Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Menopause: Relaxation good therapy for hot flushes

Date:
November 22, 2012
Source:
Linköping Universitet
Summary:
Women who have undergone group therapy and learned to relax have reduced their menopausal troubles by half, according to new results.

Women who have undergone group therapy and learned to relax have reduced their menopausal troubles by half, according to results of a study at Linköping University and Linköping University Hospital in Sweden.

Related Articles


Seven out of every ten women undergoing menopause have at some point experienced problems with hot flushes and sweating. For one in ten women, the problems lasted five years or longer, primarily causing discomfort in social situations and insomnia.

The background to this is not known. What is known is that the decreasing amounts of the female hormone estrogen -- which occurs after menopause -- affects the brain's heat regulation centre in the hypothalamus.

Medication with estrogen has proven to have a good effect. At the end of the 1990s, Swedish doctors prescribed hormone tablets to around 40% of women with moderate to severe symptoms. But since new observations have shown that the treatment increased the risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease, their use has decreased drastically. Today, the number of women with menopausal problems receiving estrogen is down to 10%.

The situation triggered an interest in alternative forms of treatment. For her doctoral thesis, Women's Clinic consultant Elizabeth Nedstrand arranged a study where a group of women were randomly assigned to three different treatments alongside estrogen: acupuncture, exercise, and applied relaxation -- a method based on cognitive behaviour therapy developed by psychologist Lars-Göran Öst.

The results were so interesting that a larger randomised study around the effects of applied relaxation began n in 2007. 60 women who saw a doctor for moderate to severe symptoms occurring at least 50 times a week -- but who were otherwise completely healthy -- were randomly assigned to two groups: one had ten sessions of group therapy and the other received no treatment whatsoever. The results are now being published by Nedstrand and Lotta Lindh-Åstrand in the scientific journal Menopause.

Nedstrand herself conducted the therapy, which is based on learning to find the muscle groups in one's body and getting the body to relax with the help of breathing techniques.

"The participants were given exercises to practice daily at home. The goal was for them to learn to use the method on their own and to be able to manage their own symptoms.

During the intervention period and for three months thereafter, the women kept a diary of their hot flushes. They also had to fill out a "quality of life" survey on three occasions, in addition to submitting a saliva sample for analysis of the stress hormone cortisol.

The results were striking. The women in the treatment group reduced the number of hot flushes per day from an average of 9.1 to 4.4; the effect remained for three months after the last therapy session. The numbers in the control group also decreased, but only from 9.7 to 7.8.

The women in the therapy group also reported improved quality of life as regards memory and concentration, sleep, and anxiety. On the other hand, there were no statistically significant differences in stress hormone secretion.

"The study confirms that applied relaxation can help women with menopausal troubles. My hope is that women can be offered this treatment in primary care and from private health care providers," Nedstrand says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Linköping Universitet. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lotta Lindh-Åstrand, Elizabeth Nedstrand. Effects of applied relaxation on vasomotor symptoms in postmenopausal women. Menopause: The Journal of The North American Menopause Society, 2012; 1 DOI: 10.1097/gme.0b013e318272ce80

Cite This Page:

Linköping Universitet. "Menopause: Relaxation good therapy for hot flushes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121122112835.htm>.
Linköping Universitet. (2012, November 22). Menopause: Relaxation good therapy for hot flushes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121122112835.htm
Linköping Universitet. "Menopause: Relaxation good therapy for hot flushes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121122112835.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins