How to Tame Hot Flashes
What Causes Hot Flashes
Have you ever wondered what has made your thermostat go on tilt? It’s part of “The Change,” but which part? In short, it’s estrogen—the hormone that helps your body to create eggs. As you age, the amount of estrogen that your body produces naturally decreases. Estrogen creates lubrication in the body, which, according to Chinese medicine, helps to keep your system cool. So, when you produce less coolant, you feel more heat.
How to Help Your Body Adjust
Build Up Your Estrogen
There are many ways to slow the decline of estrogen and ease the body’s adjustment to the change. (It can actually adjust very well!) First, you can increase estrogen-building resources in the body. Estrogen creams and pills prescribed by your doctor directly increase your estrogen levels. Foods such as flax seed and soy stimulate estrogen production. And the herb called Chinese angelica (also known as dang quai or dang gui) stimulates estrogen production.
Eat Right and Exercise
The best way, though, to help with the hot flashes is to clean up your eating and exercise habits. Decrease your starch and sugar intake, and eat three to six cups of vegetables per day. Also, maintain a moderate level of physical activity, such as walking at a moderate pace for 20 minutes per day.
Read more of my specific recommendations for dietary changes in my “Whose Body Is This?” blog post.
Get Acupuncture Treatment
Acupuncture is another way to adapt to the changing state of your body. It clears the energetic dynamic that causes the hot flashes and acclimates your body to its new state much more rapidly than if the body adjusts on its own. It normally takes one to three treatments to feel the difference. After that, the number and frequency of treatments needed to be symptom-free depends on the individual.