Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Tired of feeling those hot flashes that come as a result of menopause? There is one remedy you may just be ecstatic to find out about.
A study at LinkÃ¶ping University and LinkÃ¶ping University Hospital shows that women who learn to relax can reduce their menopause symptoms by half.
The researchers found that seven out of every ten women going through menopause have at some point experienced problems with hot flashes and sweating. They also found that one in ten women had problems that persisted for at least five years.
Some women have alleviated menopausal effects with estrogen, however, new observations have shown that the treatment increases the risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Researchers wrote in the journal Menopause that they have discovered an all natural treatment for menopause: relaxation.
The team conducted a therapy based on learning to find the muscle groups in one’s body, and getting the body to relax with the help of breathing techniques.
Researchers assigned 60 women who saw a doctor for moderate to severe symptoms occurring at least 50 times a week to one of two groups. One group had ten sessions of group therapy, and the other received no treatment whatsoever.
“The participants were given exercises to practice daily at home,” Women´s Clinic consultant Elizabeth Nedstrand said in a statement. “The goal was for them to learn to use the method on their own and to be able to manage their own symptoms.”
During the therapy sessions, and for three months afterwards, the women kept a diary of their hot flashes. They also filled out a “quality of life” survey on three occasions, and submitted a saliva sample for analysis of the stress hormone cortisol.
The researchers found that the women in the treatment group reduced the number of hot flashes per day from an average of 9.1 to 4.4 The effect remained for three months after the last therapy session, according to the researchers. The control group saw a decrease as well, but just from 9.7 to 7.8.
Women who underwent the treatment also reported improved quality of life as regards to memory and concentration, sleep and anxiety.
“The study confirms that applied relaxation can help women with menopausal troubles. My hope is that women can be offered this treatment in primary care and from private health care providers,” Nedstrand concluded.