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Acupuncture for Hot Flushes Cambridge

Hot flushes are embarrassing and uncomfortable and are most commonly associated with menopausal women but can affect men and women receiving hormone based treatments for cancers, such as prostate and breast cancer.  Hot flushes vary in frequency and severity from individual to individual and sufferers can also experience anxiety and nausea as a result of them.

 

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What is a hot flush?

A hot flush is a feeling of heat that feels as though it is centrally generated that then floods up through the body often to the face and is often accompanied with profuse sweating.  Night sweats can also be a problem for patients suffering from hot flushes.  They are caused by vaso-motor instability as a result of fluctuations in levels of sex hormones although no-body really understands why they occur.  

 

As mentioned before men and women can be affected due to hormone therapy, but so can young women with lower oestrogen than normal, women with premature menopause and those that have had their ovaries removed.

 

Hot flushes are a nuisance and can be distressing for some people.  The vast majority of those affected muddle along - and let's face it 80% of women get them after their last period so it can almost be considered normal.  

 

But should we just put up with them?

 

When to get help for hot flushes

 

Constantly changing your bedding, washing your PJs or feeling upset and embarrassed by your flushes is no fun at all.  If you feel that you are having more than you wish to put up with then now is the time to act and try out some acupuncture.

 

There has been scores of research studies on acupuncture treatment for alleviating the symptoms of hot flushes and the evidence is very compelling.  The studies have consistently shown reduction in frequency and severity of attacks.  There are several treatment protocols for example auricular acupuncture (ear acupuncture) or Traditional Chinese Acupuncture offered at betterNOW.  Patients are diagnosed as individuals rather than a prescriptive one-size-fits-all treatment but typically around 8 needles are used per treatment. Unlike, Western medicine it is unlikely the same the patient will receive the same treatment but their have been some studies (eg Young et al, 2103) that showed using a prescription protocol improved symptoms in all subjects (being women treated with tamoxifen for breast cancer) so there is some merit in a prescribed plan.

 

Acupuncture is a relatively safe treatment and many patients report other benefits such as increased vitality, increased libido and improved emotional and physical wellbeing.  The great thing about acupuncture is that since it treats the 'person' as well as the 'symptom' people feel better in other ways eg feeling brighter, sleeping better.

 

How does acupuncture help hot flushes?

 

The modern scientific world (including me) wants to find hard evidence for how acupuncture apparently works but it has been very difficult to construct research where the subjects don't know they are receiving treatment so eliminating placebo effect has been very difficult, but in the many trials on acupuncture for hot flushes, patients report less severe and frequent symptoms.  Under a different tab on this site we explain the Western understanding of aucpuncture but in Chinese Medicine terms a hot flush is considered to be an excess of Yang (heat/fire) in the body relevant to Yin (cool/water) in the body, acupuncture seeks to address this imbalance and stop the Yang from rising to the head. Usually as part of the treatment, you will also receive some acupuncture to soothe and calm you.  The language of Chinese Medicine can sound very strange but if you are interested in how we decide on how to treat someone with acupuncture our acupuncturists are happy to chat about it to you.

 

We have two acupuncturists at betterNOW, Leah Claydon and Alan Longcroft.  Patients can choose to come to the 'Saturday Affordable Acupuncture Session' with Alan or if they prefer are more individualised and private experience they can be seen on weekdays.

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Here are some links to articles about Acupuncture for hot flushes:

 http://7bigspoons.com/hormones/heat-hot-flush-acupuncture/

 

http://www.acupuncture.org.uk/a-to-z-of-conditions/public-review-papers/menopause-and-acupuncture-the-evidence-for-effectiveness.html

 

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/310527.php

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/10/03/acupuncture-can-reduce-hot-flushes-in-menopausal-women-by-half-r/

 

LEAH SMA

 

 

 

Leah Claydon, BSc(Hons), LicAc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AL

 

 Alan Longcroft, BSc(Hons) LicAc

Saturday Affordable Acupuncture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Article written by Leah Claydon, 10/1/17

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