With symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes often affecting sleep, women are constantly searching for relief. More and more that search is leading women towards potential natural ways to feel better.
A new study, as featured on ScienceDaily.com, wanted to look at whether or not practicing yoga could help. The study conducted by the Group Health Research Institute was entitled the MsFLASH (Menopause Strategies: Finding Lasting Answers for Symptoms and Health) Network randomized controlled trial.
The study followed nearly 250 relatively healthy but sedentary women for 12 weeks. The women were assigned to multiple sites including Group Health to do yoga, a moderate aerobic exercise program, or to do neither. They were also to take either an omega-3 fatty acid supplement or a placebo.
The results of the study were that the yoga participants slept better, but no significant results with a link to yoga and a reduction in hot flashes were found. Less depression for all exercise participants including those doing yoga was also cited.
For the record, “The omega-3 supplement was not linked to any improvement in hot flashes, night sweats, sleep, or mood.”
Prior studies in the clinical exercise realm have found yoga to be beneficial for hot flashes.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, “Special consideration should be given for those women who are especially affected by hot flashes. Research has shown that a relaxation-based method with paced respiration significantly reduces objectively measured hot flash occurrence. With this in mind, programs that encourage focused relaxation and breathing, such as yoga, may be beneficial for reducing hot flashes.”
MedicalNews.net also cited a prior study by the ACSM concerning the benefits of Pilates as well as Yoga during menopause.
“Pilates and yoga, often referred to as 'mind-body' activities, show promising benefits which include increased flexibility, improved quality of life, relief of the symptoms of menopause, and some reduction of lower back pain.”
An article on HuffingtonPost.com touted the benefits of certain yoga poses such as the Bridge Pose and the Downward Facing Dog Pose to help with menopausal symptoms.
“In addition to relieving stress, practicing targeted postures in your home can help relieve many symptoms of menopause, including anxiety, irritability, insomnia, hot flashes.”
“Yoga in Menopause May Help Insomnia -- But Not Hot Flashes – ScienceDaily.com.” Science Daily. Web 30 Sept. 2013.
“Exercise Recommendations for Menopause-Aged Women – ACSM.org.” American College of Sports Medicine.” Web 30 Sept. 2013.
“Pilates and yoga appear to relieve the symptoms of menopause – News.Medical.net.” News Medical. Web 30 Sept. 2013.
“Yoga For Menopause: 7 Poses To Relieve Menopausal Discomfort - HuffingtonPost.com.” The Huffington Post. Web 30 Sept. 2013.
Joanne Sgro-Killworth is a Television Fitness Expert, Certified Personal Trainer and Sport Nutritionist and Publicist. She is Certified in Pilates, Pre-natal/Post-Partum, Yoga and Senior Fitness. She specializes in Weight Loss, Post-Rehab and Post Cancer Training.
Joanne's fitness plans, recipes and lifestyle advice are available globally on her website www.happiwoman.com/ She resides in the Phoenix, AZ area with her husband and son, where she runs her fitness and publicity business, Fitness Answer, LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2013
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith
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