3 out of 4 women experience hot flashes during the menopause transition and well after.
What is a hot flash?
Have you ever experienced a sudden intense sensation of heat rising from your back, chest and in seconds the heat reaches your neck, face and you start sweating everywhere? If yes, you have lived through a so-called HOT FLASH.
Sometimes, during a hot flash, your heartbeat accelerates, the face turns red, and you might feel stressed and anxious, especially if you are in presence of other people.
Luckily a hot flash does not last long, from few seconds up to few minutes. However, it can last enough to make you feel embarrassed, it wakes you up in the middle of the night and you have to change your clothes. After a hot flash, you might experience the opposite sensation and you feel cold and shivering and need to put on more clothes or blankets.
What causes hot flashes?
A lot of theories about hot flashes, however most research suggests that they are linked to the decline of the estrogen level happening during the menopause.
The decrease of estrogen affects our body thermostat, controlled by the hypothalamus in our brain, that becomes too sensitive to slight changes in body temperature.
When the brain receives the message that the upper body is overheating, it gives the message to cool down the body: the blood vessels expand, increasing the blood flow to the area. This can result in a hot flash, red patches on the skin and sweat.
How to cope with hot flashes?
- Wear natural fiber clothes (like cotton, linen) and dress in layers so that you can remove clothes when you feel you are getting hot
- Carry water (ideally cold), a portable fan with you
- Spend time in refreshing places in nature (forest, near a river, in the mountain)
- Reduce stress out of your daily life.
- Slow down
- Learn to say NO to others and YES to yourself
- Manage your mindset / positive perception of the menopause
Avoid what gives heat:
- Caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, spicy food and hot drinks (especially before going to sleep)
- Cardio activities increase even more the body temperature, better to go for a swim or a walk in nature
- Too warm environments (e.g., saunas, hot baths, hot yoga classes)
What to do during a hot flash?
More you feel stressed by the fact that you cannot control the hot flash or feeling embarrassed by what people might think in public, more intense will be the hot flash.
Stay calm and breathe slowly. The hot flash will go away quicker
What natural remedies to reduce hot flashes?
- Herbal remedies
- Menopause yoga
How can Menopause Yoga help with hot flashes?
Menopause Yoga has specially designed a yoga practice for cooling hot flashes via releasing heat from the body, feeling refreshed and relaxed. The sequence includes:
- Range of yoga poses to release excess heat
- Cooling breathing techniques to leave you feeling refreshed and relaxed
- Yin and restorative yoga poses to calm the mind, rebalance excess of heat and restore the energy depleted by hot flashes.
The breathing techniques can be practices by yourself on demand and you will know how to cool down the next hot flash even in public.