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Acupuncture may cool hot flashes

PALO ALTO, Calif., Sept. 25 (UPI) -- Researchers at Stanford University are planning further investigation to see if acupuncture can cool the hot flashes of menopausal women.

A preliminary study by Mary Huang and her Stanford colleagues shows seven weeks of acupuncture treatment reduced the severity of nighttime hot flashes by 28 percent, WebMD reports.

Published in the September issue of the journal Fertility and Sterility, the study involved 29 menopausal women who experienced at least seven moderate to severe hot flashes each day.

All of the women underwent acupuncture treatment but only 12 received acupuncture targeted at hot flashes and sleepiness.

After nine treatments from trained acupuncturists, the 12 women reported a significant decrease in nighttime hot flash severity.

Huang and colleagues say the results merit further study of acupuncture as an alternative treatment.

Hormone replacement therapy was the No. 1 choice for treating hot flashes until recently when studies showed HRT could increase a woman's risk of heart disease or cancer.

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