Holistic Ways to Ease Symptoms.
The menopause is a natural part of the female aging process, often starting between the ages of 45 – 55 as oestrogen levels start to decline. Periods alter in frequency, length and volume before stopping altogether. It is thought that at least two thirds of women suffer with symptoms including hot flushes, fatigue, low mood and night sweats; and I see a lot of women in my clinic who have asked for tips for managing these symptoms. So here are some ideas for easing symptoms in a holistic way.
~ Organic foods have more beneficial plant chemicals and fewer toxic residues.
~ Eat a handful of nuts and two table spoons of flaxseed daily to boost healthy oils, Omega 3 and vitamin E intake
~ Increase your intake of oily fish such as salmon or mackerel
~ Increase your intake of calcium containing foods
~ Reduce your intake of red meat and choose lean, grass fed meats instead
~ Switch white flour for whole grain products
~ Eat more leafy green vegetables to boost anti inflammatories and antioxidants – a more heavily plant based diet can support an easier transition through menopause
~ Reduce your sugar intake – this includes alcohol!
~ Alcohol can disrupt the quality of your sleep (even one glass – sorry!) and increase feelings of low mood and anxiety.
~ Black Cohosh, Sage, and Vitex Angus Catus can help balance hormones.
~ Vitamin D and calcium – most adults are deficient in this vitamin, crucial for energy levels and for regulating calcium in our bones. The drop in oestrogen can mean bone density is depleted by up to a fifth a post menopause. Vit D supplements can have an effect on energy, fatigue and improve aches and pains.
~ Maca can help with sexual dysfunction and coconut oil can be used as a natural vaginal lubricant
~ Magnesium and B vitamins can help regulate mood swings, and manage stress
~ St Johns Wort can help with depression.
Exercise boosts seratonin (the happy hormone) and energy levels, as well as preserves lean muscle mass, prevent unwanted weight gain and improve sleep. Aim for at lease half an hour three times a week of exercise which gets your heart rate up. Daily exercise if you can, to really reap the benefits – include yoga or Pilates to tone up without the impact, and help relax and balance your mind. Try to increase the amount of walking you do. Spending time outdoors is great for wellbeing and if you’re walking, you won’t feel like you are exercising!
Now, this is an interesting one. The Ladycare is a device which attaches to your underwear, which is supposed to relieve symptoms by reducing autonomic nervous system activity and increasing parasympathetic nervous system activity (interestingly, this is one of the ways that the Bowen Technique works, by calming down your fight or flight stress responses and promoting the rest, digest and repair responses of the parasympathetic nervous system). More information can be found here: www.ladycare-uk.com/
~ Be positive about it! It doesn’t have to be a negative experience! Many women find it liberating to be free of contraceptives and periods, and are generally in a happier and more independent place in their lives at this time.
~ Make sure you include regular activities that make you feel good. Don’t underestimate the power of self care in terms of boosting your mood and well being. Book in regular beauty treatments, or come and see me for Reflexology or Bowen to relax you and help balance your body naturally.
Do your research – find out what supplements could help and whether they are safe for you! Don’t assume natural means safe – nature is powerful and herbal remedies / supplements can have side effects, or cautions, such as what other mediation you are taking.
Check out menopausegoddessblog.com for support, advice and humour!