Could you find a spare 30 minutes in your day? If it reduced your menopausal symptoms by 52%?
In the clinical trial “Paced breathing compared with usual breathing for hot flashes” they found that 15 minutes of breath work TWICE daily not only reduces hot flushes but also reduced PMS symptoms and headaches while improving mood, stress tolerance, and sexual function.
Now let me ask you again, could you find a spare 30 minutes in your day for these results?
If not how about 15 minutes? Even just one 15 minutes session of breath work daily was linked to a 44% reduction in these symptoms.
Our breath over our lifetime can change.
When you watch a newborn baby breathe, you will notice its tummy rise and fall. We are born naturally deep breathers, fully activating our diaphragm and taking in a large slow breath of air. Sometimes as we age this changes to become shallow, rapid breaths instead.
Something you may not know is that your lung capacity is one of your greatest indicators of life. The less efficient your lungs become as you age, the closer you are to death. Think about it, oxygen deficiency will kill you faster than dehydration, starvation, lack of movement, etc yet it's not the first thing we think about when we consider improving our health.
Another thing that changes for many of us is that we move from predominantly breathing through our nose to being mouth breathers instead. There are so many downsides to being a mouth breather and let's see if you recognize some of these symptoms: fatigue, lack of focus, moodiness, aggression, poor memory, snoring, and sleep apnea, many mouth breathers have to extend their neck in order to get a full breath in and this can create neck pain and headaches, mouth breathers also have an abnormal resting tongue position and this can create issues with swallowing, dry mouth, jaw pain, and more headaches, it's even linked with issues with your heart rate variability and increased blood pressure. But this list still goes on.
In Patrick McKeown’s book, he has 2 sections specifically on women's breath and this includes a chapter on Menopause, one on the impact of hormone replacement on the breath, potential breathing issues for women who have experienced early menopause, and breath work for menopausal symptoms. It's the only breathwork book with specific mention of women that I’m aware of.
After reading his book you may be wondering if your symptoms are menopause-based or breath-based. There is a strong connection between reproductive hormones and respiratory chemistry. Did you realise your lung function peaks in your 20s and slowly declines until you reach menopause, then this decline can accelerate, leaving post-menopausal women more at risk of respiratory illness, allergies and infections. This risk is further increased if you have experienced early menopause.
But you can change this. There are exercises you can do to improve the depth of your breath, to help you move back to being more of a nasal breather, obtain a better resting tongue position, and to help reduce your menopausal symptoms.
“ Breathing impacts every aspect of your health - sleep, digestion, movement, mental wellbeing, disease, and recovery. It’s an extraordinary resource with life-changing potential. It’s simple, free, and available to everyone.” Patrick McKeown - The Breathing Cure.