Acupuncture in the hands of an experienced practitioner is very safe and is linked to improvement of vasomotor symptoms, energy and general well being. A recent article in the BMJ concluded that acupuncture offers a 'realistic' treatment option for women who can't, or don't want to use HRT. A Cochrane review showed that when acupuncture was compared with no treatment, there appeared to be a benefit from acupuncture, but it is less effective than HRT.
It is difficult to perform randomised controlled double blind studies for acupuncture, which are the gold standard of providing evidence in scientific studies. There is a lot of research suggesting acupuncture may be helpful, but design flaws or quality issues have undermined the findings. The BMS states that studies showed no difference in women who received acupuncture compared with those who received sham acupuncture. It is worth noting that sham acupuncture involves needling of the skin. Further research is needed to show that acupuncture for vasomotor symptoms is more effective than placebo.