Yesterday, May 1, it snowed. I wore a turtle neck, an over sweater and a light coat–plenty of layers, just in case. I was very comfortable at lunch, however after, while sitting at a movie theatre, I snapped off my jacket, my sweater and my bracelets. My wrists felt sweaty and restricted. This is a ritual I know well, and if I could have, I’d have taken off that unkind turtleneck too!
As it was, I sat there and burnt for a while then put it all back on 10 minutes afterwards. Hot flashing is the most frequent symptom characterized by menopausal women-75percent of those surveyed have heat-related difficulties. It seems to be a period of terrific surrender, as the hot flashes often feel uncontrollable and even anxiety provoking. Women taking bio-identical hormones or engaging in conventional hormone replacement therapy (HRT) methods are still experience these exact sensations that are often referred to as intense, edgy, electric surges of overpowering heat.
Often striking at night in bed, girls and their bed partners are suddenly awakened as the fire rushes up from the mid and lower body parts into the mind. Some practical solutions for this warmth include remote control fans; cooling and raw foods; decreasing elimination or amounts of sugary foods, particularly before bed; and clinics that channel the energy down to the lower body, amongst others. Most girls are’toughing it out’ while searching for deeper meanings of the phenomenal warmth, assigning ways to control something which affects their lives up to 30 times a day sometimes.
All participants (100%) said and interest in, in addition to practice of consciousness raising exercises and data. Here they share their answers and ideas, yet continue to search for reasons and additional remedies beyond the mainstream medical diagnoses and causes. Maybe you’ve got a great one to share; please inform us. My first hot flashes were pleasant, warm, comfy and inspiring, gentle flushes of energy running up my spine through my heart, chest, shoulders, neck and head.
It was Winter time and I welcomed their presence. I loved these moments that began one January, about nine decades back, lasting just a month every time they visited. They have been accompanied by amenorrhea every time they cycled through in consecutive months every year (i.e. year one: January; two: February, etc.). There were six visits whatsoever.
Finally in 2006 the symptoms appeared in the heat of the Summer and lasted 4 months. They were no longer the sweet small flushes, rather becoming mad, sexy, uncontrollable psychological waves of dizzying energy. I was jumping from my sensitive skin! Among my teeth zinged in distress to the amount I had it pulled to ease the stress of such unbelievable pain (instead of a root canal).
What to do?
By December I was a complete mess and decided to change my diet entirely since the hot, spicy food I had been eating made matters much worse. Sugar-desserts and in the kind of fruit, even bread and crackers-triggered hot flashes for me. I was fortunate though; those weren’t the sweaty versions of warmth I’ve heard many women encounter. In Summer 2007 I enrolled in a yoga class that focused on meridian balancing and grounding of the subtle energies.
At the moment, this bodily practice saved me! My head and neck relaxed, I felt like the rogue energies were actually grounded and the overpowering heat pretty much vanished. Those hot flashes were then few and far between. I experienced heat rising just once or twice per day compared with one or more an hour before. More recently, Restorative Yoga is one of the remedies I’ve found really helpful for both menopausal symptoms and lifestyle tools generally. It not only calms my head, but it works on a much deeper level with the autonomic (sympathetic and parasympathetic) nervous system by decreasing the (reactive) pressure response and raising the (response-able) remainder reaction.
This portion of our nervous system correlates with the energies of Moon and Sun, Yin and Yang, cold and hot, left and right, male and female. The blasts of heat in hot flashes are very male oriented, and just happen to come in sunlight side of the energetic equivalent to our sympathetic (active, man, stress reaction ) nervous system. Often, in a female body, they are anxious, angry, bothersome, nervy surges. I’ve since tried to return to a more active (male) Yoga practice without much immediate benefit as this will activate heat in my meridians and emotional angst.
This might not be true for everyone, yet for me, I’m hooked on Restorative Yoga at this time! I also practice several exercises in the meridian balancing yoga daily also. Here’s a sampling which might help you too.
Lie on your back in a comfortable position; prop your head up a bit with a low pillow or blanket and under your lower thighs and knees if you would like to protect your low back. Feet are a couple of inches apart. Using your heels as a gentle anchor, start tapping your toes together. Breath naturally and keep tapping. See if you can make the movement occur from the hip joints. Try to tap at least 100 times. When you’re finished, feel the energy in your feet, legs and lower body. Just relax and breath. I do 500-1,000 toe taps each evening before I turn out the lights. Once, during a workshop, I did toe taps for 30 minute direct! Wow, did it channel the energy in a really positive and healing way!
Relax in the exact same comfortable position on your back. Begin by breathing naturally for a few rounds. Curl your tongue building a tube through which the air funnels into your mouth. Breathe in through the tongue roll and out through your nose. Feel the cool air coming into cool your brain. Feel the hot air going out through your nose and out of your mind. Repeat this about 12 times any time of day or night. Breathe in through your nose, visualizing cool water moving up your spine into your head. Breathe out through your mouth, imagining hot flame going down from your mind into your stomach, storing it for digestion.
The abdomen (2nd & 3rd Chakras) is both a storage centre and a power generator. Don’t force it, just visualize the biking this way, enabling it to operate naturally. This exercise is based on Taoist philosophy and encourages us to cultivate healthy states of being, physically, mentally, emotionally. It’s roots are in the rhythms of nature. Sun shines down on the plants, and water is taken up through the roots from several sources. Water Up, Fire Down.