Daily breather may ease hot flashes

Regular, daily practice of calm or paced breathing may ease hot flashes, shows a new study published online in Menopause, the journal of the North American Menopause Society.

This controlled randomized study from the Mayo Clinic included 92 women who took time out daily to listen to an instructional CD and practice paced breathing or rhythmic breathing at a normal rate. Paced breathing is a technique of slow, deep breathing. This and other meditative techniques, such as quietly following your breath, have been shown to calm the body's . (The autonomic nervous system, which controls functions such as sweating and , plays a role in hot flashes.)

One group took slow breaths (6 per minute) for 15 minutes twice a day, another took slow breaths for 15 minutes once a day, and the third took breaths at what is considered a normal pace (14 per minute) for 10 minutes a day. The women practiced the techniques, which they all thought were easy to do regularly, and they kept diaries of their hot flashes for 9 weeks.

All the groups reported statistically significant decreases in the number and severity of their hot flashes. The group that had the greatest reduction in their hot flashes was the one that practiced paced breathing twice a day.

For women who want to use this alternative technique for , taking that time out every day may be the key to keeping cool.

The study will be published in the February 2013 print edition of .

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Acupuncture may cool hot flashes

Sep 25, 2006

Researchers at Stanford University are planning further investigation to see if acupuncture can cool the hot flashes of menopausal women.

Hot flashes may be fewer in older, heavier women

Aug 31, 2011

A recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) found that among women aged 60 and above, heavier women have fewer hot flashes than their leaner counte ...

Recommended for you

First case of Ebola diagnosed in US

1 hour ago

The United States has diagnosed its first case of the deadly Ebola virus in a man who became infected in Liberia and traveled to Texas, US health officials said Tuesday.

Study finds acupuncture does not improve chronic knee pain

2 hours ago

Among patients older than 50 years with moderate to severe chronic knee pain, neither laser nor needle acupuncture provided greater benefit on pain or function compared to sham laser acupuncture, according to a study in the ...

Ebola outbreak nears end in Nigeria

2 hours ago

The Ebola outbreak in Nigeria is almost over, US health officials said Tuesday, in a rare sign of authorities turning the tide on the highly contagious disease that has killed more than 3,000 in West Africa.

Diuretics in proton pump inhibitor-associated hypomagnesemia

3 hours ago

Proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy is associated with hospitalization for hypomagnesemia, particularly among patients also receiving diuretics, according to research published this week in PLOS Medicine. The study, conduc ...

User comments