When I was on a hormone block I suffered from many side effects, among them were the classical hot flashes. Some days I found that I would have to change shirts three to four times a day; Costco loved me because I eventually became their highest volume laundry detergent purchaser.

One of my doctors suggested that I participate in a clinical trial that was actively recruiting men suffering with hot flashes. The trial tested a protocol using acupuncture to reduce both the number of and the intensity of hot flashes resulting from a hormone blockade.

I participated in the trial and found that by the trial’s end, my hot flashes had been reduced by about 30% and there intensity had significantly decreased. Costco objected, but I was pleased.

When I share my experience in the trial, some men have reported they could not consider acupuncture because they were concerned about having needles stuck into them. I explained that usually you do not feel the needles, there is an occasional exception, but the rule is that acupuncture is painless.

Anna Enblom, a physiotherapist and doctoral candidate at the Department of Medicine and Health Sciences at Linköping University and the Vårdal Institute in Sweden, carried out four studies that are now being reported in her doctoral dissertation. She found that acupuncture works, but it works equally well with or without needle penetration.

She drew this conclusion from a treatment study she conducted involving cancer survivors suffering from nausea during radiotherapy. Her study used 215 patients who were undergoing radiation treatment in the abdomen or pelvic region.

The participants were chosen by lot to one of these two acupuncture types. One hu