Truth be told, most women dread menopause! This is because menopause can bring mood swings, hot flashes, weight gain and other unpleasant symptoms. But would we feel more relaxed about this natural stage of life, if we viewed it without prejudice, preconceived ideas and common fears? Our author, Thea, feels that we can surrender ourselves with trust to the rhythm of nature’s cycle.
In some cultures like Japan, China and Korea, the physical symptoms seem to be perceived less and, instead, menopause is experienced with much more of a sense of life satisfaction. On the other hand, in western cultures, the energy for living is often blocked by fear. But why should we fear a natural process that our bodies are well-prepared for? Let’s not assume we are no longer romantically attractive and will endure issues like osteoporosis, wrinkles and Alzheimer’s. We can decide how it will go, because we make the decision on how we face the challenges of a new phase of life and how we work around it to find our equilibrium again.
Close links to nutrition and lifestyle
Symptoms that are often associated with menopause, also known as climacteric, are just possibilities. By no mean does every woman experience them. Many of us are symptom-free. Through my health and nutrition counseling work, I know that this is closely associated with our habits, values, lifestyle and especially with our diet.
How does menopause feel:As unique as our fingerprints
Climacteric lasts on average over a period of 10 years and usually means an absence of irregular bleeding. That can occur from age 42, 52 or even begin later and each case is often as individual as a fingerprint. During menopause the ovaries reduce the production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Ovulation becomes more and more rare until it stops and the fertility cycle ceases.
There are three different phases:
- Pre-menopause – first irregular menstrual bleeding, mild hot flashes and mood swings
- Menopause – end of the menstrual period, may see an increase of hot flashes, mood swings and sleep disorders
- Post-menopause – end of most physical symptoms and complaints
Feed your soul with what makes you strong!
The most common symptoms of menopause may include:
- Hot flashes, which make us aware of how much energy resides within us, and that we are hot-blooded, wild and powerful in everything there is to experience
- Sleep disorders that show us the beauty of night time as a period for creative thoughts and new projects
- Mood swings that increase our sensitivity and mindfulness, as well as open our minds to new ideas.
- Our hypersensitive mucous membranes, that may lead to vaginal dryness and decreased libido, but can also kick start us into bringing our energy for life into flux again.
- The much feared weight gain, which we can counter with a personalized diet and more exercise.
Feeling more comfortable during menopause and enjoying life requires more openness on all levels. Finally there is space for our inner creativity, and for all the things that we have previously left to others. By letting go of things that are not good for us, we nourish our soul with what makes us stronger!