• Acupuncture for Menopause

  • Woman Thinking About Acupuncture for Menopause

    Menopause, defined as 12 consecutive months without a period, usually affects women at the average age of 51. This is a natural process that comes with many symptoms, even in the years leading up to full menopause. These effects can be mild, they can be severe or they can be debilitating. On average, women experience symptoms for seven years.

    Many factors can influence menopause, including age, ethnicity, culture, health, well-being, socio-economic background, and whether menopause has been surgically-induced or it has occurred naturally.

    It has been found that acupuncture can relieve many of the symptoms associated with menopause.

    Vasomotor Symptoms

    These include hot flashes and night sweats, which are the most common issues women face as they go through menopause. In fact, 70 percent of females in Western cultures experience vasomotor symptoms (VMS).

    One review says several studies on acupuncture to treat VMS report 50 percent reductions in hot flashes for six months. The conclusion was that acupuncture significantly reduced the severity and frequency of hot flashes while improving menopause-related somatic, psychological, and urogenital symptoms. And lastly, the review found that acupuncture improved overall quality of life.

    Depression and Anxiety

    Many menopausal women have mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. Studies show that acupuncture is a promising therapy for menopausal women who suffer from depression, for use as an adjunctive therapy along with medication and therapy for treating depression in postmenopausal women displaying VMS symptoms.

    Other studies show positive outcomes for using acupuncture to treat anxiety.

    Sleep Problems and Insomnia

    There have been many studies on acupuncture to treat sleep disorders in post-menopausal women, with 75 percent of women reporting improvements in sleep after acupuncture treatment.


    This is a common condition in post-menopausal women, and it’s been suggested that acupuncture can help. One review found that, compared with pharmaceutical treatments alone, acupuncture led to increased bone mineral density (BMD) of the lumbar spine and femur, as well as a boost in estradiol and serum calcium levels. It also found lowered serum-alkaline-phosphatase, with the added benefit of relieving pain.

    Cognitive Decline

    The risks of cognitive decline such as Alzheimer’s disease can increase following menopause. Acupuncture has been able to provide some reported benefits, with studies showing acupuncture had positive effects on Ability of Daily Living Scale scores and others.


    Acupuncture has diverse effects on the human body, made possible from the use of many physiological mechanisms. One of the most important is purinergic signaling, which utilizes adenosine triphosphate to signal regulation of many physiological functions. Over the short-term, it plays an important role in secretion, neurotransmission and neuromodulation. Over the long term, it can influence migration, proliferation, differentiation, and death.

    Purinergic receptors are classified as therapeutic targets in many disorders, including those affecting peri-menopausal and post-menopausal women. Those disorders include anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, osteoporosis, cardiovascular issues, endocrine disorders, and neurodegenerative diseases. When it comes to VMS, studies show that acupuncture can dictate the release of beta-endorphins, which are thought to be part of the pathophysiology of VMS.

    Acupuncture can also influence cortisol, DHEA levels and cortisol metabolites. Cortisol levels usually increase after menopause, which can cause changes in metabolism, mood, bone density, and cognitive decline. It is suggested that acupuncture has effects on obesity thanks to anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, regulation of the endocrine system, promotion of digestion, and influence on lipid metabolism.

    Further studies say that acupuncture can activate and deactivate certain regions of the brain such as basal ganglia, cerebellum, and sensorimotor-related areas, which is good news for those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment.

    Menopause is quickly becoming a specialty area in regards to acupuncture. Our knowledge of female endocrinology in the last 40 years has improved significantly, brought on by the fast growth of assisted reproductive therapy. In addition to this growth, women are becoming more and more vocal about their menopausal experiences and have started to seek out alternative solutions, bringing menopause into the spotlight in terms of medicine and the media.

    Contact Metro Detroit Acupuncture

    If you are going through menopause and are curious about acupuncture for treatment, call us at (248) 432-2846.