In this two-part series, we are going to explore 7 natural ways to help relieve the symptoms of menopause. In Part 1 we are discussing exercise, herbs and yoga as ways to gain relief. In Part 2 we look at acupuncture, diet, soy and deep breathing.The links in these posts reference books on the highlighted topics that can give you more information on the specific method being discussed.
When you mention menopause, the word elicits groans from women of all ages, from those who’ve been there to those who are facing it in the future. No one likes to experience the side effects associated with this condition.
This time of change affects women physically with the cessation of a monthly cycle, but it also affects the body psychologically and emotionally.
What makes menopause so frustrating in part is the emotional mood swings that go along with the condition. Women going through menopause can experience anxiety that comes and goes and not understand why it’s happening. Anger and depression are also common during menopause.
On the physical side, women can experience night sweats, which can lead to disrupted sleep from having to change out a wet nightgown or change sheets that are soaked.
Hot flashes are common during the day too – where a woman will feel a sudden flush as if her body temperature spiked. Although the body temperature doesn’t really spike, the feeling of a hot flash can make your face appear flushed.
Weight gain and tiredness are also common with menopause as is the appearance of more than normal amounts of facial hair. Vaginal dryness can occur and can disrupt your intimate life, which can add to the feelings of anxiety.
In the past, there have been many synthetic solutions to alleviate menopause symptoms – but with health scares on the rise for that method, more women are turning to natural means instead. Breast cancer survivors also have to find natural methods to combat menopause because estrogen replacement isn’t a viable option for them.
Fortunately, there are numerous natural ways that you can fight back against menopause and they’re easy and inexpensive methods that any women can use to eliminate or reduce the side effects of this condition.
One of the simplest ways you can fight back against menopause is to exercise. Some studies are showing that taking part in exercise, even if it’s only three out of the seven days in a week, can greatly reduce the occurrence of symptoms – including the hot flashes that go hand in hand with the condition.
But exercise doesn’t just help with that one symptom of menopause. It also helps you fight back against the weight gain that’s common with this condition. Because your estrogen level is diminishing, the risk of your weight escalating is higher than it would be before menopause begins.
So by exercising, you not only get relief from hot flashes, but you also help your body keep the excess weight gain off. Menopause can cause additional weight gain around the abdomen and exercise can target belly fat, which can lower your risk of developing cardiac issues related to menopause.
Exercise will also help you get a healthier night of rest. The exercise cuts down on the sleep disturbing night sweats, so you’ll get a better night’s sleep. It doesn’t take much, either. Recent studies show a mere two hours per week work wonders.
Many women suffer form an apparent brain fog – which researchers attribute to fitful sleep episodes. So when you get physical activity in during your day and sleep better, it provides more clarity to you as well.
Helping you to maintain steady emotional health is another benefit of exercising for menopause-related symptoms. By exercising, you’ll be less stressed and remain calmer. The endorphins you’ll feel from working out will help alleviate mood swings naturally.
Even if you don’t have the time or the desire to go to a gym, walking around the block or walking at the office are great ways to get in the exercise that you need.
Because of the lowered levels of estrogen that occurs when menopause hits, women are at a greater risk of developing osteoporosis, which can make the bones brittle. Exercise can help menopausal women keep from developing osteoporosis.
Exercising regularly can fight many of the symptoms brought on by menopause because those same exercise endorphins act as pain relievers. Not only will exercising improve your body, but it will improve your mental health as well – enabling you to fight back against the mood swings.
Give it six weeks to feel the full effects of how a little cardio can help you fight back against typical signs and symptoms associated with menopause. There’s even a beauty perk you can enjoy, too – the exercise you do, which helps circulation, contributes to a collagen boost, and fewer wrinkles to combat!
Besides exercise, herbs can also help fight back against menopause and many women prefer a more natural choice rather than taking hormone replacement therapy. It’s a long studied fact that the loss of estrogen during menopause is a common denominator in causing symptoms.
