Reduce Menopausal Symptoms with Meditation
By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.
‘midlife women with higher mindfulness scores experienced fewer menopausal symptoms,” – Dr. Richa Sood
Menopause occurs in the 40s and 50s in most women, on average at 51 years of age. It is a natural physical process that marks the end of the menstrual cycle. The symptoms that occur over the years preceding menopause include irregular periods, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, chills
night sweats, sleep problems, mood changes, weight gain and slowed metabolism, thinning hair and dry skin, and loss of breast fullness. This is a natural process that is healthy and needs to occur. So, treatments are designed for symptomatic relief and include drugs and hormone treatments. Mindfulness training including meditation is a more natural treatment that has been shown to improve the symptoms of menopause.
In today’s Research News article “A potential association of meditation with menopausal symptoms and blood chemistry in healthy women: A pilot cross-sectional study.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7478772/ ) Sung and colleagues recruited healthy adult women, 25-60 years of age, who were either long-term meditators or non-meditators. The particular meditation practice was a combination of focused meditation and mindful movement practice. The groups were divided into premenopausal and postmenopausal women. They were measured for menopausal symptoms, including psychological, somatic, and urogenital domains, and blood was drawn and assayed for HDL, glucose, triglyceride, total protein, creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, lactate dehydrogenase, aspartate aminotransferase, and alanine aminotransferase;
They found overall that the meditation group was lower than the non-meditators in menopausal symptoms especially depression and irritability. In the premenopausal women there was significantly higher HDL levels in the meditation group while in the postmenopausal group there were significantly higher HDL and glucose levels in the non-meditators.
This is a cross-sectional pilot study and causation cannot be definitively assigned. But these results replicates previous findings from controlled studies that mindfulness practices produce reduced menopausal symptoms, depression, and irritability. So, it is likely that the present findings are due to a causal connection between meditation practice and reduced menopausal symptoms.
So, reduce menopausal symptoms with meditation.
“Among the different natural remedies available for managing middle age, meditation for menopause has some unique benefits. It is a totally natural, completely free way to approach navigating the hormonal rollercoaster of midlife.” – Karen Shopoff Rooff
CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies
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Sung, M. K., Lee, U. S., Ha, N. H., Koh, E., & Yang, H. J. (2020). A potential association of meditation with menopausal symptoms and blood chemistry in healthy women: A pilot cross-sectional study. Medicine, 99(36), e22048. https://doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000022048
Owing to hormonal changes, women experience various psychophysiological alterations over a wide age range, which may result in decreased quality of life as well as in increased risks of diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases. Although studies have been performed to research complementary methods, such as meditation, the research field still requires an adequate amount of studies for public health guidelines. This pilot cross-sectional study aims to investigate a potential association of meditation with menopausal symptoms and blood chemistry for healthy women. In this study, data of 65 healthy women (age range 25–67) including 33 meditation practitioners and 32 meditation-naïve controls were analyzed to compare the Menopausal Rating Scale scores and blood chemistry with 7 more dropouts in the blood chemistry. For blood chemistry, nine components including glucose (GLU) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) were measured. Two-way analysis of variance was performed by dividing the total participants into 2 groups: premenopausal and postmenopausal participants. Compared to the control group, the meditation group showed a trend of reductions in the Menopausal Rating Scale total score (P = .054) and its 2 subcomponents: depressive mood (P = .064) and irritability (P = .061). In HDL level, there was a significant interaction between group and menopausal state (P = .039) with following post hoc results: among the premenopausal participants, a significant increase in the meditation group compared to the control group (P = .005); among the control group, a significant increase in the postmenopausal compared to the premenopausal participants (P = .030). In GLU level, there was a mild interaction between group and menopausal state (P = .070) with following post hoc results: among the postmenopausal participants, a trend of increase in the control group compared to the meditation group (P = .081); among the control group, a significant increase in the postmenopausal compared to the premenopausal participants (P = .040). Our research suggests a potential association of practicing meditation with alleviations in menopausal symptoms and changes in blood chemistry, warranting further studies with a longitudinal study design and larger populations to understand the underlying causal relationships.