Menopause Louise Grime by KarenYeomans.com


About

When women reach the menopausal age it’s often also a time of great stress – with many demands on time and emotions. Children are leaving home for the first time, a career may not have gone according to plan leaving money tight, parents may be ill, and close relationships can be under huge pressure. There are also the physical and emotional challenges of growing older (thinning bones, hair, loss of muscle mass, etc.), and feeling less attractive.

Yoga can help us deal with all these issues. It can lower cortisol levels, which improves bone strength and density. The physical postures can build muscle and fitness, and can help to address postural issues. Breathing techniques, or pranayama, can help bring the mind back to the present moment, enabling us to tackle problems head on without dwelling too much on what might be.

Yoga can also help us learn that changes are inevitable, and to accept them with peace and equanimity.

Clinical studies point towards yoga as a helpful treatment for menopause. It can reduce the frequency and severity of symptoms including hot flushes/flashes, and can improve sleep quality.


What the clinical studies say

Yoga
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Reduces frequency of flushes/flashes
  • Reduces severity of flushes/flashes
  • Reduces severity of symptoms

The clinical studies

A pilot study of a Hatha yoga treatment for menopausal symptoms
Practice
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
Abstract

Objective:

To assess the feasibility and efficacy of a yoga treatment for menopausal symptoms. Both physiologic and self-reported measures of hot flashes were included.

Methods:

A prospective within-group pilot study was conducted. Participants were 12 peri- and post-menopausal women experiencing at least 4 menopausal hot flashes per day, at least 4 days per week. Assessments were administered before and after completion of a 10-week yoga program. Pre- and post-treatment measures included: Severity of questionnaire-rated menopausal symptoms (Wiklund Symptom Check List), frequency, duration, and severity of hot flashes (24-h ambulatory skin-conductance monitoring; hot-flash diary), interference of hot flashes with daily life (Hot Flash Related Daily Interference Scale), and subjective sleep quality (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index). Yoga classes included breathing techniques, postures, and relaxation poses designed specifically for menopausal symptoms. Participants were asked to practice at home 15 min each day n addition to weekly classes.

Results:

Eleven women completed the study and attended a mean of 7.45 (S.D. 1.63) classes. Significant pre- to post-treatment improvements were found for severity of questionnaire-rated total menopausal symptoms, hot-flash daily interference; and sleep efficiency, disturbances, and quality. Neither 24-h monitoring nor accompanying diaries yielded significant changes in hot flashes.

Conclusions:

The yoga treatment and study procedures were feasible for midlife women. Improvement in symptom perceptions and well being warrant further study of yoga for menopausal symptoms, with a larger number of women and including a control group.
Citations

80
Authors

Cathryn Booth-LaForce | Rebecca C. Thurston | Mary R. Taylor
Published

2007
Journal

Maturitas
Volume / Issue

57:3
Author's primary institution

University of Washington, United States
Effects of yoga exercise on serum adiponectin and metabolic syndrome factors in obese postmenopausal women
Practice
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
Abstract

Objective:

Regular and continuous yoga exercise is one of the most important nonpharmacological methods of improving serum lipid concentrations, adipose tissue, and metabolic syndrome factors. The purpose of this study was to analyze the effects of yoga exercise on serum adiponectin and metabolic syndrome factors in obese postmenopausal Korean women.

Methods:

Sixteen healthy postmenopausal women aged 54.50 ± 2.75 years with more than 36% body fat were randomly assigned to either a yoga exercise group (n = 8) or to a “no exercise” control group (n = 8). The variables of body composition, visceral fat, serum adiponectin, and metabolic syndrome factors were measured in all the participants before and after the 16-week study.

Results:

Body weight, percentage of body fat, lean body mass, body mass index, waist circumference, and visceral fat area had significantly decreased. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol and adiponectin had significantly increased, but total cholesterol, triglyceride, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, blood pressure, insulin, glucose, and homoeostasis model assessment–insulin resistance had significantly decreased. Serum adiponectin concentrations were significantly correlated with waist circumference, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, diastolic blood pressure, and homoeostasis model assessment–insulin resistance in the post yoga exercise group.



Our findings indicate that yoga exercise improves adiponectin level, serum lipids, and metabolic syndrome risk factors in obese postmenopausal women. Consequently, yoga exercise will be effective in preventing cardiovascular disease caused by obesity in obese postmenopausal Korean women.
Citations

35
Authors

Jeong-Ah Lee | Jong-Won Kim | Do-Yeon Kim
Published

2012
Journal

Menopause
Volume / Issue

19:3
Author's primary institution

Department of Physical Education, Kyungsung University, Busan, South Korea
Feasibility and acceptability of restorative yoga for treatment of hot flushes: A pilot trial
Practice
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
Abstract

Objective:

To determine the feasibility and acceptability of a restorative yoga intervention for the treatment of hot flushes in postmenopausal women.

Methods:

A pilot trial in 14 postmenopausal women experiencing ≥4 moderate to severe hot flushes per day or ≥30 moderate to severe hot flushes per week. The intervention consisted of eight restorative yoga poses taught in a 3-h introductory session and 8 weekly 90-min sessions. Feasibility was measured by recruitment rates, subject retention and adherence. Acceptability was assessed by subject interview and questionnaires. Efficacy measures included change in frequency and severity of hot flushes as recorded on a 7-day diary.

