Table of Contents
- What are Hot Flashes, aka Hot Flushes?
- Are Your Hot Flashes Menopausal Symptoms?
- What is Clinical Hypnosis? How Does Hypnotherapy Leverage Hypnosis?
- The Science Behind Hypnosis for Hot Flashes
- Self-Hypnosis for Sleep in Menopausal Women
- Hypnotherapy and Mild Anxiety and Depression
- Managing Post Menopausal Hot Flashes with Hypnosis
- Hypnotherapy: your Complement to Primary Care
- Feeling UpNow with Menopause Hypnosis
As women transition into the menopause and postmenopause stages, hot flashes can become a frequent and disruptive part of life. Traditional treatments may not always provide the desired relief, leading many to seek alternative solutions. Welcome to this comprehensive guide on hypnosis for hot flashes and menopausal relief, where we delve into the potential of hypnosis as a natural, non-pharmacological method to manage these uncomfortable episodes. Join us as we explore how this unique approach can alleviate hot flashes and enhance sleep quality and overall well-being during this significant phase of a woman’s life.
What are Hot Flashes, aka Hot Flushes?
Hot flashes, also called hot flushes, are sudden feelings of warmth, usually most intense over the face, neck, and chest. These flushes are menopause-associated vasomotor symptoms which can lead to sweating and blushing and may cause you to wake up with soaked sheets – a symptom commonly known as night sweats.
All women are different: some women might feel hot flushes more than others. Some women do not experience them at all. In addition to frequency, the length of these warm feelings might vary.
Cause of Hot Flushes
Hot flushes typically begin during menopause, which officially starts a year after your last period. Except for premature menopause, the average onset age is 51. As a woman approaches menopause, her hormone levels, including estrogen, decrease. This drop in estrogen triggers the hypothalamus — the brain part that regulates body temperature. In response to these hormonal changes, it may release chemicals that cause the skin to heat up and sweat. This excess body heat can greatly reduce quality of life, preventing deep sleep.
A Special Category of Vasomotor Symptoms: Night Sweats
Night sweats, also known as nocturnal hyperhidrosis, are episodes of excessive sweating during sleep. These vasomotor symptoms are more than just breaking out in a sweat because you have too many blankets on your bed. They cause you to drench your bedclothes or bedding and can disrupt your quality of sleep, leading to insomnia and fatigue, which can, in turn, affect your mood, productivity, and overall quality of life.
Sleep disturbances are common among menopausal and postmenopausal women and can significantly affect their quality of life, possibly exacerbating a medical or psychological disorder. Most importantly, they initiate a vicious cycle where poor sleep magnifies stress and other conditions, which may degrade sleep quality.
Psychological Disorders and Cognition
Sleep problems in menopausal and postmenopausal women can contribute to psychological disorders and impair cognitive functions.
Depression and Anxiety: Insufficient sleep and frequent awakenings during the night can lead to or exacerbate symptoms of depression and anxiety. These mood changes can further disrupt sleep, creating a vicious cycle.
Stress: Chronic sleep deprivation can increase stress levels, further disrupting sleep and contributing to mental health issues.
Cognitive Function: Sleep is vital for cognitive functions like memory and focus. Poor sleep can result in difficulties with memory, concentration, and other cognitive functions. Imagine waking up after a “hot night” when you had difficulty sleeping. Tending to your daily tasks can be daunting when you have difficulty concentrating and are suffering from low mood.
Poor sleep among menopausal and postmenopausal women can also increase the risk of certain medical disorders.
Cardiovascular Disease: Sleep disturbances have been linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension and heart disease.
Metabolic Disorders: Poor sleep can disrupt metabolism, leading to weight gain, obesity, and increased risk of diabetes.
Other Menopausal Symptoms
In addition to poor sleep, hot flashes and night sweats, menopause can bring about other symptoms directly or indirectly. These symptoms include:
- Mood changes,
- Joint pain,
- Vaginal dryness,
- Reduced sex drive,
- Problems with memory and concentration, and
- Weight gain.
