A simple, free and highly accessible therapy may be helpful for both men and women in reducing hot flashes – a technique called paced breathing.
When compared with normal breathing, paced breathing was found to significantly decrease hot flashes during this 9-week trial at the Mayo Clinic. Paced breathing is simply taking 6-8 deep and slow breaths per minute, versus the average 15 breaths per minute. The basic technique is to breathe in while slowly counting to 5 and then release the breath for 5 seconds. In this study, participants did the breathing 2 times daily for 15 minutes each, however for patients who find this helpful, at the CCNM Integrative Cancer Centre we recommend it more regularly as there are other benefits including helping to lower blood pressure, decrease anxiety and promote relaxation.