The women were randomly assigned to receive 10 sessions of either a standardized program of Chinese medicine acupuncture or sham acupuncture. The sham acupuncture gave the sensation of a needle prick, but it did not involve the insertion of needles into the body. The women did not know whether they were receiving real or sham acupuncture. The researchers used questionnaires to measure the severity and frequency of the women's hot flashes at baseline, at the end of treatment (8 weeks), and at 3 and 6 months after treatment. They also collected information on adverse effects that the women had as a result of the treatment. Treatments were given by Chinese medicine acupuncturists in their private clinics.