Are Your Hot Flashes Menopausal Symptoms?
A symptom might have multiple causes. As a result, you should always discard other potential pathologies. Your doctor is the best person to ask. Let’s take the example of night sweats. They can be a symptom of several underlying health conditions:
- Hormonal Imbalances: Conditions like menopause or hyperthyroidism can cause hormonal imbalances that lead to night sweats.
- Infections: Certain infections, such as tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and endocarditis (an infection of the heart’s inner lining), can cause night sweats.
- Cancers: Night sweats can be an early symptom of some types of cancer, particularly lymphoma.
- Medications: Some medications, including certain antidepressants, hormone therapy drugs, and medication for lowering fever, such as aspirin or acetaminophen, can cause night sweats.
- Neurological Conditions: Disorders such as stroke or autonomic neuropathy can cause night sweats.
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): This condition, characterized by the back flow of stomach acids into the esophagus, can also lead to night sweats.
If you’re experiencing frequent hot flashes or night sweats, it is essential to seek medical advice to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment.
What is Clinical Hypnosis? How Does Hypnotherapy Leverage Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a state of consciousness involving focused attention increasingly used by medical professionals and mental health therapists. Many women have heard about the benefits of hypnosis for a gentler birth. In addition, researchers have uncovered many potential applications beyond women’s health. Hypnosis may help with the following:
- irritable bowel syndrome management
- stress and anxiety
- smoking cessation
- pain relief
Clinical hypnosis or hypnotherapy uses guided relaxation, intense concentration, reduced peripheral awareness and focused attention to achieve heightened awareness. The person’s attention is so concentrated in this state that distractions fade.
What Happens During a Hypnotherapy Session?
During a hypnotherapy session, the therapist will guide you into a focused state and invite you to think about experiences and situations in a positive light, helping you change how you feel and behave. A hypnotherapist can provide in-person sessions or create a self-hypnosis audio for use at home or when travelling through a self-hypnosis app.
How Does Hypnotherapy for Hot Flashes Work?
Hypnotherapy relaxes the body, reduces stress, and promotes positive thoughts. By leveraging cool imagery, for example, a cool breeze, hypnosis can help you manage menopause symptoms. The hypnotherapist will skillfully use positive suggestions and cooling imagery, helping regulate your body’s temperature control and lower the frequency and severity of hot flashes. Hypnosis in the treatment of menopause symptoms offers many benefits. It is safe, non-invasive and a great way to engage your mind and body differently at a crucial time, improving mood, using positive mental imagery and reducing hot flashes.
The Science Behind Hypnosis for Hot Flashes
According to a 2017 study on breast cancer patients, clinical hypnosis is an effective, non-hormonal treatment for hot flashes and many symptoms typically experienced during breast cancer.
Another 2013 study aimed to explore the effectiveness of clinical hypnosis in treating vasomotor symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats, in postmenopausal women. The research was motivated by a growing interest in finding alternative, effective, low-risk treatments for these symptoms due to concerns about the risks associated with using estrogen and progesterone.
The randomized, single-blind, controlled trial involved 187 postmenopausal women who reported experiencing at least seven hot flashes per day (equivalent to at least 50 hot flashes per week). Participants received five weekly clinical hypnosis sessions or structured attention control.
The results revealed that clinical hypnosis led to a significant reduction in both self-reported and physiologically measured hot flashes. On average, there was a 74.16% reduction in hot flashes for those who underwent clinical hypnosis, compared to a 17.13% reduction for the control group. In addition, secondary outcomes like hot flash-related interference, sleep quality, and treatment satisfaction were significantly improved in the hypnosis group, who received five weekly sessions compared to the control group at a 12-week follow-up.
The study found that clinical hypnosis can significantly reduce hot flashes and related symptoms in postmenopausal women compared to structured attention control.
