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Olivia Cerf

Olivia Cerf

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Qigong has been shown in preliminary studies to improve sleep quality and severity of hot flashes and night sweats. It also has the combined benefits of being both a mindfulness technique and an exercise technique. Mindfulness has been shown to improve coping ability in times of change such as menopause, while exercise is key in keeping body weight healthy, which in itself can decrease severity of menopause symptoms.

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Edited Menopause and Qigong: Overview 6 years ago

The term Qigong refers to various systems of breathing exercises and physical postures that are thought to improve general health by following the principles of [Traditional Chinese Medicine. ][1] The practice of Qigong integrates movement, breathing, and meditation and typically includes rhythmic movements of the arms and rocking of the body in concert with the breath.

Qigong is said to increase one's overall vitality and health by facilitating the free flow of Qi in the body. The term "Qi" refers to a supposed underlying "energy" in the body, as conceptualized in the ancient medical systems of East Asia.

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In a preliminary observational study, 35 women were given Qigong lessons for 30 minutes every day for 12 weeks, and compared with a control group, who practiced no exercise or mindfulness. The outcomes measured were sleep quality and severity and frequency of hot flashes and night sweats. The outcomes of this study were:

  • Hot flashes and night sweats improved significantly in the Qigong group.
  • Members of the treatment group experienced improvements regardless of age.
  • Results at 12 weeks were more pronounced than at the 6 week measurements, indicating that the longer that Qigong was practiced, the more significant the improvements were.
  • Potential for improving sex drive was also examined. In this study, practicing Qigong had no impact on sex drive. 1
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1Yeh, Shu-Chan Jennefer et al. “The Effect of Qigong on Menopausal Symptoms and Quality of Sleep for Perimenopausal Women: A Preliminary Observational Study,” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 18, no. 6 (2012) 1-9. DOI: 10.1089/acm.2011.0133

... (more)

In a preliminary observational study, 35 women were given Qigong lessons for 30 minutes every day for 12 weeks, and compared with a control group, who practiced no exercise or mindfulness. The outcomes measured were sleep quality and severity and frequency of hot flashes and night sweats. The outcomes of this study were:

  • Hot flashes and night sweats improved significantly in the Qigong group.
  • Members of the treatment group experienced improvements regardless of age.
  • Results at 12 weeks were more pronounced than at the 6 week measurements, indicating that the longer that Qigong was practiced, the more significant the improvements were.
  • Potential for improving sex drive was also examined. In this study, practicing Qigong had no impact on sex drive. 1
... (more)

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Qigong has been shown in preliminary studies to improve sleep quality and severity of hot flashes and night sweats. It also has the combined benefits of being both a mindfulness technique and an exercise technique. Mindfulness has been shown to improve coping ability in times of change such as menopause, while exercise is key in keeping body weight healthy, which in itself can decrease severity of menopause symptoms.

... (more)
Edited Menopause and Qigong: Overview 6 years ago

The term Qigong refers to various systems of breathing exercises and physical postures that are thought to improve general health by following the principles of [Traditional Chinese Medicine. ][1] The practice of Qigong integrates movement, breathing, and meditation and typically includes rhythmic movements of the arms and rocking of the body in concert with the breath.

Qigong is said to increase one's overall vitality and health by facilitating the free flow of Qi in the body. The term "Qi" refers to a supposed underlying "energy" in the body, as conceptualized in the ancient medical systems of East Asia.

... (more)

Healthy lifestyle, including diet, is key in creating the physical balance necessary to cope with the hormonal changes associated with menopause. In addition to overall dietary balance, certain foods can help manage symptoms such as hot flashes. Soy, for example is a good source of isoflavones, whose chemical structure is very similar to estrogen and and thereby can have a similar effect in the body. Essential fatty acids, i.e. fatty acids that the body does not produce on its own, can also improve many of the symptoms associated with menopause, including depression.

