25. May 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Gua Sha, Hot Flushes, Menopause
14. February 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Breast Cancer, Hot Flushes
05. July 2016 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Breast Cancer, Hot Flushes

Acupuncture in association with enhanced self-care is an effective integrative intervention for managing hot flushes and improving quality of life in women with breast cancer, according to Italian researchers. A pragmatic, randomised controlled trial compared acupuncture plus enhanced self-care versus enhanced self-care alone in 190 women with breast cancer. Both groups received a booklet with information about climacteric syndrome and its management, to be followed for at least 12 weeks. In addition, the acupuncture group received 10 l acupuncture treatment sessions. Evaluation of tongue and pulse was performed at each session and acupuncture was performed at three common acupoints (Sanyinjiao SP-6, Quchi L.I.-11 and Guanyuan REN-4), plus others chosen according to the specific TCM pattern diagnosed. Acupuncture plus enhanced self-care was associated with a significantly lower hot flush score than enhanced self-care alone at the end of treatment, and at three- and six-month post-treatment follow-up. Acupuncture was also associated with fewer climacteric symptoms and higher quality of life in vasomotor, physical and psychosocial domains.
Acupuncture As an Integrative Approach for the Treatment of Hot Flashes in Women With Breast Cancer: A Prospective Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial (AcCliMaT). J Clin Oncol. 2016 Mar 28. pii: JCO632893. [Epub ahead of print].

07. January 2016 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Hot Flushes

Researchers from the USA suggest that electro-acupuncture (EA) may be more effective, and result in fewer adverse effects, than the drug gabapentin (GP) for managing hot flushes in breast cancer survivors. They conducted a randomised controlled trial involving 120 survivors of breast cancer who were experiencing hot flushes at least twice per day. Participants were randomly assigned to one of four groups. The EA group received eight weeks of EA treatment, the drug therapy group received GP once per day, the placebo acupuncture group received sham acupuncture (SA) and the final group received placebo pills (PP). By week eight, comparing all groups, the mean reduction in hot flush scores was found to be greatest in the EA group (-7.4), followed by SA (-5.9), GP (-5.2 ) and PP (-3.4). In addition, the two pill groups reported significantly more treatment-related adverse events than the two acupuncture groups. At 24-week follow-up, hot flush symptom score reduction was still greatest in the EA group.
Electroacupuncture Versus Gabapentin for Hot Flashes Among Breast Cancer Survivors: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial. J Clin Oncol. 2015 Aug 24. pii: JCO.2015.60.9412.

Traditional acupuncture (TA) can reduce the frequency of hot flushes and night sweats (HF&NS), and improve physical and emotional well-being in women taking tamoxifen for breast cancer.  In a single-arm observational study 50 participants with early breast cancer received eight weekly, individualised TA treatments using a core standardised acupuncture protocol developed to treat HF&NS in natural menopause. Mean frequency of HF&NS was reduced by 49.8% at end of treatment (EOT) compared with baseline. Perceptions of HF&NS as a problem reduced by 2.2 points, indicating that participants found their HF&NS significantly less.bothersome following treatment. Seven health domains showed significant statistical and clinical improvements, including anxsiety/fear, memory/concentration, menstrual problems, sexual behaviour, sleep problems, somatic symptoms and vasomotor symptoms. (Using traditional acupuncture for breast cancer-related hot flashes and night sweats. J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Oct;16(10):1047-57).

In another study, the same authors evaluated the feasibility of the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) five-point ear acupuncture protocol to reduce HF&NS and improve physical and emotional well-being for women receiving breast cancer treatment. Fifty participants completed weekly NADA treatment for eight weeks in small groups (less than five patients). Mean FIF&NS frequency was reduced by 35.9%, perceptions of HF&NS as a problem were reduced by 2.2 points, and statistical and clinical improvements were recorded for anxiety/fears, depressed mood, memory/concentration, sleep problems, somatic symptoms and vasomotor symptoms. (NADA Ear Acupuncture for Breast Cancer Treatment-Related Hot Flashes and Night Sweats: An Observational Study. Medical Acupuncture. December 2012, 24(4): 256-268).

