Sahaja Yoga meditation (SYM) may be helpful in mitigating the experience of hot flushes (HFs) in menopause via a number of possible pathways. First, like many other forms of meditation, SYM has been shown to reduce arousal in laboratory experiments. An interesting study on stress-induced HFs however, suggests that simple reduction of arousal may not be the only explanation. Swartzmann (1990) used objective measuring strategies and found that menopausal women exposed to various experimental stressors, experienced not only greater sensitivity to pre-existing symptoms, but also more episodes. Unexpectedly however, the additional HFs neither occurred in acute association with the stressor nor were they directly associated with elevated sympathetic arousal. Rather, the data suggested that the effects were mediated by a mechanism that is considerably slower than the sympathetic adreno-medullary system. This implies that a neuro-endocrine pathway may be involved in reducing central sympathetic activation. SYM may exert its effect by disrupting that part of the HF mechanism which is associated with increased central sympathetic activation.

Dr Ramesh Manocha

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14 subjects experiencing menopausal symptoms, who were not on any other treatments were enrolled into a twice weekly, 8 week meditation programme. Pre, post and 8 week follow-up assessments included Hot Flush Diary, Greene’s. MENQOL, Kupperman, POMS, STAI self report questionnaires.  Significant improvements in all measures occurred at post treatment. Changes in vasomotor symptoms, especially hot flushes, were most prominent:. A significant decrease in mean hot flush frequency of 67%(p<.05) at post-treatment and 57%(p<.05) at follow-up. Kupperman’s Index score decreased by 58%(p<.05) at post-treatment and 40%(p<.05) at follow-up. All other symptom measures improved significantly from baseline to post-treatment.

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Dr Ramesh Manocha

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