To Ease Menopause Symptoms, Add a Little Melody

Music soothes the wild beast. But can music also be soothing for a woman going through menopause? Recent research suggests that yes.

A variety of symptoms can be experienced by women with the menopause. These include insomnia, joint pain and trouble sleeping. These symptoms can cause problems in your life. You can also get a freebie. Turkish study, though, has found that “music might be helpful,” says Dr. Stephanie Faubion, who wasn’t involved in the research. She’s the director of the Women’s Health Clinic at the Mayo Clinic The study was published by The North American Menopause Society last month. Menopause.
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The new research involved postmenopausal women ages 40 to 65, which means the participants hadn’t had their periods for at least 12 months. All participants were asked to rate their symptoms of menopause, including their anxiety and hot flashes. Also, they rated how depressed they were. Did it make them feel sad or like failures? Roughly half the women were then asked to listen to music for the next six weeks—at least 18 sessions that were 15 minutes long—in a quiet environment. The other half weren’t given any instructions. All completed the survey again after six weeks.

The women who listened to music fared better than those who hadn’t. They rated their menopause symptoms lower after listening to music, and they also reported a decrease in their depression during the study. The women in the control group didn’t show this same improvement.

What is the point of music having such a positive effect on your mood? “It’s probably calming, and it’s helping your brain release good chemicals that are making you relaxed and happy,” such as dopamine, serotonin, endorphin, and oxytocin, says Faubion. You can reduce stress hormones such as cortisol. All of these can affect blood pressure, heart rate and respiration rates.

Indeed, the study authors noted that the Büzürk mode of Turkish classical music “comforted and calmed” listeners.

These effects are “hardly surprising,” says Faubion. “Music therapy has been shown to be helpful with regard to mood in other studies.” For example, one study used music alongside muscle relaxation training to help Patients with mental illness are more comfortable sleeping and have better control over their anger.. It has been proven that listening to music can boost your mood. Pregnant women’s mental well-being and healthTo have an impact positive on Employees in the workplace.

Faubion says that music therapy would likely work just as well for women in perimenopause—the transitional years leading up to menopause. Even though the research was very small, Faubion feels that these results would be valid for larger groups. “What is, I guess, surprising is that we haven’t thought of this before, as it’s a simple and easy thing to do,” she says.

However, if you do choose to turn to music, don’t expect a session or two to be a long-term fix. This therapy should be done on a consistent basis. Plus, while there’s no harm in trying this method, keep in mind that “music therapy may not be enough for the control of menopause symptoms for some women,” Faubion says.

You can also use other safe, effective methods to manage symptoms. Faubion points out that both cognitive behavioral therapy and hypnosis have been proven to be effective, possibly because they lower anxiety related to some symptoms of menopause.

As for interventions like yoga or meditation, Faubion says, “There may be some anecdotal evidence that these mind/body therapies may be helpful, but the data are inconsistent.” Still, “There’s little risk in doing yoga or doing some meditation to help with menopause symptoms.”

And don’t hesitate to turn to your medical provider if you continue to suffer. “If the symptoms are getting in the way of work or relationships or sleep, or functioning during the day, that’s the time for people to seek additional help.”


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