One of the well-known ways that herbs can help battle menopause is through the use of natural estrogens found in natural herbs as well as supplements. Phytoestrogen is found in plants and can provide similar benefits like estrogen does for the body.
While some herbs can give the body natural estrogen, other herbs will help the body raise its own level of estrogen. Various herbs can help your body balance the swing of hormones that comes with menopause, which will help you treat any mood swings.
You can alleviate anxiety and do away with stress caused by menopause by using certain herbs. Not only can herbs help with mood swings, but they can also give you relief from the fatigue associated with menopause.
Hot flashes can also be helped through the use of herbs as can vaginal dryness. Many of the herbs you can find that help with menopause also have soothing, sedative properties to help you feel better, faster.
One of the herbs that’s helpful is black cohosh, which has properties that cover a wide range of menopause symptoms – primarily hot flashes. Researchers at the University of Arizona claim that this herb helps women tolerate hot flashes, even though it doesn’t directly reduce the number or minimize them in any way.
Dong Quai is another herb that women use to alleviate menopause symptoms. While your menstrual cycle is erratic during this time in your life, this herb helps regulate it a little more.
You might try taking Ginseng during menopause. This root increases estrogen levels and while black cohosh is said to help women tolerate hot flash symptoms, researchers speculate that Ginseng actually works to reduce the number of hot flashes and their severity.
Red Clover is an herb that also increases estrogen levels and works well for hot flashes and night sweats.
The last herb that helps with this time of your life is Ginkgo Biloba. Whenever you’re experiencing the typical brain fog that comes with menopause, you might try this herb to help give you clarity.
Many women consider using herbs to help with the annoying side of menopause because they’re a better alternative than taking a replacement therapy. Not only can the natural herbs offer relief from the symptoms, but many of these herbs also help women in the fight against the risk of developing cancer because of a lack of estrogen.
Check back here for my new report on Herbs for Health for even more ways to use herbs to improve your life.
Menopause is a natural occurrence that is treatable with natural remedies like meditation. There are also forms of meditation that can help you find relief from the life altering symptoms of menopause.
Try yoga as an example. Yoga is an ancient, natural method of optimizing physical health and mental acuity. It’s helpful because during the time of menopause, energy is lost and yoga can help you restore that vitality.
A study at the University of Washington found that menopausal women complained of fewer hot flashes and sleep issues when they engaged in yoga regularly. They had a lower heart rate, improved flexibility and balance – and felt generally less anxiety over the change of life.
A woman’s balance and center core focus often becomes out of whack with menopause due to the hormonal changes she’s experiencing. Some women even experience vertigo during this time.
With these hormonal changes comes the mood swings that can make a woman feel okay one moment, yet irritable and weepy the next. Trying to carry on through life without restoring the balance lost by the hormonal changes can be difficult.
Yoga’s techniques of relaxing the mind and body as well as the spirit will minimize the loss of energy and the loss of peace and balance, too. The exercises done during yoga will restore your body’s hormone imbalance to a level that makes the symptoms of menopause easier to handle.
Many women turn to yoga for help dealing with specific aspects of menopause – such as hot flashes. Practicing certain poses can help make hot flashes less severe. Hot flashes aren’t the only symptom that can be relieved by taking up yoga.
Yoga is also beneficial in helping menopausal women find relief from the frustrating symptoms of insomnia and night sweats. Certain yoga poses not only bring relaxation to the body that’s necessary for sleep, but it gives the body the mental ability to fall into a restful sleep without waking several times through the night because of insomnia.
A benefit of taking up yoga is that you’re replacing the downward effects of menopause and the stress that’s brought on by dealing with these effects with a positive energy. Yoga is for every part of your body and mind.
This meditation practice concentrates the healing energy on every part of a woman that’s affected by menopause, which makes it great when you’re dealing with multiple menopause symptoms.
Yoga is easy to get started with and the classes for beginners are inexpensive. If you don’t have the time to meet for a class, then consider using DVDs that teach yoga at home.
Be sure to read Part 2 next week.