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Navigating the Storm: Sailing through Menopause

Updated: Mar 5

Menopause has been a word that has been in my radar for a while now. I suppose two things are happening; one is that I am approaching the age where I am getting more interested and prepared and second is that the public discussion and awareness about menopause and women's health has become a lot more mainstream, with women openly sharing which is fantastic. In any case I am definitely becoming more interested and more aware of it. It's like when you buy a white car and all you can see is people driving white cars everywhere. Where have all these white cars come from, all of a sudden?

My main experience with menopause so far, is through my female patients, obviously the women in my family and my middle age girlfriends, so I can't claim that I fully understand what women go through, but I have as a therapist treated many women with menopausal symptoms, so I have a fairly good idea, of the physical, emotional and mental side of things.

I wont lie though, I have found myself getting a bit intimidated- as I approach the "dreaded age" of perimenopause, hearing lots of horror stories in the media of doom and gloom and what is to be expected in this "horrible phase in a woman's life". Recently a book about menopause written by a famous TV presenter landed in my office, describing women's experiences trying to navigate through this stage of life. Reading it only made me even more terrified for what is coming my way.

Reflecting on it, I was trying to make some kind of sense of all the information out there. Lots of questions were coming up for me; how come a time in a woman's life that is absolutely normal - like toddlerhood for example or teenagerhood, can be SO horrible and create so much suffering to all women?

How is it that a woman loses herself completely, becomes forgetful, has brain fog, gets hot flushes, becomes weak, loses her sex drive, loses her ambition and will for life and ultimately suffers so much, mentally and physically?

How something so natural can be so terrible, what are we missing here?

On the contrary, how come there are many women who experience no symptoms whatsoever and manage to go through this change of life untouched?

In the book that I was given, all these horrible symptoms that women were experiencing, could be remedied by the holly grail that is HRT and women who went on that lived happily ever after. That is really fantastic. No more suffering, symptoms are dealt with.

But what about all the women who don't have access to HRT, or for some reason they can't or don't want to take a synthetic hormone. What can we do to help them?

Why are we not talking about women's individual experiences but instead we have created a generalised doom and gloom around menopause- which I have to remind myself is -a normal stage in the lives of ALL women throughout the millennia.

What about the women who don't have any symptoms and are cruising through this stage of life instead of suffering, what are they doing right? Why some women suffer so terribly, whereas others enjoy their lives to the fullest? What is the difference?

All the internal dialogue and the experience that I have had treating many women with menopausal symptoms, lead me once again to the same conclusion.

It is not about the menopause as such, it is about the individual. We should not be looking into menopause as symptoms alone and put a big fat plaster on, just to cover up what's going on in the surface. Instead, we should see, understand and treat the woman who is going through the menopause.

We should question ourselves; who is this person, what is her life story, what traumas or life changing situations has she been through , how is her diet, hydration, exercise, how are her relationships, how is she managing everyday stress, is she being true to herself and living to her fullest potential?

I am pretty sure that If I took the time to question and discover all these women, that are going through hell during menopause, I would find lots of grief, trauma, stress, unfulfillment in all areas of their lives. The physical symptoms are always the manifestation of our inner experience. When the soul is suffering the body suffers also. The more the heart and soul is unfulfilled the more the body is crying for help, bringing up symptoms.

Western medicine has amazing tools to help us relieve pain, but equally has the tendency to deal with symptoms alone, instead of addressing the root cause of them. Plus, in chronic conditions is failing to treat the individual but instead treats the generic symptoms that come with the disease.

In homeopathy we view the whole person as a unique individual and we treat the physical symptoms that this unique individual has. Other holistic modalities like for example kinesiology or acupuncture, have similar approaches. We can't treat a menopausal woman that experiences horrible physical, mental and emotional symptoms without understanding completely who this woman is, what is she going through that is creating this imbalance and how this change of life is affecting her.

Women should be made aware that in order to get help with their symptoms they should see their health more holistically; sort out their nutrition, their hydration, get more exercise and lift weights to strengthen their weakening bones, seek homeopathic help to address any underlying emotional and mental issues, establish a yoga practice to help with inner awareness and mindfulness. There are so many ways to approach this situation instead of just pushing HRT as the ONLY solution available, promising miracles to women.

As holistic practitioners we have so many tools to help women sail through this part of their lives symptom free, happy, fulfilled and balanced.

It is possible to go through this change

of life untouched, we just have to reclaim our power as women and be seen and acknowledged for who we really are. Our power lies within and menopause can be this wonderful opportunity for women to transition into a more mature, wild, wise and powerful version of themselves bringing fulfilment into their lives and the lives of others.

Let's show the world what we are made off sisters!

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