Meditation for Menopause: A Risk-Free Alternative
There are a number of treatment options available for dealing with the symptoms of menopause. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is highly effective, but rarely used because it has been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, blood clots, strokes and heart attacks. Even Bioidentical Hormone therapy (which is promoted as a safer alternative to HRT) is not researched well enough and likely carries its own risks. Meditation, on the other hand, can help you to manage symptoms associated with menopause safely and effectively.
Mindfulness-based stress reduction is a form of meditation that has been found to be beneficial for menopausal women. This meditation includes the following techniques:
- Body scan meditation, where you have to move your attention over the body from head to toes and become aware of the sensations felt.
- Sitting meditation, where you focus on breathing as well as sensations, thoughts and emotions while sitting upright.
- Mindful stretching, where you become aware of the sensations in the body during moving and stretching.
In a study published in The Journal of North-American Menopause Society this type of meditation was evaluated over a seven-week period in menopausal women who had at least seven moderate hot flashes daily. The results of the study: the hot flashes frequency decreased by 39%, the severity of hot flashes was reduced by over 40%, and 28% of the participant’s experienced better sleep and ability to cope with hot flashes.
The mindfulness-based stress reduction program started at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center over 30 years ago, and they offer now this program in over 200 medical centers and hospitals all around the word. This form of meditation had also been found beneficial for back pain, arthritis, cancer patients and more. To find a clinic in your area visit their website.
Stress is a common trigger of menopausal symptoms, and transcendental meditation (TM) has been found to reduce anxiety twice as effectively as other relaxation techniques and meditation practices. Used only for twenty minutes daily, TM helps reduce the levels of stress hormone cortisol, while improving sleep and mood. When the cortisol levels are optimized your body may also make more progesterone. Over 350 research studies have found TM effective for various health conditions. Practiced all around the word by millions of people, TM was first introduced outside India by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the late 1950s
In order to learn the method of TM, you must purchase a membership. Learning TM involves seven steps: an introductory lecture (where you learn about the benefits of TM, a preparatory lecture (where the technique is explained), a personal interview with a trained TM teacher, personal instruction (one-on-one instruction/ teaching session), and three seminars. The membership also includes a life time follow up and support. To find more about Transcendental Meditation, visit their website.
These two forms of meditation appear to be two of the most beneficial techniques for menopausal symptoms, but you can also try different ones and see which one works best for you. Yoga and tai chi are also great mind-body practices that you may want to incorporate in your daily routines.