Review on October 17, 2008
According to a recent study undertaken in India, relief may be on the way for women suffering from menopausal symptoms, particularly night sweats. Yoga has been shown to possibly have a significant impact on the reduction of night sweats.
With the purpose of determining whether or not specifically yoga could help in the reduction of menopausal symptoms such as night sweats, a sample section of 120 menopausal women between the ages of 40 to 55 was divided into two groups. One group practiced yoga specifically, while the other practiced stretching exercises over a period of eight weeks, for five days per week.
According to Dr. R. Chattha, of the Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana in Bangalore, India, the yoga postures, meditation and breathing exercises helped to alleviate night sweats by being "aimed at one common effect, i.e. to develop mastery over modifications of the mind. through slowing down the rate of flow of thoughts in the mind," as she explained.
In addition to the exercises practiced, the woman in the yoga section also attended lectures on how to utilize yoga techniques to manage stress as well as other topics related to yoga. By contrast, those in the control group listened to lectures as well, though on the general themes of diet, exercise, and the mechanics of menopause and stress.
The women's menopausal symptoms were checked after eight weeks, with the women in the group that had been practicing yoga showing a significant decrease in night sweats, along with hot flashes and other sleep disturbances. The women in the control group showed the same incidence rate of night sweats, according to Dr. Chattha.
Cognitive tests were undertaken as well, with both groups showing improvements in tests of concentration and attention, though the women in the yoga group showed a greater improvement.
Dr. Chattha concludes that "The present study shows the superiority of yoga over physical activity in improving the cognitive functions that could be attributed to emphasis on correctness in breathing, synchronizing breathing with body movements, relaxation and mindful rest," indicating that through a combination of physical as well as cognitive improvements, women can help overcome night sweats.