Hormones. These are chemical substances produced by glands or cells as part of the feedback system of the body in order to create balance or homeostasis. Hormones can sometimes take a while to get back into balance when the body is moving from baby making mode to non-baby making mode.
Isn't it incredible that our bodies, when healthy, just knows how and when to get back into a new balance? And when it has trouble, it speaks to us in the form of symptoms. The symptoms that our body presents tell us a story about what is going on in there, and what might be needed. The trouble is that we sometimes don't hear, or don't listen.
Menopause is one of those times when hormones fluctuate big time. And sometimes it's not so bad riding the wave to the new destination. Sometimes it's more difficult.
Some lucky one's glide through these body changes with ease. With grace even. But most of us can expect symptoms that hale the arrival of what might turn out to be a whole new body.
Here is a list of some of the changes that can happen as the changing of the hormonal guard takes place:
This is quite a list. You won’t have all of these symptoms. And you may have symptoms that aren’t on this list. But even having a few of these symptoms is enough to turn your world upside down.
What is a woman to do?
First, know that it’s time to take care of yourself. Women generally put themselves at the bottom of the list when it comes to self-care. And self-care really gives us some insight into ourselves and our preferences. And maybe that frozen shoulder is indicative of you picking up way too many pieces.
Here’s a simple list for you to consider moving into menopause.
Take care of yourself.
This is not a trite statement. It’s real, and it’s about time. If you haven’t learned how to do this before now, you must now.
Say no. Take baths. Move in a way that feels good to you. Ask for hugs. Eat better. Take that trip.
If none of those resonate, make your own list about what that might mean. We all know inside what that might look like. And if it's still difficult ask for help.
Menopause as a gift.
It’s in the name. A time to pause. A time to reflect on this transformational transition and decide how you will now use all of the wisdom you’ve gained. There are other gifts.
Be open to what they are for you. I see so many women whose lives opened up after menopause. They saw more clearly their purpose, or what made them excited and went for it. At some point we recognize that we still have time.
Protein, Essential fatty acids, Green food, and water.
This is a simplified list but there is lots of information about how good food supports us. And sometimes it's as simple as slowing down enough to just enjoy what we are putting into our mouths. Or enjoying the company we have as we eat.
There are many herbs that support hormone production because of their molecular structure, and therefore can help alleviate symptoms.
Here are some to try: black cohosh, passionflower, chasteberry, wild yam and ashwagandha. Read the instructions or get some help from someone who knows how to take these herbs.
Move your body.
Moving increases endorphins, which elevates our mood, which helps us feel better. It may be as simple as a walk through the woods. Or turning on some music to dance in the kitchen. Or it may be taking on a weightlifting class, a tai chi class or some hot yoga.
If you aren't getting enough sleep at night, try getting a nap in during the day. Or maybe go to bed a 1/2 hour earlier just to give your body a chance to unwind and relax. Also, if you are partnered, consider sleeping in separate beds. Sleep and sexy time are two different things.
And luckily there are Homeopathic remedies that help too.
Here’s a short synopsis of five possible remedies. Remember, however, that having a homeopath help choose a remedy will likely give you better results. We don't see ourselves as well as someone else. And there are hundreds of remedies that could potentially help.
We can and do survive menopause. It’s what we do. Sometimes we arrive a little worse for wear. But we needn’t. On this side of the fence, opportunity abounds for more energy, creativity and thriving.
Musings and missives.