Hot flash hypnosis
Hot flashes -they're a common complaint for millions of American women going through menopause, and with the recent backlash against hormone replacement therapy, women are scrambling for alternatives to beat the heat.
There's a new weapon to fight the flashes.
Monique Doyle Spencer knows the misery of menopause:
"I found it to be a nonstop problem. Any change in temperature would trigger severe hot flashes."
Like many women, Monique won't take hormones to stop the sweats. In her case, she's a breast cancer survivor.
"I tried everything I could find from acupuncture to all kinds of different medicines."
But nothing helped. Then, she found an article about a Canadian study on hypnosis and hot flashes and she thought...why not?
"I found to my astonishment that it really did work."
Doctor Jawaid isn't surprised by Moniqueï¿½s success. He's the main author of the Canadian study.
"It's a study that's first of its kind. It has marked the point that hypnosis can be an effective treatment.ï¿½
14 women attended group hypnosis sessions once a week. They were also taught self hypnosis to use before or during an episode.
Each participant was asked to keep a diary.
"The duration, frequency, and the severity of hot flashes were all reduced quite significantly in all the participants that we treated."
Dr. Younus admits the study was small and says he plans a larger one,
But Harvard psychiatrist Claire Frederick says she's seen enough evidence, and already uses hypnosis on many of her patients.
Dr. Claire Frederick:
"I would help the patient relive in hypnosis what its like to be in a cool environment."
Doctor Frederick also uses hypnosis to help treat the depression, fatigue, and low self-esteem that sometimes accompany the change of
But Doctor Wulf Utian of the North American menopause society is concerned about what he calls "unproven therapies" being marketed to women.
Dr. Wulf Utian:
"While it's an interesting theory, I think we need some decent research to prove whether it actually has an effect or not."
Monique has all the proof she needs. She admits hypnosis is not a cure-all, she says her life now is much better.
Monique Doyle Spencer:
"It controlled my hot flashes, took them from dozens a day down to maybe five, and made a remarkable difference in my life."
The North American menopause society says if you do feel you are entering menopause, you should get a complete medical examiniation by your doctor.