HOW YOGA CAN HELP WITH HOT FLUSHES 🥵
I'm so pleased to share my latest article in Menopause Matters Magazine with you, HOT FLUSH, HOT FLUSES, HOT FLASH OR, NIGHT SWEATS, however you referance them!
How does yoga help cool your body and mind down?….
Practice these simple yet effective poses to help reduce your overall body temperature, keeping you cool in these summer months. The ballon breath is highly transportable and when you feel a hot flush starting to rise…. NUKE IT with this functional on-point breathing exercise. Like with all of our practices, practice them so you are well versed and put them into your tool box and draw them out when needed! 🧘🏻♀️
Hot Flush is an extract from my new book out later this year: YOGA and the 36 Menopause Symptoms which unpacks each one of the 36 symptoms exactly like below….
Happy reading and practice 🙏🏼
hot flush On hearing the word ‘menopause’ most likely the next word that comes to mind, is ‘hot flush’ also referred to as ‘hot flash’. A strong connection, the infamous association. Occurring with oscillating hormone levels, this association is seemingly justified as this is one of the most prevalent and reported symptoms of menopause, affecting over 80% of women. Whilst some will experience hot flushes on a daily basis, not all women will ever experience a hot flush, or perhaps only a couple. Hot flushes are thought to be from lowered oestrogen levels affecting the body’s thermostat. There is sensitivity to any slight changes and triggers including: environmental, dietary, physical and psychological factors. Oestrogen sends messages to the brain which influence and regulate your body’s temperature. However, the instability of the fluctuating hormones causes glitches, mixing-up signals in the brain that control the distribution of hormones throughout the body,
resulting in a menopausal hot flush. This is how meditations, positive thinking, affirmations and breathing exercises can all be particularly beneficial and effective in regulating and guiding your body’s thermostat. The constant hormone fluctuation can cause an overall rise in body temperature and generate excess heat within your body, which is then released through hot flush and night sweats. However, if you don't experience these symptoms, excess heat can manifest as a hot temper, meno-rage and erratic behaviour. This could be associated with a resistance to fear and change that comes with menopause. Hot flushes are unpredictable and can flash-up at any time of the day, sometimes several times a day or even several times an hour. Hot flushes can range with varying intensity levels and duration, lasting just a few seconds to a couple of minutes. Night sweats are known as hot flushes that happen during evening sleep.
Signs of hot flush:
Hot flushes are experienced as a rising heat rushing up the body, sometimes from the feet or more commonly from the chest or neck into your face creating an overwhelming flood of hotness to these areas. This causes the body to overheat and is often accompanied with flushing of the skin and heavy sweating.
Rapid or uneven heart rate - palpitations.
Nausea. Shaking. Headaches. Dizziness. Panic.
A hot flush accompanied by excessive sweating can leave you shivering from feeling chilled as sweat starts to evaporate.
Lifestyle and self-care to manage hot flush:
Anxiety is a major trigger of a hot flush. Taking the time to become well versed and familiar with an effective practice such as a meditation to reduce anxiety can help lessen or negate the symptoms of a hot flush as and when it occurs. It will help you feel in control and help you manage the uncomfortable episode. Meditation practices, affirmations and breathing exercises are all effective choices to help manage to cool down your physical and mental state.
A dab of peppermint essential oil massaged onto the back of your neck and forehead will create a cooling sensation, helping you to stay cool, fresh and clear headed.
Note down routines and possible triggers, for example: Dear Diary, today I ate... and I had... of screen time... The weather was... and I’m day... of my menstrual cycle. I slept... My exercise routine... your daily habits will help you identify any triggers and stresses that lead up to a hot flush and night sweats.
If a hot flush rudely decides to gatecrash in on social activities, then strategic wardrobe choices could literally help you save face! Strategic wardrobe choices to include wearing layers (easy to strip layers off!) and darker colours (disguises sweat patches) could help mask embarrassing social situations.
Choose better fabrics: Sweat-wicking, anti-odour, breathable and sweat absorbing clothing can make life a little easier living with excess sweating and body odour. Avoid synthetic fabrics.
Easy to implement tips, include keeping super hydrated, taking regular exercise, opening windows, cooling down rooms, making good food choices, carrying a cooling face spray, stopping or reducing smoking and alcohol consumption. All these can contribute towards managing hot flushes and night sweats.
