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Mindfulness for menopause


Women who have lived with severe hot flashes may now have a completely natural and easily available treatment: mindfulness.

In this instance “mindfulness” refers to awareness classes and some meditation and light stretching. A new study shows that not only can this combination of treatments help women with hot flashes but also anyone needing improved sleep quality, stress relief and help with anxiety during menopause.

In 2002 it was revealed that women using hormone therapy to treat these effects of menopause were more likely to have an increased risk of stroke and breast and ovarian cancers. Since then women (and researchers) have been looking for safe, effective alternative treatments.

“There’s a broad range of attitudes about hot flashes and how they should be treated,” said Dr. Ellen Freeman, a menopause expert at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia. “There are certainly many, many women who don’t want to take hormones… and don’t want to take other drugs either.” For these women, “mindfulness” will likely be a perfect alternative treatment.

In the study, mindfulness classes included a weekly 2.5 hour talk focusing on body awareness, meditation, and stretching. The women in the study also received CDs to guide them through the exercises while at home. At the end of the study, they slept better, were less stressed and anxious and had fewer less severe hot flashes which did not bother them.

It does require time from women if they want to pursue this alternative. But for many, they won’t mind mindfulness.

Source: Reuters, Menopause online


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