The Science

Consider the science behind a hot flash:

The Stellate Ganglion, a star-shaped cluster of nerves in the neck, is connected to parts of the brain involved in core body temperature regulation, and the Stellate Ganglion sends signals to the brain’s hypothalamus, the body’s temperature control center.

But, at times, the hypothalamus becomes confused when the body has a diminished level of estrogen in women, or a diminished level of testosterone in men.  In its confused state, the hypothalamus tries to rid the body of heat by dilating blood vessels and opening sweat glands. The result is a hot flash.. This abrupt and intense sensation of heat affects the face, neck and upper body, and results in a cold, clammy sweat and discomfort, and can greatly disrupt sleep. Hot flashes can occur frequently throughout the day and night and last anywhere between a couple minutes to an hour. The feeling can cause anxiety, a quickened heart rate, irritability and nausea.

Hot flashes and night sweats are quite common among menopausal women, and certainly not uncommon among andropausal men. Often breast cancer survivors, who take anti-estrogen medication to fight their cancer, experience hot flashes and night sweats, as do 80% of men who take androgen deprivation therapy to fight prostate cancer.

At this point, you may be wondering what role the Stellate Ganglion plays in all this hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia discussion…
A study of breast cancer survivors was conducted in which the Stellate Ganglion was directly injected with a Stellate Ganglion Blockade (SGB) to see if that might abate the hot flash/night sweat problem.  The  Harvard Women’s Health Watch (Sept. 2008 issue) chronicled the study’s successful outcome.  “In breast cancer survivors the body’s thermostat doesn’t work,” said Dr. Eugene Lipov, the study’s author and medical director of Advanced Pain Centers in Hoffman Estates. “Numbing up the Stellate resets the body’s thermostat and makes it work like it’s supposed to.”

Consider the  science behind insomnia:
Scientific American’s article “Putting Insomnia on Ice” (December 23, 2011) and TIME Healthland’s article “Tip for Insomniacs: Cool Your Head to Fall Asleep” (June 17, 2011) both point to the neurobiology of insomnia, a disorder of hyper-arousal. An insomnia study was conducted in 2011, in which participants were fitted with cooling caps that used circulating water to cool their prefrontal cortexes. The study determined that cooling the head helped the insomniacs to fall asleep about as fast, and to stay asleep about as long, as those participants without insomnia. And the participants whose caps were set to the lowest temperatures were able to get more sleep than those whose caps were slightly warmer.

In June 2011, at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS), researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine reported their findings. The body’s circadian clock, which regulates sleep and wakefulness, keeps the body at its warmest during the day and starts to lower body temperature in the evening to help us doze off. But for those with insomnia, researchers found that the extra brain activity was keeping the brain too hot to sleep. It appears that cooling the brain is one of the simplest, safest, most effective means to help people with insomnia catch more z’s!

Building on that science we’ve created the Hot Flash Pillow

  • Comfortably chilling the area surrounding the Stellate Ganglion, much like the way medical professionals advise us to apply cold to a sports injury, relieves hot flashes and night sweats fast, and is an effective, natural sleep aid.
  • This soft, dry, neck pillow, small enough to store in the freezer and, once cold, pliable and comfortable enough to drape over bare skin, naturally chills down the area of the Stellate Ganglion to provide fast hot flash relief.

Those who’ve put the science to the test and tried this product unanimously agree the Hot Flash Pillow absolutely works!