Understanding Menopause as a Rebirth
Menopause in Western society is so often stigmatised and feared. We’re taught to see it as an extremely challenging period in our lives: as a time of pain, suffering and the erosion of our femininity, vitality and youth.
But the very fear of the menopause transition creates its own problems, because fear activates the stress response in our bodies (the adrenal glands and the sympathetic nervous system) and so can trigger and exacerbate the more unpleasant symptoms of going through the peri-menopause – the transitional period leading up to menopause.
What is needed is a change in our perspective in Western culture. We need to displace fear and substitute it with a more positive attitude of embracing change and transition. Change is normal and menopause, like puberty, is no different.
We are re-birthing and becoming a wise woman. When we embrace it and shift our energy (mindset) from fear and dread to one of self-discovery and re-invention, we can celebrate change.
What is the difference between Peri-menopause and Menopause?
Menopause is the cessation of menstrual periods for a period of 12 months. It’s what I like to call coming through the end of the tunnel. Prior to this we are peri-menopausal.
The peri-menopausal period can last from 2-8 years. This period correlates to hormone change: drops in progesterone, testosterone and oestrogen levels as egg supply dwindles and eventually ceases.
The Symptoms of Hormone Changes during Peri-menopause
Progesterone is needed to support early pregnancy. It aids restful sleep and creates a calm mind. When progesterone drops, we can experience the following:
- breast swelling and tenderness
- mood swings
- brain fog
- sleep disruptions
- fluid retention / bloating
- weight gain
When testosterone (an androgen hormone produced by the ovaries and adrenal glands) drops, we can experience the following:
- decline in sexual appetite (libido)
- decreased sensitivity in the erogenous zones and fewer orgasms
- drop in sense of well-being
- increased lethargy / slumps in energy
- muscle weakness or pain and aching joints
- headaches and difficulty concentrating
- inclination towards low mood / depression
- thinning of pubic hair
By the age of 40 women’s androgen levels have halved.
Initially, oestrogen levels remain higher relative to the other 2 hormones (above), but eventually decline, giving rise to the following:
- hot flushes and night sweats
- vaginal dryness
- low energy and drive
- mood swings and depression
- confusion, mental disorientation
- urinary incontinence and proneness to urinary tract infections
- high incidence of vaginal infections
The Significance of Adrenal Fatigue
Normally the drop in hormones produced by the sex gonads (reproductive organs) during peri-menopause shouldn’t present too much of a problem, because the adrenal glands take up the slack.
However, because of adrenal burnout (commonly known as adrenal fatigue), the adrenal glands are not able to compensate as well and give rise to a worsening or proliferation of (peri-)menopause symptoms.
Adrenal fatigue happens in our modern sedentary (office-based) culture because we’re often worrying and fearing and not able to physically and mentally remove ourselves from stressful situations or environments. it’s also about sustained levels of stress hormones over a period of time, exacerbating anxiety levels when the hormone levels naturally drop off during (peri-)menopause.
Remedies and Relief from Peri-menopause Symptoms
There is a lot you can do for yourself to relieve the symptoms of peri-menopause.
It’s all about embracing more positive, helpful habits around diet, hydration, sleep, your mindset and self-talk.
Diet has a big impact and avoiding spicy or sugary foods and caffeine can help, particularly with regard to night sweats and hot flushes. Try to drink more water (minimum 2 litres / day) and eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish fish, and low-fat dairy products. Foods rich in phyto-eostrogens (organic tofu, tempeh, flaxseed, garlic, chick peas, pumpkin kernals, green or mung beans), vitamin C and zinc, will also help.
There are also lots of herbal remedies and supplements you may wish to consider. For a full guide, do refer to my Menopause Rescue talk slides.
Make sure you create positive sleep habits. Do read our earlier blog on things you can do to encourage restorative sleep.
As an Energy Alignment Method mentor, I talk a lot about your energy (your thoughts, words, emotions, behaviour and actions) as a barometer of your physical health.
