As females, we know that at some stage the menopause is looming and what the menopause means, BUT 6 years ago I certainly didn’t comprehend all that it entailed, for me the symptom list just keeps getting longer. In fact I was reading something on Facebook the other day with a list of symptoms and I could tick off 18 of them. What's that all about?!
It seems so unfair, we've done the puberty bit, some of us have been fortunate enough to have children (eeek childbirth) and then this!!
So why does this all happen and what are the different phases?
Its not something that was ever really talked about with my Mum, I can remember needing a tampon whilst at her house and her saying she didn't need them anymore! LUCKY WOMAN!! Was my thought at the time....pfft, little did I know. I knew she'd struggled with hot flushes and she had terrible problems with her knees but that was all. Maybe it was a combination of ‘that generation’ not talking too much about such things and ‘the younger me’ being busy with my young family..... Possibly!!
So, now it’s my journey to the menopause, Its all been quite a shock! However, now is the time to share, not just to help myself, but you too, as it’s become quite a topic of conversation with my clients – at R&R Therapy – as the majority of my female clients are aged between 40 and 65.
During a holistic therapy consultation ‘the menopause’ is usually mentioned and generally linked to a symptom that’s having an impact on my client and more often than not, a negative one at that!
Some of my clients mention significant changes physically, emotionally and mentally ranging from periods being heavier, lighter or non-existent for months, then out of the blue another one comes along, then there are the mood swings, tears, feeling depressed, anxious, angry, there's the insomnia, hot flushes, digestive issues, the list goes on! Other clients hadn't even heard of the perimenopausal stage, or that it can last such a looong time, so in layman's terms here's my description..
During our fertile years our hormone levels rise and fall each month in which we have a regular menstrual cycle, as we get older our fertility slowly begins to reduce as the oestrogen levels fall. However, it can rise again, hence irregular, heavy or possibly lighter periods, This is the perimenopausal stage that eventually leads to the cessation of the menstrual cycle altogether - the menopause!
The perimenopausal stage can last up to 10 years. Yeah, 10 years!! But I believe the average to be approx. 4 years, (I'm not average!!) it usually all begins during the 40’s but for some it can be much earlier.
Approximately 1 in 100 women, below the age of 40 will go through a Premature Menopause, also known as Premature Ovarian Insufficiency. There can be a variety of reasons why this would occur for example; medical intervention such as chemotherapy or surgical ovarian removal or it may be a natural occurrence.
It can be a daunting time, so if you’re under 40 and there are significant changes to your normal menstrual cycle, visit your GP and don’t be scared to seek advice. It could possibly be linked to an Autoimmune Disease such as Under-active Thyroid, Lupus, Type 1 Diabetes, Grave’s disease or Addison’s disease, these can affect your cycle so don’t make assumptions and always seek a second opinion if you feel the need. After all, we know our own body!!
During the perimenopausal/premature menopausal phase most of us will have to deal with symptoms of some kind but for the younger women this can be more of an issue, especially if they were considering starting or adding to their family, so emotional support is a must! More details can be found at https://www.daisynetwork.org.uk/
Eventually you will reach the Menopause! Finally, The MENOPAUSE. In the UK the average age is 51 and guess what? It really is just one day! Yep, one day! It’s when you reach the milestone of one year since you had your last period, for many of us we don’t know when that was, we simply can't remember - don't get me started on the brain fog or memory loss - as they become so erratic and unpredictable. So a top tip is to write the dates down somewhere, as medical professionals at some point may ask. Also, if there are any health issues you're not happy about keep notes, when visiting your doctor any additional information can prove useful.
So, the menopause has come to an end, it's over, finished! We’ve changed, we’re no longer fertile, it’s a new beginning!
You are now Postmenopausal. No more sanitary wear, no more worries of a late period. You can embrace the freedom, even though there may still be some of the symptoms, what a bitch! Make sure you continue taking care of yourself, It's important, really IMPORTANT!
Think about your diet, lifestyle, exercise routine - it doesn't have to be the gym - make positive changes that make you feel good about you...My clients, within R&R Therapy visit for regular complementary therapies (every 4-6 weeks). My therapies cater for all ages, with some exceptions to certain health issues, so it's wise to call and have a chat.
Reflexology & Reiki are my most popular treatments for this particular phase and I specialize in Reflexology for Women's Health, to help de-stress, relax and create a sense of balance and even sleep! Focusing on the Endocrine System to balance those hormones helps my clients feel happier, more in control, have a more positive outlook and a better sense of wellbeing.
Over a year ago I was thrust into medically induced menopause, which has affected me in so many ways. I felt imbalanced, my confidence dropped, suffered low moods and felt in a rut. I couldn't take hormone replacement medication, so looked for holistic treatments to help me. I practiced mindfulness, meditation and reiki, which helped improve how I was feeling but then suddenly I started feeling low and felt like my energies were imbalanced and blocked again. I couldn't relax even with meditation or reiki and was feeling wound up and frustrated. I decided to try some reflexology and booked a session with Rachel. I was feeling very emotional as I started to explain to her why I chose this treatment. But I started to feel calmer just talking to Rachel, and she advised me to have reflexology along with some crystal therapy and also some reiki. During the treatment I was able to totally relax, and felt like a weight was being lifted from me. I could feel the areas where energy was blocked and then becoming unblocked through the treatment. As the treatment scanned down my body I could feel my body started feeling less weighed down and lighter. My mind was able to shut down and not racing round with a load of different thoughts. By the end of the session I felt in a more balanced state and my mood had been lifted. This continued the rest of the day and the days following, where I could feel a difference in the way I was thinking about or handling situations. I felt like I had been
re-balanced and the energy could flow more smoothly around my body. Nothing can take away the effects of the hormone changes as I go through menopause, but I find holistic treatments help me to better cope with the effects and stop me being weighed down by these effects. I will be trying to keep up regular treatments, to keep my mind and body balanced and to prevent the hormonal effects from weighing me down. L.G.
So if you live in or around Newcastle upon Tyne, give me a shout, I'm always happy to chat!
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Address: IMSL House, Benton Park Road, South Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE7 7LX
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