Last week we established that I have not yet or may never experience the infamous “hot flash” syndrome that causes millions of women to suffer on sometimes a daily basis. But, in the name of preparation for what might hit me in the future—I decided to do a little research and see what treatments are out there other than pills and supplements. And, I was super excited to find many studies that have demonstrated that hypnosis is a promising form of treatment.
I am a huge fan of hypnosis for the treatment of many things that ail me, including sleep, relaxation and appetite control. Of course, hypnosis is not the answer for everyone and I’m not a doctor. But, if you are like me – you try to find non-chemical answers to medical issues first and then head to the doctor if none of those are effective. And, unlike supplements and over the counter (OTC) medications – hypnosis does not interfere or cause negative interactions with any current medications you might be taking. This is a concern that not many people consider when taking supplements and OTC meds.
To help understand how this drug-free option works, I found a wonderful source written by Madeline Vann, MPH and medically reviewed by Niya Jones, MD, MPH. It’s got a lot great information. Here is what Vann found:
Not interested in taking hormones as a hot flashes treatment? A drug-free alternative therapy for this menopause annoyance might be hypnosis. According to research published in the journal Menopause, clinical hypnosis cut hot flashes by nearly 75 percent. For the study, 187 women who were having seven or more hot flashes a day were given five hypnosis sessions a week for 12 weeks. The women also reported improved sleep quality, which could be a bonus effect of fewer hot flashes and stressing less about them, says lead researcher Gary Elkins, PhD, a professor and director of the Mind-Body Medicine Research Laboratory in the department of psychology and neuroscience at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Dr. Elkins cautions that the use of hypnosis in menopause treatment is in its early stages. However, it has no negative side effects, so you can try it as a way to reduce menopause symptoms with little worry as long as you look for a certified clinical hypnotherapist.
Debbie Williams, 49, is one of the study participants who swears by the results of the program. A resident of Waco, this grandmother, office manager, and self-proclaimed fitness nut says that when a needed hysterectomy triggered early menopause in her early forties, she sought whatever relief she could find from her symptoms. “I was totally unprepared for hot flashes and night sweats,” she recalls. She tried hormone replacement therapy, but her menopause symptoms remained troubling enough that she leapt at the chance to try hypnosis and was the first person to sign up for Elkins’ hypnosis study. “I knew absolutely nothing about hypnosis,” she admits. “I am not one who believes they can make you cluck like a chicken or bark like a dog, but I was open-minded.”
The experience exceeded her expectations. “It was like a spa day,” Williams says. The process of hypnosis in the lab was profoundly relaxing, as were the tools she was given to use at home, including a guided relaxation recording provided by Elkins. At the end of the study, the participants were taught how to continue with self-hypnosis at home, a process that requires 30 minutes of uninterrupted time. “Since going through the program, I’ve been able to control most of the hot flashes almost completely,” she says. Maintaining the effect does take dedication. “Any woman knows it’s hard to find 30 minutes a day with no interruptions,” she says. “It requires effort, but it’s worth it.”
I will continue to use hypnosis therapy for sleep and keep it my back pocket for hot flash treatment. Keep in mind that researchers are listening to women’s requests for alternative approaches to manage hot flashes and studies in search of even more options continue.
To read the original article go to: http://www.everydayhealth.com/menopause/can-hypnosis-help-hot-flashes.aspx