Hot flashes, the most visible part of a menopausal woman’s life.
They can be debilitating, everyone can see the side-effects and they also have the highest interference in a woman’s sleep cycle.
Hot flashes can last 7 to 10 years but, unfortunately, I do have a few clients in their 70’s still experiencing these.
A US study showed that women with the most hot flashes were those that were stressed but your environment and what you think of menopause also matters when it comes to the intensity and frequency of hot flushes.
What causes hot flashes?
The hypothalamus, is a section of the brain that regulates body temperature. When it senses the internal temperature becoming to low (or high), it sends signals to the muscles, organs, endocrine and nervous system. They then respond to help return the body temperature to normal.
At the menopausal stage, there is a narrowing of the range of the core body temperature (CBT), meaning that the body is more sensitive to changes in external temperature and how and when it responds to maintain ideal CBT, so vasodilation (enlargment of blood vessels which causes redness) and sweating are more easily triggered.
There are many causation theories, including declining oestrogen, stress and perception of menopause, socio-economic factors and thyroid dysfunction.
How can Reflexology help with hot flashes?
A 2018 study concluded that foot reflexology along with paced breathing (see below) was effective in decreasing blood cortisol levels as well as hot flashes in symptomatic menopausal women.
Using a mixture of thumb walking and finger pivot techniques to the base of the toes and the foot, which correspond to the reflex zones, foot reflexology for menopausal symptoms can be concentrated on the following areas:
- Solar plexus point: it is located just below the ball of both feet, at the midline.
- Pituitary reflex point: it represents the pituitary gland; it is located exactly at the planter aspect of the centre of the hallux (big toe) of both feet.
- Heart reflex point: it is located at the bottom of the big toe of the planter aspect of both feet.
- Adrenal reflex point: it is located at the base of the second and third metatarsal bones of both feet.
- Kidney reflex point: it is located in the middle of the arch of both feet close to the base of the second metatarsals.
What else you can do to reduce or eradicate your symptoms?
- Keep a hot flash diary for one week; make a note of what you eat, think and drink and see if this affect your hot flashes.
- Carry out simple paced breathing whenever you are experiencing a hot flash: breathe in for a count of four and breathe out for a count of four.
- Join my Facebook Group, One Leg Out and download your copy of the Hot Flash Diary and take control.
Read Next: Plant Based Medicine for Menopause
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A group for women in their 3rd Age; to provide clear information and guidance around the concepts and challenges of the Peri to Post Menopause stages of your life.