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Can Acupuncture Ease the Symptoms of Menopause?

Cohen, Susan M. DSN, C-FNP; Rousseau, Mary Ellen MS, CNM; Carey, Bonnie L. OMD, LAc, RN


In a randomized, 2-group clinical study, acupuncture was used for the relief of menopausal hot flushes, sleep disturbances, and mood changes. The experimental acupuncture treatment consisted of specific acupuncture body points related to menopausal symptoms. The comparison acupuncture treatment consisted of a treatment designated as a general tonic specifically designed to benefit the flow of Ch'i (energy). Results from the experimental acupuncture treatment group showed a decrease in mean monthly hot flush severity for site-specific acupuncture. The comparison acupuncture treatment group had no significant change in severity from baseline over the treatment phase. Sleep disturbances in the experimental acupuncture treatment group declined over the study. Mood changes in both the experimental acupuncture treatment group and the comparison acupuncture treatment group showed a significant difference between the baseline and the third month of the study. Acupuncture using menopausal-specific sites holds promise for nonhormonal relief of hot flushes and sleep disturbances.

From the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa (Cohen)

The Yale University School of Nursing, New Haven, Conn. (Rousseau)

Ms Carey is in private practice, in Salem, Conn. (Carey)

This study was supported by a Yale University School of Nursing Intramural Grant.

Corresponding author: Susan M. Cohen, DSN, C-FNP, University of Pittsburgh, 440 Victoria Bldg, 3500 Victoria St, Pittsburgh, PA 15261 (e-mail:

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.