Our hypnotherapist, Kerry, explains how a mind/body approach to menopause can ease the transition and reduce symptoms.
A walk through the beauty aisle of your local chemist will tell you everything you need to know about our culture’s attitude to aging: with ‘anti-aging’, ‘age defying’, ‘anti-gravity’, ‘anti-wrinkle’ and ‘100% grey coverage’ emblazoned in bold fonts across the packaging of products marketed towards women of middle age and over – though you will rarely see them featured on the packaging – it is clear that women are not supposed to age.
Couple that with the horror stories of hot flushes, wild tempers and diminishing mental faculties, it’s not surprising that many women approach the second half of their life with trepidation.
Less widely reported is the news that many women will make the transition with few, if any, symptoms. Many women report ‘the years after menopause as a time of increased confidence and feelings of empowerment.’ (Mind Over Menopause, Leslee Kagan, M.S., N.P., Bruce Kessel, M.D. and Herbert Benson, M.D.).
Every woman’s experience of menopause is unique and is influenced by a range of factors: genetics, cultural attitudes to aging, whether your menopause came on naturally and your physical and emotional well-being.
Remember puberty? The moodiness, the physical discomfort, the hours spent in bed. Menopause marks a shift in our bodies and in our lives just as puberty did yet, unlike the stereotypical teenager, most of us do not have the luxury of sleeping ‘til noon. With the pressures of our careers and/or family life, we do not prioritise the rest and time for reflection that we need at this gateway to the wiser half of our years.
It is important to remember that menopause is a transition, not an illness. As Dr. Susan Love assures us, ‘The menopausal ovary is neither failing nor useless. It is simply beginning to shift from its reproductive to its maintenance function. It’s doing, in midlife, exactly what many people do, it’s changing careers.’ Healthy ovaries will continue to produce oestrogen throughout our post-menopausal years, as will our adrenal glands and fat cells. Unfortunately, by the time we reach menopause, many of us are suffering from adrenal fatigue, brought on by stress, thereby reducing the body’s ability to produce high enough levels of oestrogen to sustain us.
Whilst some of us may require medical support around menopause, often a re-think of our current habits, lifestyle and emotional well-being will be enough to see us through. Some years ago, as I prepared for the birth of my first child, my plans for a natural birth were ridiculed with knowing glances. In spite of that, through hypnobirthing, I managed to find the trust I needed in my body, to birth my three babies in calm. Now, entering my peri-menopausal years, I face the same knowing glances as I prepare through meditation and self-hypnosis and a wider consideration of my emotional, physical and spiritual needs. As before, I am glad of the many medical routes available to me and I won’t shy away from them, if I need support down the line but, I have learned that my body is an incredible being and that, when I listen to her needs and care for her, miracles happen. In my work with women’s health, I witness these miracles every day.
Hypnotherapy will teach you how to elicit the relaxation response (the counter point to the fight or flight response) and balance the stresses of your busy life. You will learn ways to manage your individual symptoms using self-hypnosis, visualisation and a variety of other mind/body tools and strategies, enabling you to design and support the life you really want in your post-menopausal years.
A growing body of evidence supports the use of hypnosis and meditation as an effective treatment for menopausal symptoms. A controlled, randomised study published on line in Menopause, ‘The journal Of The North American Menopause Society’, indicates that hypnosis can help reduce hot flashes by as much as 74%.
If you are curious to find out more about how hypnotherapy and other mind/body techniques can help you to manage your peri-menopause or menopausal symptoms, call Kerry on 07748660703 or email her at Kerry.firstname.lastname@example.org