Two Ways to Stop a Hot Flash
When a hot flash drenches your clothes, reddens your cheeks, and makes you feel like you ate a jalapeno, what you want most is a cold shower. (Men know something about those.) Next, you want to never have another one. We can't help with the shower, but these research-proven steps give you a good shot at turning off your personal inferno.
Cool off with a mind trick. Conjuring up a chilly scene worked for women who had hot flashes. Waterfalls and rain topped the "whew, that helped" list, followed by wind, mountains, forests, snow, frost, and air-conditioned movie theaters. Try it at home with this guided imagery exercise: Close your eyes; take a few deep, calming breaths; then, focus all of your senses on beaming yourself into the chilliest scene you can think of, and linger for a while. Need help doing this? Look online for guided imagery CDs aimed at relieving menopausal symptoms, or enroll in the Cleveland Clinic's online Stress Free Now program at www.360-5.com.
Lose a little. Women with hot flashes who lost a few pounds over 6 months were twice as likely to report relief from hot flashes. Losers (meaning winners) who shed about 13 pounds or took 2 inches off their waists had 32% fewer hot flashes. Researchers aren't sure what doused the flames -- the weight loss, the healthy diet, or the 200 minutes a week of brisk activity (about 30 minutes of fast walking a day) -- but if you need to lose, this drug-free combo of coolers is worth a try. Slimmer and cooler? Hot stuff. Find the right plan to help you lose a little or a lot of weight.