 A traditional Chinese herbal formula thought to have weak oestrogen-like activity may help ease menopausal hot flushes, a small clinical trial suggests. The formula, Jiawei Qing’e Fang (JQF), contained Du Zhong (Cortex Eucommia), Bu Gu Zhi (Fructus Psoraleae corylifolia) and Dan Shen (Radix Salvia miltiorrhiza). Clinicians in China randomly assigned 72 peri-menopausal women who were experiencing 14 or more hot flushes per week to receive either JQF or placebo every day for eight weeks. The results showed a significantly greater improvement in hot flush score in the JQF group compared with the placebo group. There were also between-group differences in vasomotor and physical symptom scores. Blood triglyceride (TG) levels in the JQF group showed a significant reduction in women with a high baseline TG. (A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial of a Chinese herbal medicine preparation (Jiawei Qing’e Fang) for hot flashes and quality of life in perimenopausal women. Menopause. 2011 Nov 14. [Epub ahead of print]).

Having weekly acupuncture treatment following chemoradiotherapy (CRT) head and neck cancer (HNC) may reduce patients’ symptom severity and decrease the amount of time they need to undergo tubal feeding. In a retrospective case series, ten American patients with HNC were treated with weekly manual and electroacupuncture for radiation-induced dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) and xerostomia (dry mouth). Nine out of ten patients reported subjective improvement in swallowing, xerostomia, pain and fatigue levels. Six out of seven patients had their feeding tubes removed after acupuncture, at a median duration of 114 days post CRT, which represents a relatively short time under such circumstances. (Acupuncture for dysphagia after chemoradiation therapy in head and neck cancer: a case series report. Integr Cancer Ther. 2010 Sep;9(3):284-90).

Meanwhile, a Norwegian study has examined the quality of life of breast cancer patients on anti-oestrogen medication, two years after receiving acupuncture treatment for hot flushes. Forty-one women from an acupuncture treatment group and 41 women from a sham acupuncture control group had received a course of 15 acupuncture treatments over a period of 10 weeks two years previously. Qualitative data showed that women previously treated with sham acupuncture complained that hot flushes were still a problem, whilst those previously treated with traditional Chinese acupuncture found them less problematic and generally had a more positive outlook on life. (Quality of life of breast cancer patients medicated with anti-estrogens, 2 years after acupuncture treatment: a qualitative study. Int J Womens Health. 2010 Sep 28;2:319-25).

Traditional acupuncture (TA) offers an effective non-pharmaceutical method of managing the hot flushes and night sweats (HF&NS) associated with taking tamoxifen for breast cancer, according to British researchers. Fifty participants with early breast cancer who were taking tamoxifen were enrolled in a single-arm observational study. They received eight weekly individualised TA treatments, using a core standardised protocol designed for the treatment of HF&NS in natural menopause. The women’s mean frequency of hot flushes was reduced by 49.8% at the end of treatment (EOT) compared with baseline, and trends indicated longer-term effects at four and 18 weeks after EOT. The women also showed significant statistical and clinical improvements in other areas of physical and emotional well-being and reported their perception of HF&NS as a problem as being reduced. (Using traditional acupuncture for breast cancer-related hot flashes and night sweats. J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Oct;16(10):1047-57).

Acupuncture can reduce the frequency of hot flushes in men undergoing androgen ablation therapy (AAT) for prostate cancer. In an observational study carried out in the USA, 22 patients received electroacupuncture biweekly for four weeks, then weekly for six weeks, using a predefined treatment plan. After four weeks, 41% of patients had over 50% reduction in their hot flush score, and by the end of the treatment course, 55% of patients met this response definition. No patient experienced a significant increase in hot flush score during therapy. A reduced hot flush score was associated with improvement in the hot flush-related quality of life and sleep quality. (Acupuncture for Hot Flashes in Patients With Prostate Cancer. Urology. 2010 May 20. [Epub ahead of print]).

Another American study has concluded that acupuncture provides excellent control of hot flushes in patients undergoing AAT. In this small observational study of 17 men, the mean improvement at weeks two and six was 68.4% and 89.2% respectively, and at eight months the improvement reached 80.3%. (Acupuncture for the Alleviation of Hot Flashes in Men Treated with Androgen Ablation Therapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2010 Jun 2. [Epub ahead of print]).