Can Acupuncture Relieve Symptoms Of Menopause?

Menopause is a natural biological process that all women go through as they age, typically occurring between the ages of 45 and 55. During this time, the body goes through hormonal changes, leading to a wide range of symptoms that can affect a woman’s quality of life. From hot flashes and night sweats to mood swings and insomnia, the symptoms of menopause can be challenging to manage. While there are various treatments available, both conventional and alternative, one practice that has gained popularity is acupuncture.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical practice that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body. According to traditional Chinese medicine, the body has channels called meridians through which vital energy, or qi, flows. By stimulating certain acupuncture points along these meridians, balance and flow of qi can be restored, promoting healing and overall well-being.

The potential benefits of acupuncture for menopausal symptoms

Many women seek acupuncture as a complementary therapy to alleviate the symptoms of menopause. Several research studies have been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture in managing menopausal symptoms, and the results have been encouraging.

1. Hot flashes and night sweats: Hot flashes are perhaps the most well-known and prevalent symptom of menopause. A study published in the journal Menopause found that women who received acupuncture experienced a decrease in hot flash frequency and severity compared to those who received sham acupuncture or no treatment.

2. Insomnia and sleep disturbances: Many menopausal women struggle with sleep problems, including difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. In a study published in Sleep, researchers found that women who received acupuncture had significant improvements in sleep quality, compared to those who received sham acupuncture. The effects of acupuncture on sleep may be attributed to its ability to regulate certain neurotransmitters and hormones involved in sleep regulation.

3. Mood swings and anxiety: Hormonal fluctuations during menopause can lead to mood swings and increased feelings of anxiety. Acupuncture has been shown to help regulate the release of certain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, which play a role in mood regulation. A review of several studies published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine concluded that acupuncture may be beneficial in reducing both depressive symptoms and anxiety in menopausal women.

How does acupuncture work?

While the exact mechanisms of acupuncture are not fully understood, several theories have been proposed. One theory suggests that acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins, which are natural pain-relieving chemicals. Endorphins can help reduce pain and promote a sense of well-being, potentially alleviating some of the discomfort associated with menopausal symptoms.

Another theory suggests that acupuncture modulates the autonomic nervous system, which controls bodily functions that we do not consciously control, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and sweating. By balancing the autonomic nervous system, acupuncture may help regulate body temperature and reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flashes.

Is acupuncture safe?

When performed by a qualified and licensed acupuncturist, acupuncture is generally considered safe, with minimal side effects. The most common side effects include mild bruising, bleeding, or soreness at the needle site. It is essential to ensure that the acupuncturist follows strict hygiene practices and uses sterile, single-use needles to avoid infections.

However, it is important to note that acupuncture may not be suitable for everyone. People with bleeding disorders, those taking blood-thinning medications, or individuals with a weakened immune system should consult with their healthcare provider before undergoing acupuncture.


While acupuncture shows promise in relieving the symptoms of menopause, it is essential to approach it as a complementary therapy rather than a standalone treatment. Menopause is a complex physiological process, and symptoms can vary from person to person. It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare provider who specializes in menopause management to discuss the best treatment options for individual needs.