Graceful Menopause

Fifty years of the artificial women’s hormone replacement industry crashed with the publication of the National Women’s Health Network book, The Truth About Hormone Replacement Therapy.  It was reviewed on the front page of the New York Times.  Doctors urged their patients to cease hormone replacement (HRT). Tens of thousands of women were thrown into frenzy. One patient’s response was, “I’ve been taking Premarin for 25 years. Now they tell me it may cause cancer? What do I do now for the unpleasant symptoms for which it had been first prescribed?”

I’ve been a partner through menopause to thousands of women. The most astonishing observation is no two women have traveled this passage in the same way. The tools I use–herbs, neutraceuticals, homeopathy, and acupuncture–are the same or similar, but the specific selection, dosage, timing, and combination are different, just as women are different.

Here are some of my observations as well as the principles and keys to mitigating menopausal symptoms. First, menopause is a normal life passage. Like other changes in the life cycle, it is not supposed to be too burdensome. If there are extremes, it’s fruitful to play Sherlock and uncover some root sources of distress. Review your lifestyle critically and decide on the appropriate changes in water intake, sleep, exercise, and nutrition that may be necessary to accommodate this metamorphosis in your life. There is broad latitude in selection of personal dietary choices as long as there are adequate excellent quality oils, protein, vegetables, and fruits. There is a more narrow definition of what constitutes nutritious food, however: the best being non-GMO, less hybridization, little processed, grass-fed and organic. Eat a great variety of warmed foods on time.

Check out your emotional diet as well. Not satisfied with yourself or situation? Menopause is a green light to make positive changes. Get the support you need.  Learn to assert the value of your commitments.

Exercise is critical to a sense of well being in the second half of life. Stretching is a key to flexibility and function. Select your movement choices carefully.

For herbal support to balance hormones first consider Menopause Plus, a formula containing 40% vitex or chasteberry along with other herbs and homeopathic remedies. If there are specific daunting issues, isolate them and make informed choices of other herbs to add to the soup.  Here’s a starting point that is by no means comprehensive. Try Motherwort for anxiety; California Poppy for insomnia; Feverfew for headache; Hormonal Acne Relief (Blue Vervain) for hormonal acne; Horsetail for urinary incontinence; Passion Flower to relax and regain your sense of humor; Horsechestnut for varicose veins; Memory Tonic for forgetfulness; Xiao Yao Plus for breast tenderness or feeling blue; Eleutherococcus, Herbal Mineral Tonic and Nettles for fatigue; Lymph Oil to massage cellulite; Yoni Oil for vaginal dryness and low libido; and Blessed Thistle or Black Cohosh for hot flashes.

You can make a graceful transition to the other side of menopause, that time of opportunity the Chinese call Second Spring.

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