In 2002, the Women's Health Initiative study found that the hormone therapy used to relieve menopause symptoms increased women's risk of stroke and breast and ovarian cancers slightly. Since then, women who suffer from hot flashes and night sweats during menopause have been left with few ways to get relief.
The women were randomly assigned to 2 groups. In one, participants went to weekly 2.5-hour mindfulness classes focusing on body awareness, meditation, and stretching. They also received CDs to guide them through mindfulness activities on their own on the days when they didn't have classes. Women in the second group, used for comparison, were put on a waiting list and had no mindfulness classes during the study, which lasted 8 weeks.
At the beginning of the study, the women had about 8 hot flushes a day and 3 night sweats each night, and were somewhere between "moderately" and "extremely" bothered by their symptoms, according to questionnaire responses. They also reported trouble sleeping and had anxiety and stress scores considered above the normal range in healthy people.
Here is a short YouTube clip attesting to the benefits during menopause of a stress relief program which includes meditation.
NOTE. This blog sets out a simple form of mindfulness sitting meditation.