Hot Flashes and Fitness

We all expect to get hot and sweaty during our workouts, that’s a sign of a successful session. It’s when those hot and sweaty sensations don’t settle down afterwards that fun fitness becomes frustrating. Over the years, I have learned that women with menopausal symptoms can find their workouts so much more difficult with hot flashes and some even choose to skip their routine to avoid another sweaty session. This undermines their healthy routines and sabotages their motivation. Although the majority of middle age women do suffer from menopausal symptoms in our culture, many women in eastern cultures seem to transition through middle age gracefully and effortlessly. This is partly due to advanced preparation for menopause which balances the body with diet and herbs to prevent any symptoms. It’s also their healthy approach to this transitional time in a woman’s life. First they don’t use the term ‘Men’opause, they call it ‘Second Spring’. The imagery is that this is a second chance in a women’s life to put themselves first and they embrace this new chapter rather than dreading it. In eastern cultures, old age isn’t looked at as a negative. The elderly are respected for their wisdom and strength of character and honoured by their loved ones. A healthy approach makes this transition a time to appreciate and embrace. The more accepting and comfortable a woman feels approaching menopause and less stress and dread about entering this new phase of life, the less severe her symptoms. From an acupuncture perspective, hot flashes are caused by an imbalance between yin and yang. Yin is the moistening, cooling, consolidating energy, while yang is the hot, drying and rising energy. The yin energy is sourced from the kidneys, whose energy is weakened as we age. The yin energy is further drained by stress, overwork, anxiety, fear and perceived ‘fight or flight’ situations. Therefore most menopause symptoms are the result of weakened kidney and yin energy which can no longer anchor the hot rising yang energy. With less of that cooling, moistening energy to balance the hot rising yang energy, hot flashes become a huge hindrance to not only exercise but life in general.  Furthermore the yin time of day is 3 pm to 3 am, while yang time is 3 am to 3 pm. This is why hot flashes tend to get worse in the afternoon and evening. As the deficient yin energy is working to rebuild from the afternoon into early morning, it cannot balance the yang energy so hot flashes usually get worse in the afternoons and then really bad in the evenings with the dreaded night sweats. For treatment we work on building up the yin energy, clearing the hot yang energy and tonifying the kidneys. At the same time we treat for the anxiety, depression, memory issues and stress that are so common with menopause. In treating thousands of cases of menopause over the past 15 years, I find that we can control the majority of patient’s hot flashes within 3-4 treatments and get rid of the dreaded night sweats within 6-7 visits. Not only do these results improve the desire to workout and eliminate the extra heat associated with workouts but it improves overall wellness and happiness. The most common sentiment I hear from women that come in for menopausal symptom treatment is ‘why did I wait so long’.  So please don’t suffer with post-workout excess heat and hot sweats any longer and contact us today for your first visit or a free 15 minute consultation.