Inside: Paced breathing is a breathing technique that can decrease the frequency of hot flashes by 80 percent. It’s super easy to learn and super easy to do. Also, my favorite breath pacer breathing app to help you smash your hot flashes now.
Handling Hot Flashes with Paced Breathing
Hot flashes may be harmless, but GOOD LORD are they disruptive! I have been flushing, perspiring and flashing for over a year now. I can’t tell you how many nights of disrupted menopause sleep I’ve endured. But thankfully, I’ve finally discovered a breathing technique that actually has been working for me.
You can call it paced breathing or paced respiration, but I call it a fresh breath of heaven. 😉 Paced breathing simply involves breathing slowly and deeply.
You breathe only 5-7 times per minute – much slower than your normal rate – which is around 12-13 breaths per minute. Interestingly, just breathing slowly and deeply can decrease the frequency of hot flashes by 80 percent. I learned about this method in the book, Menopause Matters, by Julie Edelman.
If you need another endorsement, this breathing technique is also promoted by the North American Menopause Society and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
How to Smash Your Hot Flashes Using Only Your Breath
It’s super easy to learn this breathing technique.
I start by exhaling completely. Then I slowly and deeply inhale to a count of 5. (one, one thousand; two, one thousand; three, one thousand; four, one thousand; five, one thousand)
Then, slowly and fully exhale to a count of 5. Don’t hold your breath or pause in between.
I started practicing for five minutes at a time, whenever I felt a hot flash coming on. I was super surprised that in just a few days, I noticed my hot flashes subsiding much more quickly.
The book recommends practicing until you can do 10-15 minutes of paced breathing.
Breath Pacer Breathing App
If you like apps and tools like I do, try the free Breathe + app. I like that it gives you visual and audible cues to breathe so you don’t have to concentrate on counting. You can set a timer and adjust your breath cycle settings to help you breathe in the most effective way.
Next time you feel a hot flash coming on, or wake up with a night sweat, give this easy technique a try.
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