your menopause

Menopause is a journey into unknown waters. It can provoke feelings of fear and loathing in those women who do not understand the stages of a woman’s life from child to maiden, maiden  to mother, mother to crone

Each period provides growth and insight

Unfortunately in our society  older women are depicted in a not so special light

Old age is not valued in western culture and often our elderly are ridiculed and ignored. There is a resentment to ageing which  I believe is tied in with our fear of death. This is in ignorance of the wisdom and life experience that the crone  holds

This transition from mother to crone has now been labeled an illness with symptoms to be treated with pharmaceutical drugs or drastic and invasive surgeries

Yet all we need is an acceptance of our ageing bodies. So much energy is expended trying to retain our youth with make-up, plastic surgery, hair colouring and anti-ageing creams

Instead of wasting our energies on trying to appear youthful, it could be more rewarding  to maintain optimum health through diet, accept these physical changes, and focus  on our internal, spiritual terrain

We must reclaim the power and wisdom of the crone who is the wise, all knowing older woman

This power can be a major influence on the moral and ethical standards of our society

It is a lie that the menopause is the our fertility and our beauty, a time of illness, sadness and loss

It  instead is a transformational period of personal growth and a deepening of our spiritual knowledge, if we choose to view it in this way

All of the symptoms associated with menopause in western civilisation can be traced back to a diet high in saturated animal fats and meat. Diets high in animal fat and meat produce more oestrogen activity in your body. Because oestrogen production stops at menopause those women who have been eating this sort of food have the most noticeable estrogen related symptoms. Women from cultures that have little animal protein and animal fat have fewer or none of the menopausal symptoms experienced by woman in the west. A diet based on meat, dairy and grains processed foods and high in sugar is a recipe for ill health and an uncomfortable transition

The average age of menopause is 50 years. The first phase is labeled as peri- menopause when the ovaries stop producing eggs and estrogen production reduces. Menstruation becomes irregular and then stops. Some times this can occur abruptly but for many it happens over the course of 4-6 years.

You are considered to have reached menopause when you have not had a period for at least twelve months

What to do

If you haven’t already done this in your earlier years now is the time to clean up your diet

This means eating fresh, unprocessed foods

Ideally, eighty percent of your diet should consist of raw salads and vegetables, fresh, unpolluted water, small quantities of organic meat and eggs (if you are not vegan), at least three servings a day of fresh fruit, and small quantities of nuts and seeds

If your diet supplies a constantly changing variety of fresh foods you will be sure to be receiving all the nutrients you need

Having said that, whilst you are waiting for the benefits of your diet to kick in there are herbs you can use to alleviate existing symptoms

A very good tonic herb that I have been using for a few years is Astragalus root

It is a powerful adaptogenenic (helps the body adapt to stress) herb that has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to support immune function

The root can be used as a food in cooking, decocted and made into a drink, or it can be ground in to a powder and added to smoothies  or fresh juice

I only take a small dose (1 teaspoon daily) for its tonic and adaptogenic benefits

If you have adrenal fatigue Astragalus root can help with symptoms of tiredness and stress

Red clover tea can help to reduce the incidence of hot flushes

Combine it with Nettle Leaf tea and Peppermint tea for a digestive and nutritional boost

Don’t resist a hot flush

It can be uncomfortable but your attitude will help determine its severity

Stay calm knowing it will pass

Cool yourself in whichever way is convenient for example fanning removing clothing or bed linen,  or a cold compress, and within a few minutes it will pass

As your body becomes healthier so too the hot flushes will become less and less

Keeping your bowel flora at it optimum with probiotics or fermented foods will help with the  metabolism and  utilisation of oestrogen in your body

Flax seeds contain lignens which are modulators of hormone metabolism so are helpful now as well

Grind one to two tablespoons of fresh seeds daily ( to avoid oxidisation of fats in seeds) and add to fresh juice or a small amount of yoghurt

Drink lots of nettle leaf and raspberry leaf tea to replenish nutrients and minerals lost if you experience heavy bleeding

Add a few sprigs of yarrow leaf to the brew to slow down your flow.

Supplements of evening primrose oil are good source of important essential fatty acids(EFA) which  can help moderate inflammation and pain and assist with those who experience dry skin, hair loss, painful breasts and slow healing

Chia seed are also a good source of EFAs

Exercise helps to reduce body fat which can help to balance estrogen and progesterone ratios

Exercising can also help with feelings of anxiety and depression

If you are not used to exercise start with tai chi or a gentle yoga class

Practise some form of relaxation and positive imaging so that you can use the power of your thoughts to affect your life

In summary, it comes down to what you are putting in your mouth at mealtimes ,what thoughts you entertain in your mind and how much physical activity you are involved in.

A healthy body does not suffer, but instead is filled with  energy and vibrancy and is able to resist disease or eliminate disease without much effort.

It is a holistic approach involving mind , body and spirit

It is all within you and this is practicing self help