To get through menopause without too many symptoms, you should address 3 areas of your life:
1) Unresolved Trauma
This was the advice given by Homeopath, Naphia Reggiani at a talk on the menopause I attended recently. Also speaking was Lewes resident Fiona Whitfield of The Life Reboot; 'improving health and fitness one step at a time,' who emphasised the need to deal with stress at this time of our lives. It is often stress that is the root cause of the three issues defined above. My head was nodding in agreement with these two inspirational women throughout the evening .
During peri-menopause, menopause and into post-menopause it is important to take a good look at your life and implement changes that reduce stress, because the cost is just too high to ignore.
Every time we are stressed, a danger signal is sent to a part of the brain called the amygdala. As Bessel Van Der Kolk explains in his book 'The Body Keeps The Score' -
"The amygdala's danger signals trigger the release of powerful stress hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline, which increases heart rate, blood pressure and rate of breathing, preparing us to fight back or run away. Once the danger is past, the body returns to its normal state fairly quickly. But when recovery is blocked (because of consistent stress), the body is triggered to defend itself, which makes people feel agitated and aroused."
Unresolved trauma is a major stressor on the body. Van Der Kolk goes on:
"...trauma increases the risk of misinterpreting whether a particular situation is dangerous or safe. You can get along with other people only if you can accurately gauge whether their intentions are benign or dangerous. Even a slight misreading can lead to painful misunderstandings in relationships at home and at work. Functioning effectively in a complex work environment or a household filled with rambunctious kids requires the ability to quickly assess how people are feeling and continuously adjusting your behavior accordingly. Faulty alarm systems lead to blowups or shutdown in response to innocuous comments or facial expressions."
The stress response is initiated by the adrenal glands that sit on top of your kidneys. Too much stress and not only do the adrenals become exhausted, you do too. So you consume chocolate, hard cheese, sugary foods, red wine and caffeine to keep your energy levels up. I'm listing these foods specifically because they spike the adrenal glands, further depleting them, getting us into a vicious cycle. I hear your heavy sigh; all the foods we love :(
Toxicity relates to the toxins that have entered our body throughout life. These could be metals from fillings and vaccinations, alcohol, caffeine, environmental pollutants including radiation from mobile phone signals and WiFi and synthetic hormones from the contraceptive pill, HRT, IVF etc... So it is important to cleanse our liver at this time. But as Naphia explained, a 5 day fast or a drastic juice cleanse is unnecessary. Instead we might cleanse over a period of 28 days by eating well. Naphia recommends Milk Thistle and drinking more water as a very simple solution. Wild Nutrition are in agreement with the slow cleanse and offer a range of products to gently cleanse the body including a 28 day Total Cleanse Programme that "...looks beyond the faddy ‘detox’ or weekend of ‘juicing’, promoting instead healthy balanced meals".
Founder of Wild Nutrition, Henrietta Norton explains, "Too often a detox or cleanse is only considered after a ‘retox’ or ‘indulgent’ period. Yet there is no system in the body that does not rely on the detoxification system. Playing a central role in the production of hormones, immune modulators, nutrients, the removal of unhealthy cholesterol, allergens, and used hormones, when this finely tuned detoxification system is compromised ill health can develop. This can range from chronic diseases such as allergies, hormonal imbalance, sub-fertility, skin conditions and weight gain, to more severe conditions such as degenerative diseases".
Deficiency can be the result of long term stress, poor diet or illness. We may be deficient in minerals in particular at this stage in our lives, most commonly magnesium. Magnesium is best absorbed through the skin. Recommended are Epsom Salt baths or rubbing magnesium oil into the skin. At this time of year we are commonly deficient in Vitamin D3 which can leave us feeling depressed and lethargic. Wild Nutrition recommend that everybody in the UK takes Vitamin D during the winter months as we just don't get enough sunlight.
It is well worth having blood tests done to check areas of deficiency. although a nutritional therapist once advised me that what a G.P sees as normal is not necessarily considered to be so by a nutritional therapist. So it is worth taking a copy of your test results to a specialist and making sure that you are taking supplements to support you at this time as well as eating a healthy, balanced diet, eliminating those foods that are not beneficial to our well-being.
According to Naphia, we should sail through the menopause without symptoms at all! It is the stress we encounter in our lives that causes modern women to suffer. If you are experiencing menopausal symptoms but are uncertain that you are in the menopausal stage of your life, it might be worth seeing your G.P. You could have another condition that needs addressing so it is best not to be presumptuous.
There is no reason why this should not be an empowering time of our lives; a time of great wisdom and freedom! Take control stress, learn to say no and embrace menopause!
Reach out if you need support.
Naphia Reggiani - Rainbow Homeopathy
Fiona Whitfield - The Life Reboot