Once we reach a certain age, hot flashes are are fact of life for most women. Researchers estimate that about 85 percent of women will experience these uncomfortable episodes sometime during menopause, and even perimenopause (which can last for years). But there’s no need to suffer through it without putting up a fight! There are many ways to lessen the symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes. Try these three easy techniques next time you feel that telltale tingle!
Enjoy a lavender scent.
The floral aroma lowers stress hormones and activates the brain’s temperature control center to reduce hot flash frequency and intensity by 53 percent, say scientists. To get the benefits, put a few drops of lavender oil on a cotton ball, then place it on your nightstand. Our favorite: Cliganic Organic Lavender Essential Oil ($9.99, Amazon).
Try “paced” breathing.
Researchers say this type of breathing reduces hot flashes by 52 percent (when done for 15 minutes twice daily) by boosting oxygen and inducing the relaxation response to offset a hot flash. To do: Inhale for two to four seconds and then exhale for six to eight seconds, breathing deeply enough to make your diaphragm move.
Add a hops supplement.
Taking 500 milligrams of hops daily cuts hot flashes by 35 percent in 30 days, and by up to 94 percent after 12 weeks. Scientists say the extract’s potent plant estrogen fills the gap when your body’s own hormone production dips to better regulate body temperature. One to try: Swanson Hops ($6.28, SwansonVitamins).
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.
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