Acupuncture may reduce the severity of sudden feeling of feverish heat - a typical symptom of menopause - in some women, according to scientists.
After eight weeks of acupuncture treatment, scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre in the US found that about half the women in the study had reduced frequency of hot flashes.
"Women bothered by hot flashes and night sweats may want to give acupuncture a try as a relatively low-cost, low-risk treatment," said lead author Nancy Avis, professor at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre.
"Women who had a reduction in their hot flashes saw a benefit beginning after about three to four weeks of weekly treatments," said Avis.
The study was designed to examine different patterns of responses to acupuncture.
Participants included 209 perimenopausal and postmenopausal women ages 45 to 60 who had on average at least four hot flashes or night sweats per day.
Women were randomised to receive up to 20 acupuncture treatments within six months or to a control group.
Out of the 170 women who received acupuncture, a small group of women (11.9 per cent) had an 85 per cent reduction in hot flashes by the eighth week of the study, Avis said.
Forty-seven per cent of the study group reported a 47 per cent reduction over this same time frame.
However, 37 per cent showed only a minimal reduction of 9.6 per cent in frequency of hot flashes, while four per cent reported a 100 per cent increase in hot flashes.
"We had hoped to identify some of the characteristics of the women who benefited from acupuncture, but like so many treatments, we could not really tell ahead of time who would benefit," Avis said.
The study appears in the journal Menopause.