Menopause can be a nightmare for most people, from hot flashes, irritability and depression. A recent study in Turkey showed that music could help ease symptoms, allowing for a more comfort during this uncomfortable period.
The study group
The Turkish study took a group of 40 to 65-year-old women going through menopause, meaning the women selected hadn’t had their periods for at least 12 months.
The study asked the women to list their symptoms, from irritably to how severe their hot flashes were. They were also asked to rate their depression levels, whether or not they felt like a failure, and if they cried more than usual for example.
After filling out the survey half of the women were asked to listen to music for the next six weeks. They were asked to listen to at least 18 sessions of 15 minutes whilst in a quiet environment. The other half of the study group were not given instructions. After six weeks they were asked to fill out the survey again.
When the women filled out the questionnaire once again, those who had listened to music during the six weeks had noticed their menopause symptoms had lessened and their depression had improved. Those who hadn’t listened to music showed no change in their symptoms.
Music therapy has been known to help with many ailments as ‘it’s probably calming, and it’s helping your brain release good chemicals that are making you relaxed and happy,’ according to Dr Stephanie Faubion, the director of the Women’s Health Clinic at the Mayo Clinic and of The North American Menopause Society, the clinic that published the Turkish study. Music also lowers the stress hormone cortisol.
In addition, music therapy has helped the mental well-being of pregnant women, as well as help with sleep and anger management.
If you do plan on trying out music therapy, don’t think that it’ll only take two sessions for long-term results. If you want it to improve your life, it is a daily habit. Yoga and meditation could help as well. ‘There’s little risk in doing yoga or doing some meditation to help with menopause symptoms.’ according to Dr Faubion.
However, if your menopause symptoms are so severe they interfere with your life, relationships and work, you should contact your doctor as they are the best-placed to help you.