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Hypnosis May Ease Hot Flashes in Postmenopausal Women
Date:11/1/2012

eased in 2003, which found increased health risks such as heart disease with long-term hormone therapy use, many women are seeking non-hormonal alternatives for hot flash relief. In a previous study, Elkins had found that hypnosis helped breast cancer survivors reduce hot flashes by nearly 70 percent.

One drawback, Elkins said, is the lack of people with training in hypnosis for hot flashes. He hopes to develop a CD or DVD program.

Meanwhile, women can get referrals from the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis and the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, he said.

Costs vary. Elkins estimates an initial visit is about $170, and follow-ups about $135.

No adverse effects were reported, Elkins noted, except for temporary irritation from the skin conductance monitors used to verify hot flashes.

The nearly 75 percent reduction ''is a very good result," said Dr. Margery Gass, executive director of the North American Menopause Society and a consultant at the Cleveland Clinic. She reviewed the findings.

The most likely drawback to using hypnosis for hot flashes, she said, is the effort required. Initial training must be given by a health care professional versed in hypnosis, she said, "and then you have to practice at home."

Experts don't know exactly how hypnosis may work to cool the hot flashes. Gass said it probably affects the body's thermostat regulation in the brain.

More information

To learn more about hypnosis, visit the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis.

SOURCES: Gary Elkins, Ph.D., director, Mind-Body Medicine Research Laboratory, Baylor University, Waco, Texas; Margery Gass, M.D., executive director, North American Menopause Society and consultant, Cleveland Clinic; Oct. 22, 2012, Menopause, online


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