Sizzle Down Yoga Sequence
These postures have been chosen for their cooling and calming benefits to assist the release of heat from the internal body. To create balance for night sweats, hot flushes, meno-rage and a hot temper! Practised alongside deep releasing breaths, inhale through the nose on a count of four and fully exhale through the mouth on a count of six/eight beats. Individually choose a couple of the postures for a nourishing Yin Yoga practice or practice as a flow sequence to help dampen the internal fire, restore a sense of serenity and balance for mind, body and spirit. Spiritual Mantra: ‘‘I surrender into the present moment’’. Props needed: Yoga mat. Optional: Blocks or small cushions. Bolster or rolled up blanket. 1) Happy Baby Hold the feet, align the ankles directly on top of the knees and keep them pressed downwards towards the ground, this is an ideal alignment. However, some might find it a bit difficult, if you are struggling with holding both of the lifted feet at the same time, practice one side at a time. If it feels possible, gently sway or rock side-to-side for a couple of deep breaths. 2) Figure of Four Lie down in a supine position and bend both knees. Cross the right ankle on top of the left knee, lift the figure four up towards the chest keeping the head relaxed on the ground. Interlace your hands behind or on top of your left knee. Encourage a gentle swaying motion from side-to-side to create an opening of space in the glutes and hip area. Lengthen the lower back/tailbone and shoulders to remain as close to the ground as possible. Repeat on the opposite side. 3) Cat/Cow Start with your knees aligned under the hips and your shoulders over the wrists. Inhale into Cat pose with the back rounding up to the sky and the head tucked in, look towards the belly. Exhale smoothly, moving into Cow pose by lifting the head up and simultaneously sink the belly down towards the ground. Repeat the movement a few times. 4) Lizard Pose From the Cat position, step the right foot forward to the outside of the right hand. As much as possible align the knee directly over the ankle. Use blocks as needed, to rest your elbows onto. Lizard pose is a challenging position as the intense release stretches around the lower back, hip and thigh area. The objective for this sequence, is a good duration of time spent in the position, as opposed to forcing the elbows closer onto the ground. However, you may experience that the more time you spend
in this pose, the closer the elbows sink down increasing the opening. Take deep breaths with the aim to stay in the position for 2-3 or more minutes each side. A Yoga block is a useful prop for this position. 5) Downward Dog From the Lizard pose step back into Downward Dog. Take a couple of breaths here. If it feels possible, walk the dog by softly bending the right knee, then straighten and then bend the left knee, then straighten. Repeat the movement a few times. 6) Pigeon Posture Transition through Downward Dog into Pigeon posture. From Downward Dog bring the right knee comfortably positioned in-between the hands and the foot in towards your groin. The left leg lays down stretched fully behind you. Stay for a couple of breaths. If you are wanting a deeper intense stretch, encourage the right foot further up away from your groin, this will increase the opening in the hip, hip flexors and lower back area. (If the right knee starts to ache, please come out of the stretch as staying in this position will not provide any benefits and it will become counterproductive). After a minute or so, invite your body to lie down in Sleeping Pigeon posture, supported by a bolster or blocks under the hip area or head. Stay for an additional 2-3 or more minutes. Repeat on the opposite side. 7) Relaxation - Heart Opening with bolster For a deeper heart opening in a restorative pose, lie on top of the bolster. Place the bolster lengthways and sit your bottom on the ground touching the end of the bolster. Gently lie back onto the bolster (or big pillows) with your head and back resting on top of the bolster. Butterfly position - Join the soles of the feet together in a triangle/diamond shape.
Balloon Breath - Breathing Visualisation
The focal point: To extend the exhalation part of the breath to be as long as possible. The aim: Using the breath to draw out excessive heat from the body and into the balloon. This action can help reduce heat flushing towards your cheeks or reaching up towards the forehead. With each exhalation: Blow-up to the balloon, directing heat rising from the throat into the balloon.
Once your hot flush has passed: Tie a knot into the end and let the balloon go. Imagine releasing the balloon as you watch the wind carry it far, far away into the Universe taking all the hot heat and agitation with it.
Ballon Breath can also benefit the release of up-set emotions, pacify symptoms such as anxiety, depression and panic disorders releasing all your stresses and tension into the balloon which will then be released and transported away.
‘Releasing what no longer serves you’.