25. May 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Insomnia, Menopause

Acupuncture is associated with a significant reduction in sleep disturbances in menopausal women, conclude the authors of a systematic review from Taiwan. Meta-analysis of data from 31 randomised trials involving a total of 2,433 participants found that acupuncture was associated with a significant reduction in the likelihood of sleep disturbances, along with a significant increase in the secretion of serum oestradiol and a reduction in the secretion of follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinising hormone. Further analyses showed that studies in which Sanyinjiao SP-6 was used were associated with a larger increase in serum oestradiol level, compared with those that used other points. Larger increases in oestradiol levels due to acupuncture were associated with lower odds of sleep disturbances.
Acupuncture to Reduce Sleep Disturbances in Perimenopausal and Postmenopausal Women: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Obstet Gynecol. 2016 Mar;127(3):507-15.

25. May 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Menopause

Acupuncture can improve sexual function in women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), a small American study suggests. Fifteen premenopausal women with HSDD were included in a single-arm pilot study and underwent twice-weekly acupuncture sessions for five weeks. Point prescriptions were individualised to each patient’s TCM pattern presentation (including Kidney yang deficiency, Liver qi stagnation, Blood deficiency, Spleen yang deficiency and Heart fire). Five weeks of acupuncture was found to be associated with significant improvements from baseline in overall sexual function, particularly in the specific domains of desire, arousal, lubrication and orgasm, while distress due to symptoms and anxiety levels were found to be significantly reduced.
Acupuncture in Premenopausal Women With Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder: A Prospective Cohort Pilot Study. Sex Med. 2016 Sep;4(3):e176-81.

25. May 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Gua Sha, Hot Flushes, Menopause
20. October 2016 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Insomnia, Menopause

Acupuncture is associated with a significant reduction in symptoms in women experiencing menopause-related sleep disturbances, according to a systematic review from Taiwan. The authors identified 31 randomised controlled trials involving a total of 2,433 participants. Meta-analysis showed that acupuncture was associated with a significant reduction in the likelihood of sleep disturbances, along with a significant increase in the secretion of estradiol and a reduction in the secretion of follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinising hormone.
Acupuncture to Reduce Sleep Disturbances in Perimenopausal and Postmenopausal Women: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Obstet Gynecol. 2016 Mar;127(3):507-15.

05. July 2016 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Menopause

Research from the USA suggests that acupuncture can lead to a significant reduction in vasomotor symptoms (VMS) in menopausal women. In a pragmatic randomised trial, 209 menopausal women were randomised to receive up to 20 acupuncture treatments within the first six months (acupuncture group) or the second six months (wait-list control group) of the 12-month study period. VMS frequency was found to have declined by 36.7% at six months in the acupuncture group and increased by 6% in the control group. At 12 months, the reduction in VMS from baseline in the acupuncture group was 29.4%, suggesting that the treatment effect was maintained. Statistically significant clinical improvement was observed after three acupuncture treatments, and maximal clinical effects occurred after a median of eight treatments. Persistent improvements were also seen in many quality of life-related outcomes in the acupuncture group relative to the control group. Acupuncture in Menopause (AIM) study: a pragmatic, randomized controlled trial. Menopause. 2016 Mar 18. [Epub ahead of print].
In contrast, an Australian study found that standardised acupuncture was not superior to sham for women with moderately severe menopausal hot flushes (HFs). Three hundred and twenty seven women experiencing at least seven moderate HFs daily, who met criteria for the Chinese medicine diagnosis of Kidney yin deficiency, were randomly assigned to either standardised TCM acupuncture designed to treat Kidney yin deficiency or non-insertive sham acupuncture at non-acupoints. At the end of eight weeks of treatment (10 treatments), mean HF scores were 15.36 in the acupuncture group and 15.04 in the sham group. Acupuncture for Menopausal Hot Flashes: A Randomized Trial. Ann Intern Med. 2016 Feb 2;164(3):146-54. doi: 10.7326/M15-1380.

A pilot study from the UK suggests that Chinese medicine treatment is beneficial for menopausal symptoms. In a case series design, 117 perimenopausal women were treated for menopausal symptoms by six experienced practitioners of Chinese medicine. The practitioners were instructed to treat as closely to their usual practice style as possible, using Chinese herbal medicine and / or acupuncture along with dietary and lifestyle advice. A maximum of 12 treatments over six months was allowed per patient. Patients showed significant improvement across all domains measured by two menopause symptom scales. Reduction on the MenQoL scale between first and last visit was from 4.31 to 3.27 and on the Green climacteric scale from 21.01 to 13.00. Liver and kidney function tests showed no abnormal liver or kidney function during the course of the study (Chinese medicine treatment for menopausal symptoms in the UK health service: Is a clinical trial warranted? Maturitas. 2014 Nov 20. pii: S0378-5122(14)00354-5).

A pilot RCT carried out in the USA has found that while both traditional acupuncture (TA) and sham acupuncture (SA) can improve menopause-related vasomotor symptoms (VMS), only TA shows an impact on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Thirty-three peri- and post-menopausal women with at least seven VMS daily were randomised to TA, SA or a waiting-list control (WC). Both the TA and SA groups demonstrated improved VMS trends and both showed significantly improved scores for menopause-specific quality of life compared with the WC group. However, 24-hour urinary measures of total cortisol metabolites and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) were lower only in the TA versus both the SA and WC groups. (A pilot randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled trial of traditional acupuncture for vasomotor symptoms and mechanistic pathways of menopause. Menopause. 2012 Jan;19(1):54-61).

 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]).

Taking part in a 12-week tai chi programme has multiple health benefits for post-menopausal women, particularly for those suffering from age-related loss of muscle strength. A Canadian team recruited 62 postmenopausal women and categorised them as dynapenic (suffering from age-related loss of muscle strength) or non-dynapenic. After 12 weeks of tai chi training, dynapenic women showed a significant decrease in body weight, fat mass percentage and skeletal muscle mass, whereas handgrip strength, functional capacity test scores and general health perception significantly increased. In non-dynapenic women, there was a significant decrease in waist circumference and a significant increase in chair-stand test and one-leg stance test scores. In addition, significantly lower systolic and diastolic blood pressures were observed in both groups after the intervention. Dynapenic women showed a more pronounced general health perception increase compared with non-dynapenic individials. (Effects of tai chi training in dynapenic and nondynapenic postmenopausal women.  Menopause. 2011 Sep; 18(9):974-979).

A study by an American research team has demonstrated that tai chi exercise (TC) and supplementation with green tea polyphenols (GTP) can benefit bone remodeling and muscle strength in postmenopausal women by reducing oxidative stress damage. One hundred and seventy-one postmenopausal women with osteopaenia (low bone mineral density) were divided into four groups: placebo – placebo pill without TC; GTP (500 mg / day) without TC; placebo pill plus TC (three times per week); or GTP plus TC. The treatment phase of the study lasted for six months. The results showed that consumption of GTP (at a level equivalent to about four to six cups of steeped green tea daily) and TC independently enhanced markers of bone health. Both GTP and TC were also found to reduce levels of biological markers of oxidative stress, suggesting that they have anti-inflammatory activity. TC participants also reported significant beneficial effects in quality of life in terms of improved emotional and mental health. (Effect of green tea polyphenols and Tai Chi exercise on bone health in postmenopausal women with low bone mass: a 24-week placebo-controlled randomized trial. FASEB Journal. 2011;25:594.3).