Menopausal woman may be able to cut their hot flashes in half simply by learning to relax. A Swedish study reported the effects of relaxation techniques learned in group therapy. The study team focused on 60 healthy women who had been seeing their doctors for hot flashes that occurred at least 50 times a week.
The women were assigned to either attend 10 sessions of relaxation training taught in group therapy or to receive no treatment at all. The investigators found that the women who learned the relaxation techniques were able to reduce their daily hot flashes from an average of 9.1 to 4.4 and that the beneficial effect continued for three months after the last group therapy session.
Women in the control group also reported fewer hot flashes, but their results were not as impressive – their symptoms declined from an average of 9.7 to 7.8. The technique taught in group therapy was largely based on learning the muscle groups in the body and using breathing techniques to promote relaxation.