Women Find Relief from Menopausal Symptoms with Mindfulness Therapy

Mindfulness therapies have been used for years for the treatment of many psychological issues, such as stress, depression and post-traumatic stress symptoms. But a new study reveals that this versatile form of therapy may also help alleviate symptoms of menopause in women. Mindfulness approaches are designed to help a client redirect their attention away from physical symptoms and emotional disturbances and to focus on the present moment. Through mindfulness, current situations are acknowledged and accepted in nonjudgmental ways that provide the client the inner awareness of experiencing their circumstances without being controlled by them.

The study, conducted by Dr. James Carmody of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, evaluated the menopausal symptoms of over 100 women. Because many of the traditional treatments for menopause, including medication and hormone therapy, can increase a woman’s risk for potentially life threatening illnesses, the researchers wanted to explore alternative, non-pharmacological protocols that could address the severe hot flashes and night sweats of those going through menopause. The women were enrolled in an eight week therapy program involving weekly mindfulness meditation sessions. They were also taught basic yoga moves and body awareness. The control group had no therapeutic intervention. At the conclusion of the study, the women who participated in the mindfulness sessions showed a dramatic decrease in symptoms of anxiety and stress. Their sleep patterns improved significantly, and they reported having a better quality of life, even though they still experienced the same degree of hot flashes. The researchers followed the women for an additional three months and reported that the effects remained the same throughout.

The study demonstrates the effectiveness of mindfulness based therapies in the overall reduction of many different psychological symptoms, regardless of their physical origin. All though more research is necessary to determine how mindfulness affects those taking hormone therapy, the researchers are hopeful that women will realize they have options available to them when it comes to treating their menopausal symptoms.

 

© Copyright 2011 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • emily harmison

    emily harmison

    June 27th, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    a technique that has no meds definitely sounds promising for women at a time when they are mentally and emotionally vulnerable.this needs to be studied more and if successful then brought into the mainstream quick enough.

  • Jeanne

    Jeanne

    June 28th, 2011 at 4:30 AM

    I am so happy to have found this article! Over the past few months I have been feeling like I am about to begin going into menopause although this may be the first time that I have admitted that to anyone! I have not seen my doctor yet but I guess I should, but I have been so depressed about it that I have not said it out loud, like if I do that will then make it real. I feel like I am losing a part of me that I will never get back and while technically that is true I want to get to a point where I know that things are changing for me physically but I do not want it to impact in essence who I am. This has just made me so sad and it helps to know that I can’t be the only one to feel this way.

  • TB

    TB

    June 28th, 2011 at 2:25 PM

    I really need to learn more of the mindfulness technique. I’ve read a few articles wherein it has been proven to be effective for a lot of issues and I think more and more research needs to go into it.

  • Joe

    Joe

    June 29th, 2011 at 4:08 AM

    Good to know about help and helpful techniques for women in their tough times.This is bound to help a lot of people and the best thing about it is that it’s therapy!No medicines! :D

  • Charlotte

    Charlotte

    June 29th, 2011 at 4:42 AM

    Men all over the world are signing up their wives as we speak! Mine probably included!

  • sophia d.

    sophia d.

    June 29th, 2011 at 7:22 PM

    I am thrilled to read this because I’m going through a rough time with menopausal symptoms right now and willing to try anything to get some relief from them! Thank you, thank you, thank you. :)

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