Night sweats and hot flashes are the most common complaint from women going through menopause. As many as 80% of menopausal women find themselves suffering from these annoying and sometimes life altering side effects.
Until recently the most common treatment for this side effect was hormonal replacement therapy (HRT). A series of recent studies have suggested that this treatment option can have many side effects that most women would prefer to avoid if at all possible.
Left with few options many women are looking for other alternatives to help ease their hot flashes and night sweats. One of those possible options is hypnosis.
What Is Hypnosis
Hypnosis is a 100% natural state of selective and focused attention. The ability to enter this state of consciousness creates countless possibilities for self-exploration, healing, and change. As a person enters the absorbed state of hypnosis, they are able to use their thoughts, experiences, and talents in ways that we normally aren't able to.
With the help of a trained professional a person is able to develop abilities to make desired changes in thought patterns, feelings, and behaviors. Hypnosis can be used for many different reasons including the treatment of pain, depression, stress, anxiety, and many other psychological and medical challenges.
How Does Hypnosis Help Hot Flashes?
Since the body responds physically to thoughts, being hypnotized can help enhance positive physical reactions and diminish those that are negative. By communicating to the unconscious mind, we can change the impact on sensation, memory, perception, and physiology of our bodies.
The human unconscious mind handles about two million bits of sensory information every second. In comparison to the vast amount of information the unconscious mind processes, the conscious mind processes only seven bits of information per second.
A study done at Baylor University set out to determine if hypnosis was an effective treatment for women suffering hot flashes and night sweats.
The study included a total of 187 who reported fifty hot flashes a week or at least seven a day. The women were divided with half receiving self-hypnosis training that consisted of five, 45-minute sessions each week with a registered clinician. They were also given a recording of the hypnotic induction and asked to practice at home daily.
The other half of the women were also given the same number of appointments with a registered clinician and given a recording to listen to at home. Unlike the group that was practicing self-hypnosis, this group was simply educated on hot flashes.
The study participants were asked to keep diaries to track their hot flashes, which also wired small sensors to record their hot flashes.
12 weeks into the study showed three interesting pieces of information:
- The women who underwent hypnosis were far less likely to report that hot flashes interfered with their day-to-day lives.
- They also reported an average of 74% fewer hot flashes. The women who did not undergo hypnosis reported just 17% fewer.
- The skin sensors showed a reduction of 57% in hot flashes among the women in the hypnosis group while the non-hypnosis group reported a 10% reduction.
This study concludes that hypnosis can be an effective alternative to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as a treatment for night sweats and hot flashes.
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