The Menopause – ‘A New Female Life Phase’
What is the definition of menopause?
The cessation of menstruation; the term is commonly used to describe the time in a woman’s life when physical and psychological changes occur as a result of reduced production of oestrogen hormones by the ovaries. The menopause normally occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. The follicles in the ovaries stop producing ova (eggs) and less oestrogen is produced. It is this reduced level of oestrogen that causes the problems associated with the menopause. Other hormonal changes include increased amounts of gonadotrophin hormones and androgen hormones in the blood. (BMA Family Health Encyclopaedia)
How does the menopause affect you?
For most women, the menopause is inevitable and it affects us all differently but there are definitely things we can do to help ourselves and minimise its effects. The average age women experience the menopause is 51 but it does vary considerably and the symptoms can creep up on us gradually.
The perimenopause, which can last for a few years, is the phase leading up to the menopause and a simple blood test at your doctors can determine that any symptoms or changes in the menstrual cycle are as a result of this. The menopause itself is defined by having no menstruation for a year.
The majority of us will recognise the common symptoms of the menopause such as hot flushes and night sweats but other symptoms include heart palpitations, joint pain, memory loss, reduced libido, weight gain, panic attacks and mood swings and these are all as a result of our bodies adjusting to the change in our hormone levels which has been described as a hormonal ‘tug of war’.
How to help reduce the effects of the menopause
It is important to eat a good, well-balanced diet as this influences the body’s ability to adjust to the changes in the hormone levels. The plant oestrogens in soya such as alfalfa and flaxseeds can have a positive effect in bringing balance to the hormones and these can be sprinkled onto your food or blitzed into a smoothie.
Regular exercise is of great benefit too and, in particular, relaxation therapies such as yoga or Pilates are excellent as they encourage the body to move with its natural rhythm and as the exercises are weight-bearing, this is good for bone strength and flexibility.
Complementary therapies can be of real help with the menopause. Reflexology, which is a relaxing foot massage, not only helps to reduce stress and anxiety in the body but a ‘menopausal’ reflexology treatment will pay particular attention to those areas under stress from the brain to the uterus and many other areas in between. Research shows that regular reflexology can help with many symptoms from insomnia to severity of mood swings.
Kinesiology can also be of benefit. It is a treatment of muscle testing evaluating the body on different levels – physical, emotional, chemical and nutritional. Kinesiology will determine what the body will benefit from whilst going through the menopause whether it be a herb such as Agnus Castus or a specific vitamin or even a Bach Flower Remedy to help with the emotional aspect of the menopause.
The menopause should be recognised as a phase women experience that takes them into a new stage of life that can still be fulfilling and that symptoms can be reduced and managed when correctly addressed. Whether perimenopausal, menopausal or post-menopausal, women can still feel good, motivated, healthy and energetic!
Taking the next step..
Let me help you find relief from the symptoms of menopause. I offer both kinesiology and reflexology, amongst other therapies, and can advise on the best course of treatment for you going forwards. Call me on 07833 182353 or email email@example.com.