Results:

Recruitment was accomplished as planned. The majority of study subjects (93%) completed the trial. Of those who completed the trial, 92% attended seven or more of the eight yoga sessions. The majority of the subjects were satisfied with the study and 75% continued to practice yoga 3 months after the study. Mean number of hot flushes per week decreased by 30.8% (95% CI 15.6-45.9%) and mean hot flush score decreased 34.2% (95% CI 16.0-52.5%) from baseline to week 8. No adverse events were observed.

Conclusions:

This pilot trial demonstrates that it is feasible to teach restorative yoga to middle-aged women without prior yoga experience. The high rates of subject retention and satisfaction suggest that yoga is an acceptable intervention in this population. Our results indicate that a larger, randomized controlled trial to explore the efficacy of restorative yoga for treatment of menopausal symptoms would be safe and feasible.
Citations

63
Authors

Beth E. Cohen | Alka M. Kanaya | Judith L. Macer | Hui Shen | A. Ann Chang | Deborag Grady
Published

2006
Journal

Maturitas
Volume / Issue

56:2
Author's primary institution

Women's Health Clinical Research Center, University of California, San Francisco, CA, United States
Menopausal quality of life: RCT of yoga, exercise, and omega-3 supplements
Practice
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
Abstract

Objective

The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of 3 nonhormonal therapies for the improvement of menopause-related quality of life in women with vasomotor symptoms.

Study Design

We conducted a 12-week 3 × 2 randomized, controlled, factorial design trial. Peri- and postmenopausal women, 40-62 years old, were assigned randomly to yoga (n = 107), exercise (n = 106), or usual activity (n = 142) and also assigned randomly to a double-blind comparison of omega-3 (n = 177) or placebo (n = 178) capsules. We performed the following interventions: (1) weekly 90-minute yoga classes with daily at-home practice, (2) individualized facility-based aerobic exercise training 3 times/week, and (3) 0.615 g omega-3 supplement, 3 times/day. The outcomes were assessed with the following scores: Menopausal Quality of Life Questionnaire (MENQOL) total and domain (vasomotor symptoms, psychosocial, physical and sexual).

Results

Among 355 randomly assigned women who average age was 54.7 years, 338 women (95%) completed 12-week assessments. Mean baseline vasomotor symptoms frequency was 7.6/day, and the mean baseline total MENQOL score was 3.8 (range, 1–8 from better to worse) with no between-group differences. For yoga compared to usual activity, baseline to 12-week improvements were seen for MENQOL total –0.3 (95% confidence interval, –0.6 to 0; P = .02), vasomotor symptom domain (P = .02), and sexuality domain (P = .03) scores. For women who underwent exercise and omega-3 therapy compared with control subjects, improvements in baseline to 12-week total MENQOL scores were not observed. Exercise showed benefit in the MENQOL physical domain score at 12 weeks (P = .02).

Conclusion

All women become menopausal, and many of them seek medical advice on ways to improve quality of life; little evidence-based information exists. We found that, among healthy sedentary menopausal women, yoga appears to improve menopausal quality of life; the clinical significance of our finding is uncertain because of the modest effect.
Citations

19
Authors

Susan D. Reed, Katherine A. Guthrie, Katherine M. Newton, Garnet L. Anderson, Cathryn Booth-LaForce, Bette Caan, Janet S. Carpenter, Lee S. Cohen, Andrea L. Dunn, Kristine E. Ensrud, Ellen W. Freeman, Julie R. Hunt, Hadine Joffe, Joseph C. Larson, Lee A. Learman, Robin Rothenberg, Rebecca A. Seguin, Karen J. Sherman, Barbara S. Sternfeld, Andrea Z. LaCroix
Published

2014
Journal

American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume / Issue

210 : 3
Author's primary institution

Data Coordinating Center, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA
Effectiveness of yoga for menopausal symptoms: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
Practice
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
Abstract

Objectives

To systematically review and meta-analyze the effectiveness of yoga for menopausal symptoms.

Methods

Medline, Scopus, the Cochrane Library, and PsycINFO were screened through April 2012. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were included if they assessed the effect of yoga on major menopausal symptoms, namely, (1) psychological symptoms, (2) somatic symptoms, (3) vasomotor symptoms, and/or (4) urogenital symptoms. For each outcome, standardized mean differences (SMDs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated. Two authors independently assessed risk of bias using the risk of bias tool recommended by the Cochrane Back Review Group.

Results

Five RCTs with 582 participants were included in the qualitative review, and 4 RCTs with 545 participants were included in the meta-analysis. There was moderate evidence for short-term effects on psychological symptoms (; 95% CI −0.67 to −0.07; ). No evidence was found for total menopausal symptoms, somatic symptoms, vasomotor symptoms, or urogenital symptoms. Yoga was not associated with serious adverse events.

Conclusion

This systematic review found moderate evidence for short-term effectiveness of yoga for psychological symptoms in menopausal women. While more rigorous research is needed to underpin these results, yoga can be preliminarily recommended as an additional intervention for women who suffer from psychological complaints associated with menopause.
Citations

32
Authors

Holger Cramer, Romy Lauche, Jost Langhorst, Gustav Dobos
Published

2012
Journal

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume / Issue

Author's primary institution

University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany

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