Monday, July 25, 2011

Is Meditation An Easy Way to Ease Hot Flashes?

Meditating in Madison Square Park, Manhattan, ...Image via Wikipedia

A recent study from the University of Massachusetts Medical School found that menopausal women who meditated experienced a significant relief from hot flashes. The study’s participants’ average age was 53.6 and they experienced an average of at least seven moderate to severe hot flashes each day. The program involved classes in body scan meditation, sitting meditation, and mindful stretching. The women also participated in guided meditation at home six days a week for 45 minutes. At the end of the study, the frequency of the women’s hot flashes decreased an average of 39% and the average severity of hot flashes dropped 40%. Additionally, most participants reported being better able to deal with their hot flashes.

Here are a few types of meditations to try:
  • Guided meditation, which uses guided imagery or visualization and incorporates as many senses as possible.
  • Mantra meditation, which uses a calming word, thought or phrase to stop distracting thoughts.
  • Mindfulness meditation, which involves having an increased awareness and acceptance of living in the moment.
  • Qi gong, which involves meditation, relaxation, physical movement and breathing exercises in order to restore and maintain balance.
  • Tai chi, which is a type of Chinese martial arts.
  • Yoga

Before you start remember the following:

  • Have an intention. Know why you’re participating in meditation, whether through the goal of limiting hot flashes or a concept of managing the stress in your life.
  • Don’t worry if your brain is actively thinking. Meditation is not designed to stop you from thinking; instead, you increasingly become aware of your thinking. Furthermore, each thought shouldn’t be judged as good or bad.
  • Use your breath to focus your meditation. You can visualize your breath, or breathe rhythmically.
  • Meditating with others can be helpful. You can get advice and work with others to form a commitment to the meditation practice.
  • Don't think of it as a religious practice
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