Acupuncture and Auricular Acupressure in Relieving Menopausal Hot Flashes of Bilaterally Ovariectomized Chinese Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial
The objective of this study is to explore the effects of acupuncture and auricular acupressure in relieving menopausal hot flashes of bilaterally ovariectomized Chinese women. Between May 2006 and March 2008, 46 bilaterally ovariectomized Chinese women were randomized into an acupuncture and auricular acupressure group (n = 21) and a hormone replacement therapy (HRT) group (Tibolone, n = 25). Each patient was given a standard daily log and was required to record the frequency and severity of hot flashes and side effects of the treatment felt daily, from 1 week before the treatment started to the fourth week after the treatment ended. The serum levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), LH and E2 were detected before and after the treatment. After the treatment and the follow-up, both the severity and frequency of hot flashes in the two groups were relieved significantly when compared with pre-treatment (P < 0.05). There was no significant difference in the severity of hot flashes between them after treatment (P > 0.05), while after the follow-up, the severity of hot flashes in the HRT group was alleviated more. After the treatment and the follow-up, the frequency of menopausal hot flashes in the HRT group was reduced more (P < 0.05). After treatment, the levels of FSH decreased significantly and the levels of E2 increased significantly in both groups (P < 0.05), and they changed more in the HRT group (P < 0.05). Acupuncture and auricular acupressure can be used as alternative treatments to relieve menopausal hot flashes for those bilaterally avariectomized women who are unable or unwilling to receive HRT.