The Indianapolis Star has a short interview today with Professor Janet S. Carpenter of Indiana University’s School of Nursing. Dr. Carpenter is conducting a study of whether menopausal women can control hot flashes through breathing techniques.
She told the Star:
Breathing techniques are something nurses use all the time. After surgery, we teach patients to inhale and take deep breaths to clear the lungs of anesthesia. We also teach patients slow, deep breathing to decrease anxiety. Because the study is blinded, I can’t talk specifically about what the two breathing programs are.
Some research seemed to show that it helped hot flashes. We actually think breathing techniques change a woman’s physiology so she will have fewer hot flashes, and if she has the same number of hot flashes, she will cope with them better.
I’ll look forward to seeing the results of her study (maybe I can talk her into presenting them at the next meeting of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research!). If her hypothesis is correct, we’ll have an easy, cheap, and medication-free method for helping women cope with the discomfort of hot flashes.