Self-Hypnosis for Sleep in Menopausal Women
Self-hypnosis can be an effective tool for improving sleep. It involves inducing a state of relaxation and calmness, which can help to promote better sleep.
A 2021 study on 90 women who received a self-hypnosis audio recording showed meaningful improvement in sleep quality. The participants were instructed to listen daily to the hypnosis audio. The similar results between in-person and phone support groups show the benefits of self-hypnosis as an effective and convenient treatment option for menopausal and post-menopausal women.
Hypnotherapy and Mild Anxiety and Depression
Hypnotherapy can also be beneficial for managing mild anxiety and depression, common symptoms experienced during menopause. It can provide women with strategies to manage their menopausal symptoms and improve their overall quality of life.
Women have many tools to manage anxiety and depression. Regular exercise and activities like yoga can help improve sleep and reduce stress. Cognitive behavioural therapy can reduce the pressure from hot flashes. But hypnotherapy can help address the root of the problem by reducing the severity and frequency of the hot flashes and night sweats while relieving stress and improving sleep. With one tool, you may reduce many symptoms of menopause.
Managing Post Menopausal Hot Flashes with Hypnosis
Many women have tried many solutions for reducing hot flashes. Exercise and lifestyle changes can provide relief for many post-menopausal women. For women who cannot or do not wish to manage menopausal symptoms with hormone replacement therapy, clinical hypnotherapy can be a great way to gain control over menopause symptoms. The North American Menopause Society also recommends the use of hypnotherapy for the management of menopause symptoms.
Hypnotherapy: your Complement to Primary Care
While hypnotherapy does not replace primary care, it can be a valuable complement. Always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new treatment. Ask your doctor about the side effects of each treatment, and know that hypnotherapy is a safe option with multiple benefits. It is a great way to Partner with your Mind.
Feeling UpNow with Menopause Hypnosis
The menopause transition does not need to be a sentence. Menopause hypnosis can help women navigate this challenging stage of life with a sense of calm and control. With its potential to alleviate hot flashes, improve sleep, and manage mood swings, it’s a treatment option worth considering. When you use it as a hot flash management tool, it can complement the treatments provided by your doctor.
Don’t let menopause and postmenopause symptoms disrupt your life any longer! If you’re struggling with hot flashes, sleep disturbances, and mood swings or want to regain control over your well-being, the UpNow app is here to help.
UpNow offers a range of effective self-hypnosis downloads designed specifically for menopausal and postmenopausal women. Our guided hypnosis sessions can help you manage your symptoms, reduce stress, and improve your sleep quality.
Take the first step towards better health and quality of life during this new phase of your life journey. Download the UpNow app today. Your path to wellness starts now!
UpNow Health only uses high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed articles, to support the facts within our articles. Experts review all our articles to ensure our content is accurate, helpful, and trustworthy.
1. Elkins, G. R., Fisher, W. I., Johnson, A. K., Carpenter, J. S., & Keith, T. Z. (2013). Clinical hypnosis in the treatment of postmenopausal hot flashes: a randomized controlled trial. Menopause (New York, N.Y.), 20(3), 291–298. https://doi.org/10.1097/gme.0b013e31826ce3ed
2. Roberts, R. L., Na, H., Yek, M. H., & Elkins, G. (2017). Hypnosis for Hot Flashes and Associated Symptoms in Women with Breast Cancer. The American Journal of clinical hypnosis, 60(2), 123–136. https://doi.org/10.1080/00029157.2017.1334622
3. North American Menopause Society, Stress, Getting Serious about the Solutions. Link
5. Elkins, G., Otte, J., Carpenter, J. S., Roberts, L., Jackson, L. S., Kekecs, Z., Patterson, V., & Keith, T. Z. (2021). Hypnosis Intervention for Sleep Disturbance: Determination of Optimal Dose and Method of Delivery for Postmenopausal Women. The International Journal of clinical and experimental hypnosis, 69(3), 323–345. https://doi.org/10.1080/00207144.2021.1919520