While everyone in the UK has been sweltering over the past few days, some people are having a harder time than others. For women going through menopause, the hot weather can actually trigger more hot flushes than normal.
Because perimenopause is a time where hormone levels fluctuate wildly, symptoms will vary over time. Common symptoms include sore swollen breasts, lowered libido, heavy bleeding, hot flushes, night sweats, lowered mood, anxiety and sleep disturbances. After menopause hot flushes and night sweats are still common, affecting ¾ of post-menopausal women, with 1 in 3 women finding the disruption severely bothersome.
If you’re finding that the hot weather has kicked your hot flushes into overdrive, there are some simple things that you can do which will make you significantly more comfortable.
Dress in natural fabric layers
Dress in lightweight layers that absorb perspiration. Natural fibers breathe better and absorb sweat, keeping you cooler than polyester or viscose. Having a couple of light layers that you can add and subtract as needed can be really helpful to regulate your temperature.
Enjoy cold food and drinks
It seems obvious, but it might not be something that you’ve tried. A tall, cool, icy glass of water or an ice lolly can be a great way of helping your body regulate itself.
Practice mindful breathing
Deep, mindful breathing exercises that slow your heart can reduce your body temperature. You don’t have to do anything fancy; find somewhere quiet to sit and practice taking slow, deep breaths through your nose.
Use a cold compress
Keep an ice pack or washcloth in the freezer. Place it on your forehead or around the back of your neck, and you’ll feel cooler immediately.
Clinical hypnotherapy has been shown to be effective in reducing hot flashes. Randomised, controlled trials of clinical hypnosis demonstrated the approach was significantly better than a “structured attention” therapy approach in postmenopausal women with frequent hot flashes and more effective than acupuncture, herbal supplements and yoga.
In sessions with a hypnotherapist, a woman with unwanted menopausal symptoms can learn to use simple techniques to manage their reaction to things like hot flushes. During hypnosis sessions you may be asked to imagine stepping into a cool sea or feeling a cool breeze and then coached in self-hypnosis so that you can learn to visualise that same body-cooling sensation when hot flushes strike in everyday life, leading to actual relief of symptoms.
The National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) has over 2000 highly trained and qualified therapists on its register of UK therapists who can assist you in this transition of life. Contact one today and enjoy some cool relief.