Is the menopause driving you mad?
If you are going through the menopause, you may find yourself researching alternative and complementary ways of dealing with the hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, and other symptoms that so many women experience at this time.
Menopause is a transitional phase, not too dissimilar to puberty, marked by wildly fluctuating hormones and often strange symptoms. It can make women feel very lost and out of control, as well as quite ill at times.
The symptoms and their unpredictability can be very disruptive to women's lives, relationships and careers, in turn creating more stress and uncertainty.
HRT is proving very helpful to many women and is now being more understood in this country, which is wonderful. And women are still seeking help to manage this massive transition that affects our minds and emotions as well as our bodies.
Hypnotherapy for the menopause
There is a growing body of evidence to support the effectiveness of hypnosis for managing the menopause. Clinical hypnotherapy has been shown to be effective in reducing many of its symptoms, including hot flushes, brain fog, fatigue as well as anxiety. Clinical trials have shown that hypnotherapy is effective at reducing hot flashes and night sweats by up to 74%. Dr Elkins at Baylor University further concludes that hypnotherapy is as effective as HRT in managing these symptoms (1). This will in turn reduce anxiety and improve sleep, self-esteem, and confidence hugely.
Solution-focused hypnotherapy combines the best of clinical hypnosis on the couch with a solution-focused dialogue with the client. This combination of approaches, pioneered in the early 90s by David Newton of The Clifton Practice in Bristol (2), can be a very effective way to support women both physically and emotionally, regardless of whether they have chosen to take HRT or not.
Clinical hypnotherapy is especially effective at regulating the autonomic nervous system by increasing parasympathetic activity. That's the "rest and restore" function of the body, which helps with keeping your body's functions healthy, including immunity and hormones. With the help of clinical hypnosis techniques, we can direct the autonomic nervous system toward specific healing functions such as reducing body temperature, gaining control over night sweats and hot flushes, reducing anxiety, and helping improve sleep.
Furthermore, a solution-focused approach to therapy will help women regain confidence, empowering them to have more agency in the process and gain more acceptance of the changes.
At last, women have medical and natural complementary options available to support them in this major transition.
Clinical hypnotherapy combined with a solution-focused approach can offer physiological and psychological benefits including:
- Reduced stress: this has a profound effect on hormonal balance and mood swings, reducing anxiety and regaining control of emotional states.
- Understanding perception and changing perspective; this helps you have a much more positive outlook on your whole life.
- Helping you feel more empowered to make positive choices.
- Better sleep: Hypnosis is our magic wand here and the benefits on health are numerous
- Reduction of the intensity and frequency of hot flushes. Last but not least, clinical hypnosis and self-hypnosis tools are amazingly effective at cooling you down and giving you control.
I hope this article is helpful.
Stephanie offers an eight-week hypnotherapy programme to support clients going through the menopause. The sessions can be taken over a period of two or three months, face-to-face or online.
(1) Clinical Hypnosis in the Treatment of Post-Menopausal Hot Flashes: A Randomized Controlled Trial (Elkins et Al.) (New York, N.Y.) 20(3):291-8.