East West Acupuncture

East West Acupuncture

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Acupuncture has been found to have a beneficial effect on the symptoms of menopausal women, including hot flashes, mood swings, sleeping difficulties, irregular bleeding and more.

Philp HA Hot flashes - a review of the literature on alternative and complementary treatment approaches. Altern Med Rev 2003 Aug;8(3):284-302. "Hot flashes are a common experience for menopausal women, with an 85-percent incidence in the West. With the increased knowledge of side effects attributable to conventional treatment options, more women are exploring natural alternatives. Although more definitive research is necessary, several natural therapies show promise in treating hot flashes without the risks associated with conventional therapies. Soy and other phytoestrogens, black cohosh, evening primrose oil, vitamin E, the bioflavonoid hesperidin with vitamin C, ferulic acid, acupuncture treatment, and regular aerobic exercise have been shown effective in treating hot flashes in menopausal women."

Porzio G, Trapasso T, Martelli S, Sallusti E, Piccone C, Mattei A, Di Stanislao C, Ficorella C, Marchetti P. Acupuncture in the treatment of menopause-related symptoms in women taking tamoxifen. Tumori. 2002 Mar-Apr;88(2):128-30. "Fifteen patients were enrolled in a pilot study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of acupuncture for the treatment of menopausal symptoms in tamoxifen-treated patients. Patients were evaluated before treatment and after one, three and six months with the Greene Menopause Index and were treated according to the traditional Chinese medicine. Anxiety, depression, somatic and vasomotor symptoms were improved by the treatment; libido was not modified. Acupuncture seems to be safe and effective for the treatment of menopausal symptoms in women with previous breast cancer taking tamoxifen. Confirmatory studies with a larger number of patients and with a placebo-treated group are warranted."

Dong H, Ludicke F, Comte I, Campana A, Graff P, Bischof P. An exploratory pilot study of acupuncture on the quality of life and reproductive hormone secretion in menopausal women. J Altern Complement Med. 2001 Dec;7(6):651-8. "The majority of menopausal women suffer from climacteric symptoms. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of acupuncture on the quality of life and reproductive hormones secretion in menopausal women. Eleven (11) menopausal women with climacteric symptoms entered this prospective study. The Menopause Specific Quality of life Questionnaire was filled out by the patients before the first acupuncture session, after the last one (5 weeks later), and 3 months after the last acupuncture session. Reproductive hormones including follicular-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), estradiol, progesterone, and prolactin were measured before and after treatment. Acupuncture significantly improved menopausal vasomotor symptoms (p = 0.001 and p = 0.003 for the end of treatment and 3 months later, respectively) and physical symptoms (p = 0.014 at the end of treatment and p = 0.046 3 months later). It did not change psychosocial or sexual symptoms, nor did it change the measured reproductive hormones. In conclusion, acupuncture is shown to be effective in relieving vasomotor and physical disturbances of menopausal women with effects lasting at least up to 3 months after termination of the treatment. Acupuncture may be a useful treatment alternative for women who are unable or do not want to receive hormone replacement therapy. A prospective study with larger sample sizes will be needed to define the role of acupuncture in the management of menopausal symptoms."

Sandberg M, Wijma K, Wyon Y, Nedstrand E, Hammar M. Effects of electro-acupuncture on psychological distress in postmenopausal women.Complement Ther Med. 2002 Sep;10(3):161-9. "OBJECTIVES: To evaluate effects of electro-acupuncture (EA) on general psychological distress and relate to experience of climacteric symptoms in 30 postmenopausal women. DESIGN: A randomised single-blind controlled design was used to evaluate effects of EA and extremely superficial needle insertion, with the latter serving as a near-placebo control. SETTINGS: The Linkoping University Hospital in Sweden. Interventions: Fourteen treatments during 12 weeks with follow-ups at 3 and 6 months. OUTCOME MEASURES: General psychological well-being, mood and experience of climacteric symptoms. RESULTS: Mood Scale improved only in EA group and not until 12 weeks compared to baseline, from 110 to 129 (P = 0.01), and to 120 at 3-month follow-up (P = 0.04). Mood was significantly better than control at 8 (P = 0.05) and 12 weeks (P = 0.01). Visual analogue scale estimation of climacteric symptoms was decreased at 4 weeks in both groups, and lasted throughout the study period, in EA group from 5 to 2 (P = 0.04) and in control group from 5 to 3 (P = 0.02) at 6-month follow-up. Well-being was ameliorated from 4 weeks in EA and from 8 weeks in control group until end of study (P = 0.01, P = 0.03). No significant differences on climacteric symptoms or well-being existed between the groups. CONCLUSIONS: This study does not show that EA is better than superficial needle insertion for the amelioration of general psychological distress and experience of climacteric symptoms in women with vasomotor symptoms after menopause. However, the more pronounced effect on mood suggests that EA might have additional effects compared with superficial needle insertion."

