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Home Media Centre Ancient therapy trial showing success in treating hot flushes

Ancient therapy trial showing success in treating hot flushes

15 January 2013:

Could the ancient therapy of acupuncture, practised for over 2,000 years, be the answer for many women experiencing debilitating hot flushes?

With around two million Australian women going through or approaching menopause, many women are experiencing hot flushes that interfere with their daily lives.

With some women seeking alternatives to HRT, an Australian study is leading the way in finding suitable safe and effective alternative treatments for hot flushes. Following promising results from two smaller trials, Acupause is the world's largest study of menopausal women trialling acupuncture for the treatment of hot flushes.

Acupause is a joint trial by the University of Melbourne, Jean Hailes for Women's Health, Monash University, RMIT University and Southern Cross University.

Trial coordinator Dr Carolyn Ee began the study after successfully treating menopausal women in her clinic with acupuncture. "Acupuncture is a very safe treatment," says Dr Ee. "We are excited because this study is likely to show whether or not acupuncture is an effective treatment for hot flushes."

Already, almost 200 women have joined the study, and researchers are seeking more women to take part in the trial, which involves keeping a diary of hot flushes over seven days at various points of the trial, as well as attending 10 acupuncture sessions at locations across Australia (including metropolitan Melbourne, Melton, Mornington, Echuca in Victoria, Ballina/Byron in NSW and Southport Qld). The acupuncture treatment may be real or 'placebo' treatment.

There are some promising early signs from women who have already participated. Preliminary evidence from earlier smaller trials has shown that acupuncture may be helpful, particularly for hot flushes and night sweats, reducing frequency and/or severity of hot flushes during, and for a short time after, treatment.

For details of the study and how to join go to:

http://www.jeanhailes.org.au/research/open-projects/1265-acupuncture-for-hot-flushes-acupause 

http://www.gp.unimelb.edu.au/acupause/ 

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