resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
July, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 07
Are You Feeling Hot, Hot, HOT?
By Elaine Stillerman, LMT
Humorously referred to as a "power surge" or "my own private Florida," hot flashes are no laughing matter. They probably are the number one symptom of menopause in Western societies. It's interesting that these sweats are not as common in some Asian countries or Mexico where only about 10 percent of menopausal women suffer from hot flashes.1 One theory postulates the reason Japanese women have such low rates of hot flashes is due to their high fiber, low fat and high consumption of soy diet.
It's estimated that anywhere from 50 to 90 percent of American women of a certain age experience hot flashes; referred to medically as vasomotor flushes.2 Nobody really is sure what causes them, but there are a number of speculations.The most common explanation is that lower estrogen levels and declining ovarian function are causative. (This also can explain the profuse sweating a postpartum woman experiences when her estrogen levels dramatically drop after the baby is born.) But this theory cannot apply to women with low levels of estrogen who do not have hot flashes or women with estrogen excess who get them. The fact that almost 30 percent of women treated with placebos have an improvement in hot flashes also might indicate there is more involved than estrogen.
Other factors that might trigger hot flashes can be explained by the complex neuroendocrine reactions to thoughts and emotions. Spicy food, hot drinks, alcohol, sugar, caffeine, stress, heated environments and tobacco also might be triggers.
Another theory suggests they are brought on by a dramatic, sudden downward normalization of the body's internal core temperature. Since estrogen and progesterone are significant in regulating temperature, a decrease in their levels might contribute to a shift in the body's ability to control temperature. Studies with both natural progesterone creams and prescription estrogen show a significant reduction in hot flashes.3
As our clients reach peri-menopause, menopause and post-menopause, these flushes or hot flashes can be very uncomfortable, not to mention embarrassing. They seem to occur at the most inopportune times and can be very disruptive of restful sleep. They start as mild to intense heat that spreads through the upper body and face. Red blotchy skin might appear on the face, arms and back or the face might appear flushed. Cardiac rate increases and often copious amounts of perspiration appear, followed by a chill as the hot flash subsides.4
They can be short, lasting only a few seconds or as long as 30 minutes, although most diminish after 5 minutes. They can occur every hour or occasionally. They can disturb sleep at night or creep up at any time during the day. And they can drag on for years, well into menopause.
Lifestyle changes are an integral part of any natural approach to treating hot flashes and the massage therapist's first line of defense in treating hot flashes is a soothing massage that increases endorphins and allays stress. Pressing Spleen 3, found at the medial aspect of the feet, posterior and inferior to the head of the first metatarsal, can help balance hormones. Your client should discuss all these suggestions with her doctor before deciding which suits her best.
Some medicinal plants have been used for centuries as female tonics. (Author's note: It's essential that your client discusses any herbal remedies with a naturopathic physician or some medical authority with a knowledge of herbs who can determine which herbs are beneficial and at what doses. Herbs are medicines and it's outside the scope of our practice to diagnose and prescribe medicines.) Herbs that have palliative, soothing effects on the female reproductive system and endocrine glands are black cohosh, motherwort, chaste berry tree, blue cohosh (can potentially raise blood pressure to dangerously high levels when too much is taken; must be avoided by any woman with high blood pressure); red clover, ginseng, dong quai (rich in estrogen), licorice, sarsaparilla and false unicorn.5
The effects of black cohosh in treating menopausal symptoms has not received extensive research in the U.S., although the herb has
Soy and red clover have plant-derived, estrogen-like compounds called isoflavones that mimic a weak form of the body's estrogen. This might explain why women who consume soy-rich diets have fewer hot flashes. Clinical trials in the U.S. have yielded inconclusive results. There also is a concern that isoflavones could cause cancer and those women with breast cancer, or who have had breast cancer, should discuss the efficacy of taking isoflavones with their doctor.
Simple lifestyle changes include wearing layers of loose clothing made of natural fibers; exercising daily; sipping a cool drink at the onset of a hot flash; avoiding excess alcohol; avoiding spicy food and caffeine; employing stress reduction techniques such as yoga, meditation or a massage; quitting smoking; taking vitamin E; increasing soy intake; taking evening primrose oil capsules; sleep in a cool room; drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
There are many women who choose hormonal therapy when natural approaches are unsuccessful or symptoms are extremely severe. Estrogen or progesterone therapy can relieve symptoms, but personal risks and benefits have to be considered. Taking certain antidepressants might decrease hot flashes, especially when they are from a class known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). Brand names might include Paxil, Prozac, Celexa, etc.7
An off-label use of the medication Gabapentin (Neurotonin) that is FDA-approved to treat epileptic seizures and the pain
Women can't avoid menopause. Whether it was chemically or surgically induced, or just a matter of normal aging, these power surges are an annoying part of it. But women can be more in control of their bodies by adopting simple lifestyles changes and understanding that this, too, shall pass. Now, open a window. Is it hot in here, or is it me?
Click here for previous articles by Elaine Stillerman, LMT.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.