Treat PMS symptoms, hot flashes with acupuncture

By Jodi Mohrmann - Managing Editor of special projects
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As many as 80 percent of women will have to deal with PMS at some point in their lives.  Now, a new study finds acupuncture can be effective in relieving symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.

"The acupuncture will work to target the multiple symptoms a woman would present with PMS," explained Jamie Starkey, who did not take part in the study but is a licensed acupuncturist at Cleveland Clinic.

Researchers reviewed the results of eight acupuncture studies. They found acupuncture demonstrated the ability to reduce symptoms by 78 percent within two to four treatments. Hand acupuncture was found to be more effective than traditional acupuncture for the treatment of hot flashes.

Other results show twp to six  treatments with the combination of acupuncture, moxibustion, and cupping to be effective for menstrual pain.
Moxibustion is a Chinese medicine therapy using moxa, which is made from dried mugwort.

Cupping is an ancient chinese therapy in which a local suction is created on the skin. In all of the studies, researchers say they found no major adverse events or side-effects.

Starkey says acupuncture is something to consider if you're looking for a non-pharmacological way to treat symptoms of PMS.

"So, patients will typically come in to see an acupuncturist if they've been on medication that's not working," said Starkey. "They can use acupuncture to start tapering down off of their medication, or to eliminate the need to use medication altogether."

Read more about this study here.

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