Having used this treatment for many of my patients (men and women) with hormone therapy-induced hot flashes, I am not surprised at the published results.
The patients included a small cohort of men with prostate cancer who were being treated with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). The investigators used a simple protocol of electroacupuncture (sorry for the acupuncture lingo to follow: 10 bilateral points at GB34, SP6, KI3, ST36, BL15, BL23, Taiyang, HT7, PC6, LI11; De Qi was elicited at all points and 2Hz was applied at SP6, ST36, BL15, BL23). The treatments each lasted 30 minutes and were done twice a week for 4 weeks.
Patients were given a hot flash score (HFS) questionnaire to complete for the entire length of the study. The HFS is a product of the hot flash frequency and severity (1=mild, 2=moderate, 3=severe). The HFS is an accepted assessment used in many other studies.
The results were fantastic:
- Mean improvement in HFS at 2-weeks=68% and at 6-weeks=89%.
- Amazingly, 8-months after the completion of the acupuncture treatment, the patients still recorded a mean improvement of 80% from their pre-acupuncture baseline!!
- There were no side effects from this treatment.
If you are living with hot flashes from ADT, give acupuncture a try.