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 ...

Flaxseed no help for hot flashes during breast cancer or menopause, study finds

September 7, 2011
A study by Mayo Clinic physician and North Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG) researcher Sandhya Pruthi, M.D., and colleagues found that flaxseed provided no benefit in easing hot flashes among breast cancer patients ...

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

Researchers developing new tool to distinguish between viral, bacterial infections

July 28, 2017
Antibiotics are lifesaving drugs, but overuse is leading to one of the world's most pressing health threats: antibiotic resistance. Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center are developing a tool to help physicians ...

Finish your antibiotics course? Maybe not, experts say

July 27, 2017
British disease experts on Thursday suggested doing away with the "incorrect" advice to always finish a course of antibiotics, saying the approach was fuelling the spread of drug resistance.

Co-infection with two common gut pathogens worsens malnutrition in mice

July 27, 2017
Two gut pathogens commonly found in malnourished children combine to worsen malnutrition and impair growth in laboratory mice, according to new research published in PLOS Pathogens.

Phase 3 trial confirms superiority of tocilizumab to steroids for giant cell arteritis

July 26, 2017
A phase 3 clinical trial has confirmed that regular treatment with tocilizumab, an inhibitor of interleukin-6, successfully reduced both symptoms of and the need for high-dose steroid treatment for giant cell arteritis, the ...

A large-scale 'germ trap' solution for hospitals

July 26, 2017
When an infectious airborne illness strikes, some hospitals use negative pressure rooms to isolate and treat patients. These rooms use ventilation controls to keep germ-filled air contained rather than letting it circulate ...

Researchers report new system to study chronic hepatitis B

July 25, 2017
Scientists from Princeton University's Department of Molecular Biology have successfully tested a cell-culture system that will allow researchers to perform laboratory-based studies of long-term hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections. ...

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.