Managing Menopause Naturally
“At her first menstruation a woman meets her power. During her menstruation years she practices it. At menopause she becomes it.” – Traditional Native American saying
This is a big subject that deserves some attention, so I’ve split the article in two parts. In the first part I try to dispel some of the negative associations that many of us hold with regard to the menopause. The main focus, however is on what we can do to achieve optimum emotional and physical health in the lead up to and during this new phase. In this piece I look at diet and different ways to cope with stress and anxiety. The second part will focus on herbal remedies, exercise and sleep.
What should happen…
If we choose to look after ourselves physically and emotionally during this phase by making the necessary lifestyle changes, we can lessen if not eradicate these symptoms and enjoy the transition into a new phase of life that is fulfilling, pleasurable and rewarding. In the words of Ayurvedic practitioner Vrinda Devani MD:
“The most successful approach to achieving a graceful menopause is to start NOW—no matter what age you are.”
Menopause should in principle be looked at as just another transition, like puberty or pregnancy. It is a time of change of course, and like any other change, disarray and discomfort may arise because of imbalance. A more holistic approach however, is firstly to embrace these imbalances and then to focus on ways that work to ease or even prevent them. There is no magic button unfortunately to replace falling levels of oestrogen and progesterone, but we can follow a healthy diet that includes herbal remedies and adaptogens that will encourage our bodies to produce a healthy balance of the two and subsequently a healthier you.
One final word on food habits…
Since menstruation is also a form of cleansing, it is more important than ever to carry out periodic cleanses once it stops for good. Embarking on detoxes as the seasons shift, in Spring and Autumn, for example, gives our body and mind a real boost. Take a look at my book “The Detox Journey”, that guides you on a 14 or 35 day cleanse in an informed and safe way. Enjoy the journey!
So you’ve got the diet sorted, but what happens if you’re just not absorbing the vitality from all these amazing food sources due to a sluggish digestion?
- By eating foods high in probiotics such as fermented foods like kimchi (fermented cabbage) and kefir (fermented cow or goats milk) and organic yogurts you can help to keep a healthy level of flora in your gut.
- For an extra boost you could also try colon hydrotherapy, a treatment that involves a safe and gentle infusion of water into the large intestine to improve muscle tone and cleanse the colon. Constipation, bloating, weight gain, tiredness and dry skin can all be the result of a sluggish digestion. By getting your colon in shape many of these symptoms can be significantly reduced. At Studio Australia this is done using gravity by a professionally trained and experienced therapist Take the plunge!
Acupuncture for hot flushes and insomnia
The ancient Chinese tradition of acupuncture may help alleviate hot flushes and insomnia that often accompany this time of life. It can also release stress.
How does it work?
Acupuncture is the insertion and manipulation of fine needles into one or more of the 400 acupuncture points that can be found on of the body’s meridians. It has been used as a technique to promote health, balance and wellbeing for thousands of years and has more recently become an integral part of alternative medicine in Western societies.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) uses 20 meridians that transport life energy or “qi” in our body. Where there are blockages there may be unease, which can lead to dis-ease. Acupuncture can help to unblock any stagnant channels and get the blood moving more effectively around the body.