By: Anja Sterle, naturopathic practitioner
Life just pushes us into it, like into puberty. Whether you like it or not, that is our destiny, or a matter of evolution. Well, before that, we have a pre-premiere or pre-preparation, which is the perimenopause and of course the postmenopause. Ahhhh…
In the beginning of the 19th century menopause was also called women’s hell. A couple of centuries before that "hysterical" women, who, because of their wisdom, courage, and inner strength, were named as witches, were being burned, or given opium, or were let to bleed. After that it became almost a disease that needed to be taken seriously and fought in all possible ways, but mostly only in the Western world.
However, this was not always the case, as in the ancient Greek and Chinese texts of the pioneers of medicine, menopause was never mentioned, although other women problems and illnesses were descried with astonishing accuracy.
Chinese women do not have the problems that Western women have, but at the same time they are amazed at how young we are entering into this new phase of life. Chinese women approach to menopause, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, with natural foods and herbs, occasionally with the help of acupuncture as they recognize perimenopause and menopause as a change between the yin and yang energies. If we do not pay enough attention to our diet, work too much and do not sleep enough, we deplete the yin energy. This also happens if we are chronically under otherwise low stress or if we experience it suddenly and intensely.
Ayurveda considers menopause as an intertwining of hormonal and natural changes that are not helped by impurities in the digestive system, which hinder the transport of nutrients to the cells; also an important factor for problems with menopausal symptoms for Ayurveda are: incorrect use of the mind, body, emotions and senses. This happens when a woman is under too much stress or pressure, does heavy working, strains her mind too much, or suffers from emotional stress.
We know that Mother Nature has the answers to all of our needs.
The “evergreen” of Ayurvedic medicine, which has been in use for at least 2500 years, is ASHWAGANDHA, and is available to you, with numerous other products, by PlanetBIO. To meet all the tastes and needs our Ashwagandha is available in powder, which can be combined with other herbs and spices when preparing drinks of different flavors, and in capsules for classic consumption. Ashwagandha has a relatively bitter taste, so we recommend the use of Ashwagandha capsules if you are sensitive to its taste.
Its power in coping with menopausal companions is manifold, as this adaptogenic plant provides good sleep and inner peace, as well as emotional balance, which are all important building blocks of our well-being and health, not just during menopause.
The consumption of Ashwagandha as an adaptogenic plant that helps the body adapt to internal and external stressors, helps to lower the stress hormone cortisol and consequently to eliminate anxiety, high blood pressure, the accumulation of fat around the waist, it boosts our immune system and reduces high blood sugar.
The Queen of Ayurveda, as Ashwagandha is often called, will also support and improve your libido and mental functions, which are often hampered by the influence of hormone fluctuations that occur during perimenopause and menopause. It can also be used to regulate mood swings, it helps to enhance our vitality and rejuvenates the body.
Another very popular product of the company PlanetBIO which is designed for women, is the MACA in capsules and powder. The taste of Maca is very specific, so for sensitive people to its taste, we recommend the use of Maca capsules.
This plant from the Andes has many beneficial effects on women before and during the menopause. It strengthens bones and raises the energy levels; we could also call it aphrodisiac, as it restores the desire for intimate contact with your partner.
So we took you for a walk through the exotic lands.
Food has a huge impact on our physiology, so it is not superfluous to look for information on which foods support a woman during the transition and the very experience of this »new spring«.
So what else can we do if we do not want to consider menopause as a burden, a disease, or a necessary evil?
We almost certainly missed the celebration of the arrival of menstruation, as such rituals have been lost in our culture, even though they are very important. Therefore, we have the opportunity to celebrate again and enter in this new phase wisely and thoughtfully. So what are we exactly supposed to celebrate? If I go back to the topic of China once again, menopause has been called My Second Spring there for thousands of years, and it is accompanied by creativity, serenity, knowledge of life, people and the world, and the graceful beauty. The companions, which accompany our bodies during this period, are not exactly the ones we would choose for ourselves, but we can still celebrate the coming of the spring.
Studies from 2010 showed that women with a negative attitude towards menopause experienced more of its negative effects.
You will probably prefer to celebrate the transition to this stage rather than choosing the disease from the Western culture and find it easier to accept that we are going into a new spring. This includes changing your way of thinking about aging, devoting yourself to exploring yourself, and finally putting yourself first and much more…
As we learned a little earlier, and if we take into consideration China and India as good practice, it makes sense to approach the problems that present themselves before and during menopause, holistically, which encompasses work on a physical, mental, psychological and emotional level. It seems that many of the ailments experienced in perimenopause and menopause are just an expression of the imbalances at the aforementioned levels that may have been present in a woman for decades before.
A great help is represented by the food we eat and intake of dietary supplements, regular relaxation, quality sleep, exercises that promote the energy flow, moderate physical activity, stretching, hobbies and everything that makes us happy.
Each patient is treated as an individual and receives treatment recommendation specific to its individual needs. For individual treatments, you can contact me by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
I will be happy to dedicate my knowledge and experience as a naturopath to you, as we as a licensed Kinergy exercise instructor, which combines elements of Tai chi and Qi gong.