Having your own personal summer in the middle of this cold winter season? If you hang out long enough in a crowd of women age 40+ you will hear at least one of them talking about her hot flashes, night sweats or sleep issues due to fluctuating internal temperature. These are hallmark symptoms of menopause which can be quite distressing, embarrassing and life altering. From a Chinese medical perspective, your menopausal body is not producing enough yin (cool) to control the additional yang (heat). This translates into more frequent and intense hot flashes.Here are three possible solutions for alleviating these symptoms:
Move your body
Get regular exercise. This does not mean you need to sweat it out in the gym 4 days a week, in fact that may make things worse at this point! Gentle movement is recommended such as taking a 10-20 minute walk during lunch break or practicing Tai Chi or Qi Gong will get the blood moving and release hormones that assist in relieving hot flashes.
Find alternatives to alcohol, sugar and caffeine
Consuming alcohol, caffeine or sugar creates MORE internal heat - we don’t need that! Instead of reaching for that glass of wine or a sugary soda, increase your water intake and flavor it with lemon or mint and occasionally spritz it up with soda water. You may also consider drinking calming and cooling teas that even out that fluctuating estrogen such as this one from diyhealthremedy.com. (Tip: don’t drink this tea hot, let it cool to room temperature to avoid adding more heat into your system)
Black Cohosh Tea (aka Sheng Ma)
Add a teaspoon of finely chopped black cohosh root to a teapot and pour a cup of boiling water over the herb. Steep for third minutes and strain and drink the tea. To improve the taste of herbal tea, add half a teaspoon of dried ginger and a tablespoon of honey. It’s helpful to drink a cup of black cohosh tea twice a day to alleviate hot flashes as it has significant estrogenic effect.
Even a stressful thought can initiate a cascade of hormonal responses that result in flushing or a hot flash. Find ways to avoid or soften the stress in your life. One way is through meditation; a wonderful tool to alleviate stress and balance our moods. Just a couple of minutes of deep breathing and mindfulness can assist your body toward relaxation.
Try this breathing technique to reduce stress:
Place both hands on your lower abdomen just below your belly button. Now imagine a small ball of light under your hands, glowing and growing larger with each breath. Breathing in through the nose and sending the breath down to the glowing ball, feeling your hands rise slightly as you breathe deeply from your abdomen. Let the rest of your body relax and focus only on the breath below your hands. Repeat for 10-15 breaths.
Acupuncture has been shown to be a successful treatment to alleviate heat related issues, stress and other symptoms of menopause by adjusting the systems in the body to operate more efficiently. I will develop a treatment plan specific to your body’s imbalances and your experience of menopause. Book your evaluation and treatment online at journeyhealthacu.com.
These tips will help you keep your cool during your menopausal transition. Keep in mind this is a natural process and a time to celebrate a new season of life. Here's to your journey of life filled with balance and good health!