Tips for a healthy diet during and after menopause

  • Try drinking a glass of soy milk a day, or eat a handful of edamame. Though evidence on the efficacy of soy in treating hot flashes is mixed, it’s worth a try to see if it works for you.
  • Up leafy green vegetable consumption. Decreasing estrogen levels in the body can affect bowel function, leaving you bloated and constipated. The fiber from these vegetables can help keep things moving. After menopause risk for osteoporosis increases as well, and the calcium from green vegetables such as kale and spinach can help moderate this risk.
  • Drink plenty of water. This is life-long advice, but especially key during menopause because of the fluids lost during night sweats and hot flashes. Drinking a glass of water during a hot flash may also help you feel cooler.
  • Try drinking a glass of soy milk a day, or eat a handful of edamame. Though evidence on the efficacy of soy in treating hot flashes is mixed, it’s worth a try to see if it works for you.
  • Dietary supplements can also have a calming effect on menopause symptoms, as well as prevent diseases whose risk increases after menopause. Read more about dietary supplements during midlife here.
... (more)

Healthy lifestyle, including diet, is key in creating the physical balance necessary to cope with the hormonal changes associated with menopause. In addition to overall dietary balance, certain foods can help manage symptoms such as hot flashes. Soy, for example is a good source of isoflavones, whose chemical structure is very similar to estrogen and and thereby can have a similar effect in the body. Essential fatty acids, i.e. fatty acids that the body does not produce on its own, can also improve many of the symptoms associated with menopause, including depression.

Tips for a healthy diet during and after menopause

  • Up leafy green vegetable consumption. Decreasing estrogen levels in the body can affect bowel function, leaving you bloated and constipated. The fiber from these vegetables can help keep things moving. After menopause risk for osteoporosis increases as well, and the calcium from green vegetables such as kale and spinach can help moderate this risk.
  • Drink plenty of water. This is life-long advice, but especially key during menopause because of the fluids lost during night sweats and hot flashes. Drinking a glass of water during a hot flash may also help you feel cooler.
  • Try drinking a glass of soy milk a day, or eat a handful of edamame. Though evidence on the efficacy of soy in treating hot flashes is mixed, it’s worth a try to see if it works for you.
  • Dietary supplements can also have a calming effect on menopause symptoms, as well as prevent diseases whose risk increases after menopause. Read more about dietary supplements during midlife here.
... (more)

Healthy lifestyle, including diet, is key in creating the physical balance necessary to cope with the hormonal changes associated with menopause. In addition to overall dietary balance, certain foods can help manage symptoms such as hot flashes. Soy, for example is a good source of isoflavones, whose chemical structure is very similar to estrogen and and thereby can have a similar effect in the body. Essential fatty acids, i.e. fatty acids that the body does not produce on its own, can also improve many of the symptoms associated with menopause, including depression.

Tips for a healthy diet during and after menopause

  • Up leafy green vegetable consumption. Decreasing estrogen levels in the body can affect bowel function, leaving you bloated and constipated. The fiber from these vegetables can help keep things moving. After menopause risk for osteoporosis increases as well, and the calcium from green vegetables such as kale and spinach can help moderate this risk.
  • Drink plenty of water. This is life-long advice, but especially key during menopause because of the fluids lost during night sweats and hot flashes. Drinking a glass of water during a hot flash may also help you feel cooler.
  • Try drinking a glass of soy milk a day, or eat a handful of edamame. Though evidence on the efficacy of soy in treating hot flashes is mixed, it’s worth a try to see if it works for you.
  • Dietary supplements can also have a calming effect on menopause symptoms, as well as prevent diseases whose risk increases after menopause. Read more about dietary supplements during midlife here.
... (more)

Stress reduction, as well as overall mentality, can help make the menopause transition more comfortable. Mindfulness based stress reduction, for example, can reduce stress and anxiety, as well as improving coping ability when confronted with life change and physical symptoms like hot flashes.

Positive attitude and acceptance of change are also key in smoothing the transition. Nina Price, licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and midlife crisis prevention expert, recommends examining your life, identifying what isn’t working for you, and modifying whatever that is. “This part of life is about ditching what no longer serves you”.

For more from Nina, read this interview with her here.

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Whiteman, MK et al. “Smoking, body mass, and hot flashes in midlife women,” Obstetrics and Gynecology 101, no. 2 (2003) 264-72.

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