Ah, menopause, the rollercoaster ride of hormonal changes that can make even the most composed woman feel like she's in a never-ending heatwave.
One of the most notorious symptoms that women experience during this phase are the dreaded hot flushes. But fear not because I am here to guide you through this hellish inferno with a touch of empathy, a sprinkle of humor, and some counter intuitive advice.
So, grab a fan, sit back, and let's dive into the world of hot flushes!
Understanding the Heatwave: Hot flushes (or hot flashes depending on what side of the pond you reside), are sudden feelings of intense heat (that usually starts in the head) and can spread throughout your body, leaving you sweaty, red-faced, and feeling like you're trapped in a sauna. These episodes can strike at any time, especially when we feel anxious, causing embarrassment, discomfort, and a desperate need to either leave the building or for a personal portable air conditioner.
Ok so let's start with some quick wins...
1. Embrace the Power of Layers: When it comes to dressing for hot flushes, layering is your new best friend. Opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics that can be easily shed or added as needed. This way, you can adjust your clothing to match the unpredictable temperature changes that come with hot flushes. Plus, you'll be a pro at the art of quick costume changes. Thick jumpers will not be your friend anymore, sorry Christmas season!
2. Chill Out with Cooling Techniques: Cooling down during a hot flush can feel like a mission impossible, but fear not, I have a few tricks up my sleeve. A) Here's something I learnt at Kundalini yoga. Curl your tongue and pop it out of the front of your mouth. Now breathe through it. You will find that breath has a cooling effect in your mouth and has the effect of cooling your brain down a bit (yay!). B) I don't go anywhere without my fan and my Elemis Cooling Gel. I slap it on the back of my neck and forehead and wait for the icy feeling to come over me. It smells of menthol too so it's great if you want certain people to stay away from you 😝.
4. Sip Your Way to Relief: Hydration is key during menopause, and it can also help alleviate the intensity of hot flushes. Treat yourself to a big 2 litre bottle, fill it to the brim every morning and take it with you to work to guzzle through the day. Make sure the water is room temperature as cold water will play havoc with your digestive fire. Not only will this help cool you down, but it will also keep any joint pain or headaches at bay. Cheers to that!
5. Find Your Zen: Stress and anxiety can trigger hot flushes, so it's essential to find ways to relax and unwind. Explore different relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga practices like Yin, Yoga Nidra and Restorative yoga. Remember, finding your zen is not just a luxury; it's a necessity during menopause. Plus, remember, you ARE worth it!
Ok, you might not like this one...
6. Quit sugar and alcohol and build up to some periods of fasting. Please don't throw eggs at me because I know sugar and booze might be your only solace at the end of each day, but trust me when I say these things will have the biggest impact on your hot flushes, if HRT is cutting it. If you're riding the blood sugar roller coaster your body will be under incredible stress throwing the sweet orchestra of your hormones into a complete cacophony. If you want help with this, why not opt for a Rapid Transformational Therapy session and get hypnotised into not want it at all.
Ok, now for the unexpected one...
7. Use my hypnotherapy recording 'Cool Your Hot Flush'. A study done with scientists at Baylor University in 2010 (published in The Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis) concluded that getting people to visualise cool or cold imagery can dramatically decrease hot flashes.
Lets do a bit now. Just read these words and see what happens in your body.
Imagine stepping into a large white room, the first thing that hits you is the air conditioning. It's on full blast. The air is crisp and chilly, sharp and fresh. In the middle of the room is a thick yoga mat. You walk over to the yoga mat remove your clothes and strip down to a swimming costume or bikini (or you can be naked if you like, it's your dream), and you lay down. As you lay down you feel cooler and cooler, colder and colder, soon you are shivering with coldness and you are wanting to put your clothes back on. You decide to get up and as you do the roof of the building opens, the sides of the building fold down and you are standing on top of a mountain. There is snow all around and you now wearing appropriate clothing. You walk a few meters in front and you come to an ice bath where people are taking plunges. You can hear them shriek. You take off your clothes, climb the short ladder and step down slowly into the ice bath breathing deeply as you go. Your surface of your skin is colder than it's ever been before and your core temperature is beginning to drop too. Now you take a big breath and dunk your head under. The numbing freshness floods your entire body and head. You come out put your dry robe on and go into a toasty cafe for a nice cup of hot milk feeling still feeling cool in your core.
How did that go for you? I'd LOVE to know. Did you start to feel colder?
The mind body connection is super powerful, never under estimate it.
As a Clinical Hypnotherapist and Menopause Mentor, I've seen people's lives change over and over again using the power of imagination. Think of your imagination as another sense. The more you develop it, the more it comes to life.
If hot flushes are debilitating you, you might be interested in one of my services.
The Menopause Mindset Hypnosis Collection. [From £24.99)
Menopause Solution Session [£147 for 90 mins plus a written personalised plan]
Rapid Transformational Therapy One 2 One [From £297]
8. Seek Support and Share a Laugh: Navigating menopause can feel like a solo journey, but you're not alone. Connect with other women going through the same experience, whether it's through support groups, online forums, or even sharing a laugh with your friends. Sometimes, a good giggle is the best medicine for those hot flush blues.
Stay cool gorgeous!