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  1. Guided Imagery Reduces Hot Flashes by 72% in Baylor Study

    In this feasibility study, investigators from Baylor University in Waco, TX examined whether a hypnotic intervention could reduce hot flashes.
    Thirteen postmenopausal women received 5 sessions of guided self-hypnosis in which all hypnotic inductions were recordings.  Additionally, they were given guidance regarding symptom monitoring, individualizing their guided imagery, and on the general practice of self-hypnosis.
    Hot flashes were determined through diaries.

    Results indicated that the average frequency of hot flashes decreased by 72% (p < .001) and hot-flash scores decreased by 76% (p < .001) on average.

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  2. Treatment of menopausal symptoms with applied relaxation: A pilot study.

    In a small Swedish pilot study at University Hospital of Linkoping, Sweden, six menopausal women were given relaxation training to see if it had any effect on hot flashes. The women were given “applied relaxation” training in 12 weekly group sessions. The women recorded the number of hot flashes they experienced for a full month before the intervention, through 6 months after. They were rated on menopausal symptoms (Kupperman Index), psychological well-being (Symptom Checklist), and MOOD scale were measured throughout the duration of the study. The six patients showed a mean reduction in hot flashes by a dramatic 73% (59%, 61%, 62%, 67%, 89% and 100% respectively). Scores on the Kupperman and Symptom checklist followed the improvement pattern of the hot flashes, but the MOOD scale was not affected.

    Citation: Wijma K, Melin A, Nedstrand E, Hammar M. Treatment of Menopausal Symptoms with Applied Relaxation: A Pilot Study. Journal of Behavioral Therapy & Experimental Psychiatry, 1997, Dec; 28 (4): pp. 251-261.
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  3. The effects of relaxation response training on menopausal symptoms.

    In a 1996 randomized, controlled pilot study by Irvin, Domar, Clark, Zuttermeister and Friedman at New England Deaconess in Boston, 33 menopausal women between 44-66 years old were assigned to either Relaxation Response training, a support group or a control group.

    As many of you know, the Relaxation Response is a technique developed by Herbert Benson that simplifies the essence of ancient mantra and breathing meditation. You do some conscious breathing and repeat a calming word or phrase to yourself, like "Peace" or "All is well". It''s kind of a Meditation 101, and by keeping it simple, calling it "The Relaxation Response", and doing some outcome research with it, the wiley, practical Benson made it acceptable in corporate venues and other traditionally skeptical places ... to which we say, "GOOD FOR YOU, HERB!"

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