Until last week I never used my iPad for playing games (aside from word games), but Michael introduced me to Dots, and I found myself entranced. When I figured out about the little rewards you get from completing squares of dots (there is a chord that gives you a tonal reward, the colors on the board change, and you get more points), I became a hard-core user.
I'm not an addict.
I can walk away from the game.
I can accept my high score (250 to date).
Like most women in their 50s, I am surprised (annoyed, plagued, haunted, angered, weakened, and thrown off balance) by hot flashes. Earlier this evening I went to sit out a particularly nasty one near the air-conditioner, and decided to play a game of dots to pass the time. My hot flash diminished instantly in intensity. After three or for games (one minute each), it was over. I was shocked (and delighted).
I didn't actually stop playing after those four games, but when I did actually stop, I planned to test my discovery by playing dots as soon as I got the next hot flash.
I sat down to play as soon as I felt my hot flash coming on, and once again, it was far less uncomfortable than usual. It also only lasted two or three games (i.e. minutes).
I would like to believe that playing this game is actually beneficial for my mind, and that it isn't a true waste of time. [Yeah, right.] It is a game of speed that requires you to recognize patterns very quickly and connect rows of colored dots with a little sweep of the finger. Playing it causes changes in breathing and stress level, and the stress is punctuated with constant rewards, so I guess it is a good kind of stress. It is also something you can play with both hands (two hands are better than one), so it stimulates both sides of the body and the brain.
Since hot flashes have everything to do with hormonal changes and imbalances, maybe the specific kinds of stress hormones that are produced by playing dots help to lessen their impact.
Now, if I can only figure out a way to stimulate those hormones when I don't have my iPad in my hands!