Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hot Flashes? Here's another option--

A couple years ago, I noticed my
mom suddenly fanning herself,
pumping open the collar of her
shirt, and then needing to leave
the room. I knew about hot flashes,
but didn't realize my mom got them
or that so many women are affected
by this nasty little affliction.

Because I have believed Tai Chi to
be The Great Panacea of the world,
I started reading up on hot flashes to
help mom and some of my female students.

Seemingly, the big trigger is stress.
Money, family, work, love and sex are
usually the main topics adults stress over.

Evidently, nothing works. Black cohosh
and most other pills/caplets can work for
a few women, but there is no product that
works across the board. Sites like this give
product reviews, but they are designed
purely to make money for the site owner:

Forget Hormone Replacement Therapy.The risk of breast cancer, heart attacks, heart
disease, strokes, dementia, and blood clots far
outweighs any benefits. This should be
a last resort, when you've tried everything else.

After more than 20 years of research on

hot flashes, Dr. Robert Freedman suggests
that hot flashes are triggered when a woman's
core body temperature rises slightly (this is
the temperature DEEP within the body;
NOT what a regular thermometer measures).

A professor of psychiatry and behavioral
neurosciences at Wayne State University
School of Medicine in Detroit, Freedman says,

"Ordinarily, the rise wouldn't cause much
discomfort. But in menopausal women, we
think their tolerance for small increases in
core body temperature, above what we call
the thermoneutral zone, is greatly reduced.
When that zone is breached, the result is
flushing and sweating." 

Dr. Freedman and many other experts
are now recommending "Paced Respiration"
for its awesome effectiveness, and complete
lack of down side.

Freedman continues,
"Our studies show that slow, deep breathing
can reduce the frequency of hot flashes by
about 50 percent. Women who've been trained to
use this technique as soon as they feel a flush coming
on are often able to abort the hot flash or at least
reduce its severity."

"The average breathing rate is 15 to 16 cycles
(inhaling and exhaling) per minute," he notes.
"But with training, women can slow their breathing
down to seven or eight cycles per minute, which
can significantly reduce the frequency and intensity
of hot flashes."

I created an online instructional video:

Taoist Breathing for Hot Flashes.

the instructions experts offer for
"paced respiration."

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