Sunday, March 30, 2014

Book ~ "Relief from Hot Flashes: The Natural, Drug-Free Program to Reduce Hot Flashes, Improve Sleep and Ease Stress" (2014) Gary Elkins

From Goodreads ~ Based upon a decade of research conducted by Dr. Gary Elkins, Director of the Mind-Body Medicine Research Laboratory at Baylor University, "Relief from Hot Flashes" is the first book to offer a step-by-step guide to reduce hot flashes, improve sleep, and ease stress through hypnotic relaxation therapy. 

Hypnotic relaxation is a mind-body therapy involving individualized mental imagery and suggestion in a deeply relaxed state. This 5 week program has been shown to reduce hot flashes by 80% on average.

This book caught my eye because I went into menopause when I was about 40 .. the hot flashes and night sweats were vicious.  I tried to get through it naturally but it was tough.  My doctor put me on HRT (hormone replacement therapy) because I was producing very little estrogen and I was too young to be without it.  She took me off it when I turned 50 (studies show that the risk of breast cancer increases in women over 50 who are on HRT).  I still occasionally get hot flashes but they are minor compared to what they used to be like.  At night, I get warm and kick off the blankets but I don't wake up drenched in sweat like I used to.  My insomnia started when I was weaned off HRT.

This book provides a high level description of what hot flashes are and what causes them.  Hormone replacement is discussed (risks and benefits) along with nonhormonal therapies such as antidepressants, herbal remedies such as evening primrose and black cohosh, acupuncture, exercise, etc.

The therapy promoted in this book is hypnotic relaxation therapy.  To begin the program, you are asked to keep a log of when you have hot flashes, how severe they are, what's going on at the time, etc.  Case studies are discussed and analyzed.  Then the reader is advised to start the hypnotic relaxation therapy using the accompanying CDs.  I enjoy meditation so thought this was an interesting approach ... basically you are supposed to relax and use mental imagery (such as imagining yourself in a cold place) to trick your brain so you don't have a hot flash.

I read an ecopy of this book so there were obviously no CDs but I assumed there would be a link to a URL online provided to experience the hypnosis.  Alas, there wasn't.  So although I was open to this approach, I wasn't able to put it to action which is too bad.  I find it odd that they are still using CDs rather than a password protected URL.

1 comment:

Masshole Mommy said...

No hot flashes here yet, but I know it's coming soon!