Norwegian researchers have looked at the effectiveness of acupuncture for hot flushes arising as a result of anti-oestrogen medication (Tamoxifen) in women being treated for breast cancer. In the trial, 59 women were randomly allocated to receive ten weeks of either traditional Chinese acupuncture, or sham acupuncture as a control. During the treatment period, the true acupuncture group experienced a 50% reduction in hot flushes during the day, rising to 60% at night; flushes reduced further by another 30% both day and night, over the subsequent twelve weeks. In the sham acupuncture group, there was a 25% reduction during the day whilst treatment persisted, but this effect was reversed over the subsequent twelve weeks; no reduction occurred in night time flushes. The authors make the observation that the treatment effect in the true acupuncture group seems to coincide with a general, measurable health improvement.
(Acupuncture for the Treatment of Hot Flashes in Breast Cancer Patients: a Randomised Controlled Trial. Breast Cancer Research & Treatment, July 2009.)