thin, disposable needles to stimulate specific points on the body to improve the natural flow of qi (vital energy). In treating menopause, acupuncture needles are generally placed in the arms, legs and remain there for 30 minutes while you rest comfortably.
- What does qi have to do with menopause and hot flashes?
“Hot flashes are due to an energy imbalance in the body,” says Gannon. “The foundation of Chinese medicine is that illnesses arise when there’s a blockage of qi on channels known as meridians that connect the major organs in the body. Acupuncture brings the energy flow back into balance to achieve a state of homeostasis, or a state of wellness.”
- What types of energy systems are there in the body?
In acupuncture the theory is that hormonal balance can be affected by the internal balance of yin – or cool energy – and yang, which is warm energy.
“When a woman stops menstruating she experiences a shift in her energy that may affect her hormonally,” he says. “If she's no longer making cooling blood (yin), then the warm energy (yang) prevails and causes a hot flash. The result is the body cannot naturally cool itself. Acupuncture opens up the blocked channels, allowing the cooling energy to flow.”
- Can acupuncture help other menopausal systems?
According to Gannon, acupuncture also works for other conditions associated with menopause, such as:
- Night sweats
- Mood swings
- Memory loss
- Vaginal dryness
- Joint pain
- Weight gain
- How often should you see an acupuncturist for menopausal systems?
As a general guideline, the number of acupuncture treatments Gannon recommends for hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms is once a week for nine weeks.
“The treatments have a cumulative effect, so women usually start to feel better after two or three sessions,” he says.
- Should I tell my doctor I’m working with an acupuncturist for hot flashes?
“Acupuncture is a very effective complement to Western medicine,” Gannon says. “If a woman is taking a prescription drug to reduce menopausal symptoms and is also receiving acupuncture, she should tell her doctor. A growing number of medical professionals, especially within the UH system recognize that acupuncture is a safe and viable treatment option.”
Ted Gannon, LAC is a licensed acupuncturist and Qigong Master Healer at University Hospitals Connor Integrative Health Network. You can request an appointment with Gannon or any other health care provider online.