It's a cool day and our jackets are on. Suddenly I feel myself warming up, and I know it's another power surge that I thought I had finally overcome.
It took me a lot of trial and error until I finally understood the underlying cause of my hot flashes. Like just about everything, hot flashes can be caused by either excess yin or excess yang. Heat (yang) is moving upward in the body (a yin direction) and discharging as heat (yang) and perspiration (yin). What's a girl to do?
The solution was right under my nose - in my mouth. I realized that I needed to quench the fire within me. Obviously I needed cooling foods, so I added cold tofu and noodles on ice to my diet occasionally. I found that barley malt was okay, but rice syrup was too yang. Fruit fanned the fire, as did macrobiotic sucking candies, which set off the fire alarms. Oil definitely increased the heat, so to cut back on that I needed to reduce my salt intake considerably. I began steaming my food sometimes and eating it with only a few drops of shoyu or none at all. Not bad tasting!
Body scrubs helped a lot to keep my energy flowing. Physical exercise also made life easier, especially walking and hiking (yes, and cleaning–lots of luck!). Cotton clothing was a must - no more sports-store synthetic fibers designed to wick away moisture. They acted like a thermos to keep the heat in.
I think I can finally say that I've licked my hot flashes. At least if they come back, I know why, and have only to reflect whether the Rice Dream that I bought at the health food store was worth it. Mmmm, maybe.
Ginat Rice, May 10, 2002