5 things every woman (and man) should know about the menopause
The menopause can be a challenging time and I speak from personal experience here! If you are currently suffering with menopausal symptoms, the first thing to remember is that you are not on your own, and the second thing is that you can really do a lot to help yourself. It is a natural stage of a woman's life which in my opinion has been overly medicalised and stigmatised, which is why men need to be in on this too! Read on and profoundly change your experience of 'the change' – become a woman of wisdom.
1. Perspective -
We refer to the menopause as the 'change' so why not change your perspective? Our view of the menopause is based on society's view that it is a time when women become less desirable as well as a collection of unpleasant symptoms. No wonder we approach it with dread! What about thinking of the menopause as potential for a profound new stage of development for you? Dr. Christiane Northrup M.D. talks about the menopause as "not simply a collection of physical symptoms to be "fixed," but a mind-body revolution that brings the greatest opportunity for growth since adolescence." She talks about this being a time when we move from our reproductive phase (giving birth to others) to a phase where we give birth to our deepest selves. Changes in brain chemistry, prompt us to make lifestyle changes as well as changes at deeper levels, which can lead to surges in vitality and creativity. Seriously, do check out Christiane Northrup she is a pioneer of women's health and wellness on all levels. Check her on YouTube here
Dru yoga is a wonderful way to bring about positive changes gently, yet powerfully to our mindset and make those changes with the support of others. If you feel weekly Dru yoga classes
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- To be practical here, there are symptoms of the menopause that are at best unpleasant and embarrassing and at worst can seriously impact quality of life. These symptoms are generally a result of hormonal changes which affect the brain and body chemistry in various ways. The more drastic the hormonal swings, the more severe the symptoms tend to be. Hot flushes, night sweats, sleeplessness, foggy head are just some of these symptoms. I think that we are conditioned to just accept this as a fact of the menopause, however, there are things we can do to help ourselves. The more we can do to keep ourselves in physical and mental balance, the better our body is at balancing the swings of hormone levels and the better equipped our mind will be stay relaxed about everything!
3. Lifestyle -
Stress has a profound effect on the brain and body chemistry, which if prolonged is detrimental to our health. Female hormones are thought to linked with the stress hormones in the way they affect us. High levels of stress hormones are thought to exacerbate the effects of the hormone changes around the menopause, increasing unpleasant symptoms. Combined with the fact that the menopause can create its own stress, this can be a vicious circle. Combatting stress helps us balance symptoms, as well as see things in perspective. We also find that we cope better with everything when we are relaxed. Some research is now suggesting that thoughts are more powerful than our genes!
Diet has been shown to have a balancing or unbalancing effect on the body, which can exacerbate menopausal symptoms. This includes caffeine, alcohol and smoking. Refined foods which are high in sugar and artificial ingredients have a very destabilising effect on blood sugar and inflammatory response in the body which can worsen symptoms due to hormonal changes. Some people find spicy food can make things worse. As we are all different, do your own experiments on what works and doesn't work.
Small changes to a healthier diet, reducing caffeine, alcohol and smoking and keeping hydrated can make a difference. Making dietary changes can be difficult, but if we can reduce our stress and get support from others, we have more chance of success.
Yoga and meditation, incorporating relaxation and breathing techniques are all proven ways to reduce stress and improve sleep. Our monthly yoga and meditation sessions
provide you with whole toolkit of techniques for dealing with stress and allow you to gain support from like-minded people. The classes suitable for beginners or those with experience. Click here
if you think this may benefit you.
Or why not treat yourself to a relaxation workshop
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4. Health considerations
- Natural supplements can be a great alternative to medical interventions. I myself have found Menopace products, evening primrose oil and Sage supplements to be of benefit in reducing symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats and sleeplessness. However, there are a few things to say about supplements. Firstly, everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for another. Secondly, supplements can stop working after a while. Thirdly, please do your research and be knowledgeable. Some supplements such as Black Cohosh, have some question marks over their safety and may be linked with liver problems. This may be due to dosage and overall health but the jury is still out, so please make an informed choice. If you have any underlying health issue or are taking prescribed medication, please consult a health professional before taking any supplements. Also, hot flushes and sweats can be due to other causes, so if you are unsure, again get check out.
5. Long term health -
Post menopausal women can be at greater risk of conditions such as osteoporosis, heart problems, reduced brain function, reduced muscle tone. Much research is pointing to the fact that yoga and meditation has shown to help combat these health risks. Find out more about what Lakshmi yoga offers http://www.relaxwithlakshmi.com/home
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I hope you feel empowered to take your health into your own hands, even small changes can make a difference. I hope you enjoyed this blog and please feel free to catch up with me on Facebook
, If you have any great tips I would love to hear from you.
Or come along to a class or workshop, where you will be welcomed into a friendly environment of like-minded people. We are geared towards over fifties, but all ages are welcome. relaxwithlakshmi.com