Here are natural remedies to help you glide through menopause. The strategies I discuss below can help move yours toward mild and enjoyable.
As a woman’s ovaries retire from active production around the age of 50, her body’s hormone production adjusts. Just as puberty signaled an increase in estrogen hormones, menopause signals a decrease. There may be discomforts associated with the changes in your body during this time.
However, it’s also an opportunity to discover and claim the power of the second half of life. And this doesn’t mean that you’ll lose your sexual drive; on the contrary, many women experience increased sexual pleasure during and after menopause. In fact, increasing your sexual activity may lessen the flashes.
Menopause can become a time to discover new energy, a freer self and deeper wisdom within. Use this transition to go deeper. You’re no longer monthly out-pouring your physical blood (energy), so find new ways of turning within and deeply nurturing yourself.
Enjoy your own good company. Keep your energy contained and centered. Where are the energy “leaks” or drains in your life? Examine your overall life and determine what areas require adjustment. In general, the ease of the transition depends upon your overall health—emotional, physical and mental.
Considering this process in terms of yin and yang is informative. Imagine your ovaries at the age of 20–they were yin, plump and full of ripening ova. With menopause, they’re yang, shrunken in size and the ova no longer ripen. Yin or yang ovaries are not a matter of good or bad, they are just different stages of a normal continuum.
As we age, we become yin deficient. No matter our age, our yin can be nurtured by yogic or meditative practice, gardening or walking (versus jogging). When it comes to diet, especially avoid refined carbohydrates as well as excessive carbohydrates, stale and packaged foods, fried foods, substances such as alcohol, artificial sweeteners, coffee and cigarettes and very hot foods such as cayenne.
Enjoy freshly made foods prepared in easy to digest manners. Foods that build yin include whole grains, beans—especially green beans and bean sprouts–leafy green vegetables, seaweed, berries, melon, bananas and grapes. Dairy products, preferably unpasteurized goat milk, kefir or yogurt, help build yin.
Foods high in plant estrogens (phytoestrogens) will help buffer the drop of your body’s estrogen production. These foods include soy, flaxseeds, pomegranates and dates.
Especially with soy, however, it’s critical to favor quality, traditionally prepared, organic soy products such as tofu, tempeh, soymilk, miso and soy sauce or tamari. (Please avoid shoddy and/or hard-to-digest soy products found in protein drinks, energy bars, soy nuts, soy nut butter, soy margarine, soy oil, soy isolate, TVP, meat extender and soy flour.)
When the body heats up as in a case of fever, it’s the body’s way of ridding itself of toxins. Your extreme hot flashes possibly suggest that your system is warehousing toxins and a cleansing diet would be appropriate.
For most adults, a mild spring and fall cleansing diet can be beneficial. An even more gentle way to “” is to daily favor freshly prepared, balanced diet. Likewise, at this time be aware of the warming and cooling properties of specific foods (see Thermal Properties of Food) and favor a diet that helps you keep your cool.
Lastly, you may want to seek the support of a qualified acupuncturist, herbalist or homeopathist as she or he can help assist you to achieve a comfortable and healthy balance in your body.
May you be well nourished,