Hot flashes are an all-too common side effect of menopause. They occur because the body slows its production of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. And while these hot flashes are not life-threatening, they can interfere with your quality of life if you have to endure them on a daily basis. For some, hot flashes continue on into the postmenopausal years.
Western medicine developed a cure for hot flashes in the form of hormone therapy. For years, doctors have been recommending hormone therapy to offset, not only rapid fluctuations in body temperature, but to ease some of the other symptoms of menopause which can include headaches, fatigue, insomnia, loss of concentration, and irritability.
And while this type of treatment has proven successful, the use of hormone therapy can come with some pretty substantial side effects. Hormone therapy may trigger the onset of Alzheimer’s-type symptoms, including thinking and memory impairment. There may also be a two-fold risk of developing blood clots. Heart disease risk, as well as breast cancer risk, may increase when taking hormone therapy.
Many women decide to treat menopausal symptoms with natural remedies to see if they can improve the quality of their lives. With that in mind, here is one treatment for hot flashes that hasn’t gained widespread attention in the medical media—but perhaps it should. This is a natural remedy for hot flashes that you need to know about—and it’s all about hypnosis.
A combined team of researchers from Indiana University and the University of Texas recently conducted a study to look at the effectiveness of hypnosis to reduce hot flashes. This could be a really exciting natural remedy for hot flashes. 187 postmenopausal women were recruited for the trial. These women were having upwards of seven hot flashes per day or 50 per week.
The researchers divided the participants into two groups. One group was given 45-minute weekly sessions of clinical hypnosis along with training in self-hypnosis. The other group acted as control and received “structured attention” in the form of an audio recording that offered up general information about hot flashes.
The researchers then measured the frequency and severity of hot flashes over the course of 12 weeks. How much did the hypnosis sessions help? This natural remedy for hot flashes worked: hot flash frequency dropped by almost 75%! The researchers also recorded an improvement in sleep quality for the hypnosis group.
Let’s take a look at one more clinical trial. This time, non-pharmaceutical treatments for women with breast cancer who were experiencing “severe” hot flashes as a result of their cancer therapy were reviewed. Hypnosis sessions were found to exert small, but measurable benefits in reducing hot flash severity.
What is clinical hypnosis exactly? Hypnotherapy usually involves entering a relaxed state so that beneficial suggestions intended to improve whatever health problem you’re suffering from can be given to your subconscious. It is your subconscious that controls many of the mental and physical functions your body performs without involving your conscious mind. In effect, they are all of those bodily processes that are “under the radar” as you go about your day.
During hypnosis, your metabolism, breathing, and heartbeat may be slowed. Being in this state is thought to open the door for healing on a more fundamental level, encouraging your body’s own abilities in remedying symptoms. That’s why this natural remedy for hot flashes holds a lot of promise. Talk to your doctor today to see if hypnosis could be right for you.
Sources for Today’s Articles:
Elkins, G.R., et al., “Clinical hypnosis in the treatment of postmenopausal hot flashes: a randomized controlled trial,” Menopause. March 2013; 20(3): 291-8.
Bordeleau, L., et al., “Therapeutic options for the management of hot flashes in breast cancer survivors: an evidence-based review,” Clin Ther. February 2007; 29(2): 230-41.