1. Prick it Acupuncture may help relieve the severity of symptoms and it doesn’t hurt, promise! To find a reputable practitioner in your area, have a look on the Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association’s website at acupuncture.org.au
2. Layer up Dress in lightweight layers you can strip off as you heat up. Wear clothes made from natural cotton or wicking fabric designed to absorb moisture. Avoid wool and synthetics. At night, choose cotton jammies or next to nothing!
3. Ditch the duvet Cotton sheets and light blankets you can easily kick off offer more relief than heavy quilts or doonas. If you can control the temperature in your bedroom via a thermostat, keep it super cool or at least have an oscillating fan at the ready.
4. Know your triggers Coffee, alcohol, spicy foods, smoking, stress and hot baths or showers can all trigger a hot flush. A process of elimination can help you pinpoint your personal triggers so you can avoid them, or at least cut way back on them.
5. Just breathe When you feel a hot flush coming on, take deep, slow breaths to stay calm. Breathe in slowly for a count of five, hold for a count of three, then exhale softly for a count of five. Rest for two beats and repeat until the flush subsides.
6. Investigate supplements carefully Natural herbs and supplements are widely believed to help ease hot flushes and other menopausal symptoms – soy, black cohosh, red clover, pine bark, folic acid, vitamin D, St. John’s wort, wild yam and evening primrose oil among them. However, ‘natural’ doesn’t mean without risk or side effects. Some herbal remedies clash with certain health conditions and prescription drugs. Red clover, for example, contains plant oestrogens and may be unsafe if you’ve had breast cancer or take a blood thinner, while black cohosh has been linked to liver problems in at-risk patients. By all means, do your research and keep an open mind, but always discuss the options with your doctor first.
7. Accessorise! Connie Sherman, a New Yorker fed up with her hot flushes, created a stylish line of jewellery to wear when the heat hits.