Our thoughts, words, feelings, actions all have an energy frequency. If they are in low frequency (connected to worry, fear, doubt, anxiety, depression, grief), this will tend to negatively impact the electrical circuits in our body and the energy exchange in our cells. This low vibration energy activates the emotional system in our body (the endocrine system), leading to a stress response from our adrenal glands and our nervous system (the autonomic sympathetic nervous system). When all this is activated, our body is in tension and cannot rest, recuperate or recharge. Our immune system is compromised and we become more prone to sickness and illness.
Why Reflexology is so Beneficial
Reflexology as an holistic therapy is so very important, not just for women going through the menopause transition, but for our general health and well-being.
It works by stimulating and re-balancing reflexes in our body. These reflexes correlate to body structures, organs and systems that are mapped out on the feet, hands, face or ears. Here at MindBody Oasis we work on both the feet and face.
It is holistic, because we address all systems in the body, including the circulatory (blood flow), lymphatic, endocrine and reproductive (hormonal), musculoskeletal, urinary and digestive.
Reflexology is all about releasing energy blocks in these systems and organs that prevent the flow of life force in our body. When energy flows freely and unimpeded, the body is able to function most effectively and optimally. We get to live longer and in greater health. When impeded, that’s when we create imbalance and stagnation, leading to discomfort, distress, pain and suffering.
Having just completed an Advanced Reflexology Course for Women’s Health, I’ve realised how important it is to regularly look after our health, particularly as maturing women, and to take an holistic viewpoint on this.
Our mind and body are so very interconnected and one impacts the other. When we learn to cultivate compassion and consideration for our life and our bodies, we create greater flow and life force energy in our body.
Sometimes modern medicine forgets how capable our own bodies are in being able to self-heal and Reflexology is the conduit or facilitator for this. Western medicine focuses too much on the symptoms, on the problems and the dis-empowerment of women going through the peri-menopause.
If we changed that attitude to one of empowerment (high vibration energy) and positive belief in our bodies to self-heal, and the active and regular practice of releasing stuck or blocked energy, we can do so much to contribute to restoration and healing for our mind, body and soul.
That is why my Menopause Rescue programme is so effective: it releases the energy blocks physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. It considers the anatomical as well as the non-physical aspects of energy. It’s a 360 degree approach to health and well-being especially made for the women going through a major transition in the second half of their lives.
After going through this programme, my clients get to appreciate how important self-care and self-appreciation are to them on all energetic planes, not just the physical.
If this is something you would like to discuss in more detail, then please contact me (Esther) on 07864 056919 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What our clients say about our Reflexology treatments...
Such a talented therapist Esther is among the best. I’ve enjoyed her massage skills and her reflexology treatments are excellent.
I’m pleased to be experiencing the recently introduced Zone Facelift and after just one treatment I can see the difference. Looking forward to completing my package and seeing the results. I can highly recommend Mindbody Oasis.
Wow! What else can I say? Had a neck, shoulder and back massage with Esther last night. I have had many massages but this was by far the best! Then I had a Reflexology treatment which was amazing. Thank you very much Esther. Next treatment already booked. Looking forward to it very much.
I’ve just had 3 great facial reflexology treatments and found them brilliant. They helped me relax, as well as relieve some sinus pressure I have been suffering with. Highly recommend booking a course of treatments with Esther!
I loved the facial reflexology – it improved my general wellbeing, reduced the frequency of severe migraine and my skin glowed….Ooh and I actually fell asleep during treatment which is unheard of 😊 I need to book my next one for after pay day! 😊 x
Esther is a talented and knowledgeable therapist, who takes the time to explain your treatment and makes sure you're comfortable throughout. I can particularly recommend the hot stones massage, and face and foot reflexology.
I would recommend the Indian Head massage and reflexology. I have had both treatments and they were truly amazing.
Esther is very professional and her treatments are something else. This is way I am going to continue having regular treatments.
I had a course of Reflexology with the lovely Esther, and found the treatment so relaxing which followed with the best nights sleep ever!
Esther quite literally has magic hands! I had been suffering with a back problem and found the sessions really helped.
5* would highly recommend!