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Menopause Relief

A Natural Approach

Here’s a snapshot view of the latest advice out there on how to successfully manage the perimenopause and menopause ahead of the upcoming 21 Days Menopause Reset Cleanse scheduled to kick off in June. This ground-breaking program will be full of nutritional advice and support on how to make these years your best yet!  Check in here for a quick prep on why and how we need to adapt our lifestyles and diet during this period and take a peek at the previous articles in the blog section on the website for more information.

The change before the change

The perimenopause is the stage that leads up to the menopause, that can start any where between 35-40 years of age and continue until 55-58 years of age, or until menstruation has stopped for over 12 months. During this time a woman’s sex hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, start to fluctuate until finally oestrogen levels begin to fall as menstruation draws to an end.  

Managing Stress

More often than not, this time in a woman’s life coincides with bringing up adolescent children, looking after ageing parents, and/or juggling increased work responsibilities. These demands mean that stress figures more than ever and stress mixed with perimenopause is a really bad combination. 

Why? Because stress is a chief hormone disruptor. At a time when our hormones are out of whack anyway, this can make symptoms much more severe than they need be. Stress produces excess cortisol in the body, which can lead to adrenal exhaustion (our adrenal glands produce the sex hormones and cortisol). During the perimenopause our adrenal glands are working overtime and trying to offset the fall in oestrogen levels by making oestrogen themselves. The last thing they need is to have to produce more cortisol too. This in turn negatively affects our thyroid function –  the body’s chief hormone regulator. So it’s really important to tackle stress head on.

“By the time women reach the menopausal transition, the adrenal glands are so depleted that they are unable to produce healthy levels of hormones. In whatever capacity they can, the adrenal glands focus on the production of baseline levels of cortisol rather than the production of progesterone and other sex hormone precursors. The result is clear: increased menopausal symptoms and related adrenal deficiency symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, and cravings,”

Dr. Martin Gleixner, MSc, ND

Time to calm down. How?

  1. Get enough sleep

“During perimenopause, sleep is particularly important to give a solid foundation to hormones that naturally want to over the edge,” Ann Louise Gittleman, author of Before the Change, says. It is also key to restoring healthy cortisol rhythms and reducing stress. 

  • Take sage or red clover supplements to help reduce hot flushes at night. 
  • Make sure to turn off electronic devices an hour before bedtime
  • Create a sleep friendly environment. This includes low lighting and multiple layers on the bed that can easily be taken off or put back on. 
  • Take a warm bath with lavender or chamomile beforehand.
  • Try to go to bed at the same time every night and aim for 8 hours sleep a night.

2. Gentle Exercise

Pilates

Pilates will tone, stretch, strengthen and if needed rehabilitate the body. It also helps strengthen the core and help reduce visceral fat, that uninvited guest that often comes to stay around the menopause. 

At Studio Australia Barcelona we specifically tailor exercise programs to care for women and target the areas of their bodies that they are being challenged with during perimenopause and beyond. 

We are highly experienced Pilates teachers who care for each individual.

Yoga

Yoga is a great way of calming the mind and giving your whole body a good stretch plus a healthy dose of weight bearing exercise, depending on your choice of yoga. 

There is no shortage of excellent yoga studios in most cities and if you’re not one for a class, check out Youtube for a practice you can do from the comfort of your own home.  I love Yoga with Adriene. 

3. Meditation

There’s some pretty compelling evidence out there that illustrates how meditation can help relieve our subjective levels of anxiety and depression, and improve attention, concentration, and overall psychological well-being. Really it’s a no brainer during the perimenopause. It’s not always that easy to quiet the mental chatter so below you can find a selection of some of the best apps that you can download onto your phone or computer and that can help ease you into that quiet place.

 

Suggested meditation apps:

Calm: https://www.calm.com

10% Happier: https://www.tenpercent.com

Stop breathe & think: https://www.stopbreathethink.com

Headspace: https://www.headspace.com

Past Wisdom

According to the Taoist tradition in China, which provided the basis for Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are three phases in a woman’s life: 

The first part is about her social integration;

The second is about becoming who she is;

And the third is about her spiritual exploration.

The menopause finds women in between the second and third phase and finally the third, which is the final path to the true self. The Taoists, well known for their high quality of life in their more mature years, believed there were two key things a woman required in order to stay young in body and spirit. The first was to have a healthy sex life and the second to reduce the amount of Jing (or essence) that is lost during menstruation. So in the Taoist culture, the menopause was seen as a positive transition when energy levels could be optimized and your inner life refined. 

By making the necessary changes we can adjust to this period in our lives with energy and optimism. 

Join us for our 21 Day Menopause Reset Cleanse in June and learn more about how to care for your body naturally in perimenopause and menopause.

Mandy Keillor – Director

A big thanks to Vicky Collier for research and editing this article. x

 

References
https://www.drugs.com/npp/schisandra.html https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11194174 https://www.monctonnaturopathic.com/understand-the-link-between-adrenal-health-menopause/
https://draxe.com
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/mar/01/surviving-perimenopause-i-was-overwhelmed-and-full-of-rage-why-was-i-so-badly-prepared
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/20/ignorance-menopause-lives-women-information-symptoms
https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/the-best-foods-to-eat-during-perimenopause
“Before the Change – Taking charge of the perimenopause”, Ann Louise Gittleman
“Period Power”: Maisie Hill

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