Daily breather may ease hot flashes

September 24, 2012

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 .

Explore further: Reduction noted in heart rate variability during hot flashes

Related Stories

Reduction noted in heart rate variability during hot flashes

April 6, 2012

(HealthDay) -- Women experiencing hot flashes have a significant reduction in heart rate variability during the hot flash, suggesting a role for the autonomic nervous system, according to a study published in the April issue ...

Hot flashes may be fewer in older, heavier women

August 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 counterparts. ...

Recommended for you

In first, scientists forecast West Nile Virus outbreaks

February 24, 2017

Scientists at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health are the first to report a method to accurately predict the timing and intensity of West Nile Virus (WNV) outbreaks. The study is published in the journal ...

Zika virus harms testes, says study

February 23, 2017

The Zika virus reduces the size of testes in infected mice up to 21 days after infection, according to a new Yale study. The persistence of the virus in the male reproductive organ can lead to sexual transmission and may ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.