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3 Special Breathing Exercises to Treat Hot Flashes

 Growing older brings with it many insights into life and also a certain calm, but not all the changes that people undergo during the course of their lives are positive. When menopause is reached, many women experience unpleasant symptoms with one that really affects their daily functioning - hot flashes. Hot flashes can sometimes cause the skin to reach temperatures of 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) and causes great suffering. Loved ones of those dealing with hot flashes suffer as well, as they have to deal with seeing their loved one in such a debilitating situation.

 

Happily, there is good news for women who have hot flashes and it doesn’t require the use of drugs or other chemicals. In a study conducted in the Department of Internal Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in the United States, researchers found that certain breathing exercises lead to central nervous system relaxation and regulate the hormones that cause hot flashes. The 3 exercises below help to alleviate hot flashes and can help you or the women close to you feel much better.

breathing exercises

1. Anapana breathing

The source of this breathing method lies in Buddhist meditation, and in order to make the best of it, it is important to focus on the feeling of air flowing between the nostrils and the upper lip while inhaling and exhaling.

How to perform the breathing exercise:

1. Begin the exercise by breathing regularly at a constant rate. Concentrate on your breaths and how they feel.

2. Stay focused, and feel the air coming in and out of the nostrils. Try to sense how the air moves the small hairs in your nose. Focus on the way the air enters your nose cold and leaves warm.

3. Continue breathing for about five minutes or longer if necessary, and focus on the sensation and air coming in and out of your nose.

4. If you begin to feel your thoughts wandering, let them pass and return your attention to the small breaths between nose and lip.

breathing exercises

2. Slow breathing

This simple breathing method helps to keep your mind free of annoying, stressful thoughts, especially those caused by hot flashes.

How to perform the breathing exercise:

1. Place your tongue against the roof of your mouth, between your teeth and purse your lips as you would when whistling.

2. Take air into your lungs through your nose and exhale through your pursed lips.

3. When inhaling, slowly count to 4 while filling your lungs with air. While exhaling, count again to 4 until your lungs are empty.

4. At the end of the exhale, hold your breath and count to six. Repeat this breathing exercise 4 times or more, keeping your tongue close the roof of your mouth.

breathing exercises

3. Paced Respiration

This method of breathing can be very helpful for women with hot flashes. It is based on deep inhalations of air that are held in the lungs for a short period of time and are performed 6-8 times a minute. Over time, this exercise will reduce the frequency and intensity of the hot flashes.
 
How to perform the breathing exercise:
1. Breathe in deeply while counting to 8. Hold the breath for a count of 6 and then slowly exhale through pursed lips to a count of 8 again.
2. To keep the focus of your thoughts on your breath, say "1" at the end of the inhalation, "2" at the end of the exhalation and repeat.
3. Perform this exercise twice a day for a total of 2-4 minutes.
image source: krembo1
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