Holly Christiansen, L.Ac.
More Ease Moving through Menopause
Wave after wave of prickling heat. Wearing multiple layers or bringing a change of clothing, regardless of where you're headed, or the time of year. Sweating through your clothing in public. Irritability (and who wouldn't under the circumstances!). Difficulty sleeping and sharing a bed with your spouse. Fights over the thermostat settings. Getting up to change sheets in the middle of the night. Blankets on, blankets off, all. night. long!
Hot flashes are a normal symptom of menopause. BUT -- when they come and go a million times per day -- and rush in like an unannounced tsunami -- you may feel like you're at the end of your rope. Maybe you dread going to work, leaving the house, even doing something fun. You never know when a wave of heat will over-take you, leaving you drenched, uncomfortable, and embarrassed. Who wants to be the one to ask, "Is it hot in here, or is it just me?".
At A L C H E M Ē alcôve, we specialize in women's wellness at ALL stages, and have helped many women move through menopause with just a little more ease.
Remember the time when you went through puberty? Also a completely normal phase of life, but it's also much less stigmatized. Rarely in our society is menopause viewed as what it is: a metamorphosis. A few things to consider:
Denial creates tension:
Grief and sadness are normal to feel during this time. Every woman has had a varied relationship with her menstrual cycle and fertility. Some of us may experience a deep sense of loss, while others may feel completely relieved. Whatever you are feeling, name it, then accept it as okay. Allow yourself to feel into the feelings as much as needed, whenever possible. If anger comes up for you, that's okay too. Sit with the anger -- try not to take it out on bystanders -- and ask if there isn't something else below. Typically anger is covering sadness, grief, and/or fear. The more we pretend or ignore how we're feeling, the Chinese medical viewpoint is that we are creating MORE tension within our emotional and physical bodies.
Community and Tradition:
Does your community, religion, background, have any sort of knowledge or tradition about this phase of life? In many indigenous societies, this phase of life was when a woman became very wise and full of potent knowledge. Essentially, a woman's role changed from being the life bearer, to a protector and informant. Eastern/Vedic traditions viewed this "heat rising" (a.k.a. hot flash) as an energetic movement from the womb, up towards the head. As energy was no longer needed to create and house a fetus, all of the energy rose to the heart and brain to serve other purposes.
Unfortunately Western societies tend to "hide away" our elders, but you don't have to accept that! If you cannot find support locally, look up groups online, find books, videos, and other resources to see if you cannot find some positivity in moving to this new phase.
Designing the Next Phase:
Most women go through menopause well before the standard age for retirement, but it's quite common for many life changes to occur around this time. Maybe your kids are grown up, leaving home for the first time, having kids of their own, divorce/separation, the death of a partner or parent. It will simply FEEL like a new phase of life is emerging. Again, it is normal and healthy to grieve the physical and psychological changes occurring, but it can also be a time for strategical planning. What do you want the next 5, 10, 25 years to look like? Do you have a lifetime of skills and information younger folks could benefit from? This can be the perfect time to start the business you always wanted to, to mentor or volunteer, babysit, or move to the location where you always wanted to live.
Symptoms that are Debilitating:
The incessant hot flashes, appetite changes/weight gain, fatigue, insomnia, headaches, and irritability are by far the most common complaints we hear with menopausal changes. All of these can be minimized or reduced using our acupuncture and lifestyle protocols. Many women report feeling calmer, sleeping better, like a "fog has lifted", and just more at ease with themselves. Less common but still prevalent are: libido changes, skin dryness, acne, shoulder/neck pain, "frozen shoulder" symptoms, back pain, digestive issues, anxiety, and depression. All of these typically respond very well to Chinese medicine as well.
If you're exhausted of suffering alone, schedule online now. Or contact us for more information about how we can help!
"Menopause is not a recent phenomenon, but an ancient women's mystery, with special gifts for the woman who uses its energies wisely." -- Susun Weed.