Wyon Y, Lindgren R, Hammar M, Lundeberg T. Acupuncture against climacteric disorders? Lower number of symptoms after menopause. [Article in Swedish] Lakartidningen. 1994 Jun 8;91(23):2318-22. "Vasomotor symptoms are very common among perimenopausal women, but also among orchidectomized men. The cause of the symptoms is not the low steroid concentrations per se, but probably changes in central neuropeptide activity. Twenty-four healthy women with natural menopause, suffering from hot flushes, were included in the study and randomly assigned to either of two groups, one group received treatment with electrostimulated acupuncture (EA), the other with superficial needle position (SNP) acupuncture. Treatment was given for totally of eight weeks, twice a week during the first two weeks, and then once a week for the remaining six weeks. As recorded in logbooks kept by the participants, the frequency of flushes decreased significantly by more than 50 per cent in both groups, and remained decreased in the EA group, whereas in the SNP group it increased slightly again over the three months after treatment. Values for the Kupperman Index decreased in both groups during treatment, changes still evident at three-month follow-up, whereas the self-rated general climacteric symptoms (VAS) decreased significantly in the EA group only. The PGWB (Psychological General Well-Being) index did not change significantly in either group during treatment."

Toriizuka K, Okumura M, Iijima K, Haruyama K, Cyong JC. Acupuncture inhibits the decrease in brain catecholamine contents and the impairment of passive avoidance task in ovariectomized mice. Acupunct Electrother Res. 1999;24(1):45-57. "The effects of acupuncture on the disorders elicited by abnormalities of endocrine system were investigated in ovariectomized mice. Female mice (strain; C57BL/6) were ovariectomized (OVX) and acupuncture points, Shenshu ([Japanese pictograph see text] : BL23) on both side of the back were continuously stimulated by subcutaneous needles for 20 days. After completion of experimental sessions, animals were sacrificed and specific brain regions were assayed for catecholamine contents by high performance liquid chromatography with electro chemical detector (ECD-HPLC). The mitogenic activities of splenic lymphocytes were measured by using 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTS) assay and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) assay. Furthermore, the effects of needle stimulation on learning and memory ability were studied by the step-through type passive avoidance test. Norepinephrine and dopamine contents in the frontoparietal cerebral cortex, ventral hippocampus and olfactory bulb were decreased in the OVX group, and both MTS activity and ALP activity were decreased 20 days after ovariectomy. The mean latent period was also shortened in the passive avoidance test in the OVX group. However, applying needle stimulation increased norepinephrine and dopamine contents in the brain regions, and enhanced mitogenic activities of splenic lymphocytes. The stimulation also improved memory-related behavior. It was concluded from this study that after mice were stimulated by subcutaneous needle insertion, overall changes were observed in central nervous system (including retention of memory) and immune functions. The study suggests that acupuncture improves the memory loss and decrease of immune responses accompanying aging and/or menopause, and the that it may have an important role in medical care for the elderly."

Zhao H, Tian ZZ, Chen BY. An important role of corticotropin-releasing hormone in electroacupuncture normalizing the subnormal function of hypothalamus-pituitary-ovary axis in ovariectomized rats. Neurosci Lett 2003 Sep 25;349(1):25-8. In the present study, the effects of electroacupuncture (EA) at a group of specific acupoints on corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) immunoreactivity (ir) in the hypothalamuses of ovariectomized rats were observed. Meanwhile the blood E2 level was detected. The results showed that EA might significantly increase the blood level of E2 and GnRH cell number in the ovariectomized rats. The number of CRH neurons was higher in the group ovariectomized with EA than that in the ovariectomized and intact groups. Interestingly enough, only in the group ovariectomized with EA was observed the co-localization of CRH-ir and GnRH-ir substances in one cell of hypothalamic nucleus paraventricularis by immunofluorescent double-labeling histochemistry combining laser con-focal scanning microscope. The results suggest that CRH might be an important factor in EA normalizing the subnormal function of hypothalamus-pituitary-ovary axis.

Wu L, Zhou X. 300 cases of menopausal syndrome treated by acupuncture. J Tradit Chin Med. 1998 Dec;18(4):259-62.