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Relaxation Exercises Linked to Reduced Frequency of Hot Flashes

Hot flashes are a common problem for women who are going through menopause and can result in discomfort and insomnia. A recent study shows that certain breathing techniques may reduce the occurrence of hot flashes from 9.1 to 4.4 a day.

The study included 60 menopausal women who reported moderate to severe menopausal symptoms more than 50 times per week. Half of the group completed ten sessions of group therapy to learn a relaxation technique which focused on breathing and muscle relaxation. The other half received no treatment.

The treatment group was also instructed to complete daily exercises at home. All of the women kept diaries recording the frequency of their hot flashes. They also filled out quality of life surveys on 3 separate occasions.

The number of hot flashes experienced by the treatment group was reduced from 9.1 to 4.4 per day. These effects were felt by the participants for three months after the last therapy session. The control group reported a decrease of only 9.7 to 7.8.

The study was conducted by the Women's Clinic. It was published on November 12, 2012, in Menopause.

Previous research suggests that consuming soy products may also reduce the frequency of hot flashes, mainly due to the presence of phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are substances that come from plants that mimic the qualities of estrogen, a common treatment for menopause symptoms.

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