Friday, 4 December 2015

menopause...and how I got through it!

I turned 50 - six months ago, and am embarrassed to say, up until yesterday, I had put off my annual physical checkup with my doctor - for about that long. I haven't had a recent mammogram, pap smear or completed the bowel cancer test kit; that arrived in the post a few days after my birthday...

If one of my girlfriends shared this kind of information with me; I would be the first one to march them off to their GP and make sure that they had the complete kit and caboodle seen to! I know I've been flat out, but that's no excuse not to take the time to look after my own well being. Because it's vital to me that I do.

We've pretty much been living with our faces pressed up so close to that word... cancer; the last year and a half, that it's made avoiding having tests done that are looking for it - way too easy...and that's no excuse either. So 2016 is going to be a busy round of make up visits... now there's an exciting way to start the new year.

The good news is; that I have the blood pressure of a 21 year old, have only had a weight fluctuation of a couple of kilos in the last seven years (health wise I'm told this gets a big tick /see - Shape Up Australia  ) ... and according to my very kind doctor of the last 29 years, I've not quite grown into my 50 years yet. I'll take that as a compliment.

Then he asked if I thought menopause had started (we had touched on this same subject at my last annual check up), and yesterday our conversation went a bit like this...

"Yes," I said..."actually, I think it's finished."
"Are you having hot flushes?' He replied
"Not really...maybe one or two...or I might have just been hot, I'm not sure."
"Still getting your periods?"
"Nope, not for about three years!"
"Really!... and no hot flushes."
"No" I said " It's all been pretty seamless, but I have been practicing Reiki for years, and it's helped I'm sure"
"Well; keep doing that," he said in his easy manner, "not everyone gets through it easily"

The Moral of this story... Do not put off till tomorrow, what you can do today. Look after your own health, physical, mental and spiritual. You're your gate a good job....  And going through menopause; I think is just the next step toward my wisdom years...I like that! I'll take all the wisdom I can get.

If you are experiencing a difficult transition going through menopause talk to your GP about what your options are. Also remember that conventional treatments can be effectively supported by any number of natural therapies readily available to us today. Be proactive, do a little search and see what's out there, even if you aren't at the symptom stage yet.

I know that I became perimenopausal in my early forties, I knew this because my once clockwork menstrual cycle decided that for several years it was going to be all over the place before stopping altogether. We are all very individual; and will go through this period of our lives in different ways. So find some strategies and put them in place, so when the time comes you'll be ready...just like any other milestone event in your life.

Embrace this time when your turn comes; in the knowledge that in many cultures when women reach this wonderful, rich time in their lives, they are revered by their communities for the value of wisdom, guidance and experience they offer.

Menopause is not an ending so much as it is a new beginning... a coming into the fullness of you, a privilege earned that should always be treasured. 

From personal experience; I would definitely recommend an Energy Therapy such as Reiki to support you through women's health issues, like menopause. Ask friends for recommendations, or enquire at your local wellness centre to find a qualified practitioner in your area, and give it a go... I am sure you will feel the benefits. Like me you may even like to learn the tools and techniques of an energy therapy practice yourself ...allowing you a readily available method of managing your own wellness   :)

I also like the following 5 tips by Marcelle Pick, OB-GYN NP - curated from Women to Women

follow the link for more details 

1.  Nip your symptoms in the bud with optimal nutrition
The most effective (and enjoyable!) medicine that exists, is in the food that you eat. You should strive to eat a balance of good fats, complex carbohydrates and protein. Also, make sure to have plenty of fruits and vegetables at every meal, including breakfast. It’s best to eat three meals a day and two or more snacks in order to keep your blood sugar stable. The most important thing to remember is to reduce carbohydrates especially refined carbohydrates and sugars.
2.  Use herbal remedies that act like our own hormones
Food is medicine and there is incredible strength in plants and herbal remedies that have been known to prevent menopausal and peri menopausal symptoms. Some herbs known to help reduce menopause symptoms include black cohosh, passionflower, chasteberry, wild yam and ashwagandha.
3.  Exercise to reduce the fat that can upset estrogen and progesterone ratios
Most women tell me that they feel as if they are gaining weight steadily during peri menopause and menopause, especially around their stomachs and abdomen. It is particularly frustrating for these women because the weight sticks to unusual places and their scales refuse to budge. One of the reasons that this is so common is because fluctuating estrogen levels tend to cause your body to hold on to fat. On top of this, fat actually produces estrogen, which can create even more fat. Therefore, the cycle continues.
4.  Restore yourself to decrease the stress that intensifies your symptoms
Stress can be the culprit behind additional imbalances in hormones and neurotransmitters that affect mood as well as mental function, thyroid function, digestive function, and especially blood sugar imbalances. Stress has also been linked to symptoms such as hot flashes and low libido.
The physical effects of stress make nurturing self-care especially important. One of the most effective, inexpensive and amazingly simple ways to reduce stress is deep breathing. Think how easy just taking a deep breath several times a day is.
5.  Understand how emotional wellness plays a vital role in your overall physical health

Have you ever heard the term “As you think, so goes your life”?  Well this is definitely a time that this term can ring true. Your thoughts and feelings have a dramatic impact on your health, so why not make it a positive effect? One method is to keep a journal to help you become aware of what you are feeling and to identify any patterns you are feelings. 

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