Mind-Body Therapies for Menopause

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on May 18, 2010

Mind-Body-Spirit News

Yoga-based and certain other mind-body therapies may help with specific menopausal symptoms, according to a literature review published in Maturitas (2010; doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2010.01.016).

Researchers from the department of community medicine, West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia, reviewed 18 clinical trials that involved yoga and/or meditation-based programs; tai chi; relaxation practices such as muscle relaxation and breath-based techniques; relaxation response training; and low-frequency sound-wave therapy. Improvements from these mind-body interventions were overall menopausal symptom reduction, better mood and sleep, and less musculoskeletal pain. Menopausal symptoms included hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbances, fatigue, aches and pains, bad moods and other symptoms that rose to the level of interfering with daily life.

With populations aging in both America and Europe, identification and validation of cost-effective methods to manage menopausal symptoms without adverse side effects are important. Study authors recommended more vigorous research of mind-body therapies to determine their efficacy. The authors noted that more large-scale, methodologically sound trials that observe long-term outcomes and examine underlying mechanisms for why therapies are helpful are needed to reach any firm conclusions about the effectiveness of specific mind-body therapies on menopausal symptoms.

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About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, was the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at www.shirleyarcher.com.