If there is one thing we can be sure of it is that almost every woman will experience the ‘dreaded’ menopause, but need it really be such a negative experience?
Menopause is sometimes referred to as a woman’s ‘time of life’. It is the time where she stops having periods, usually during her late forties to early fifties. For some it can be a relatively straightforward transition but, for a very large proportion of women, it can mean a number of years of managing stress and symptoms such as insomnia, night sweats, hot flushes, anxiety and depression. Research has shown that the higher the stress levels, the more severe the menopause symptoms are likely to be.
As Bodyworkers and massage or holistic therapists, you have many skills in your toolbox that can be of great comfort during this time. Nurturing touch, great listening skills and deep anatomical knowledge are but a few. Your hands can release those all-important, feel good endorphins, help alleviate headaches, regulate and re-balance hormone levels. These are just a couple of examples – there are many, many more benefits. Obviously there are a significant number of different holistic treatment styles available today but the following have been flagged up as being particularly effective:
- Massage, with special attention being paid to lower back and abdomen.
- Relaxation techniques such as yoga to aid with stress.
- Aromatherapy massage. Clary sage, fennel, anise, cypress, angelica, coriander, sage and basil are all known to contain substances that are oestrogen related.
- Some of the points used in foot reflexology may help with restoring both hormonal and emotional balance.
- Acupressure can be used to re-balance hormones and, enhance energetic flow which can greatly reduce stress.
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Low mood and anxiety are some of the most reported menopause symptoms. A combination of relaxation techniques, learning to take a positive attitude to the symptoms and adopting a healthy sleep routine can play a really important role in managing menopause symptoms.
Menopause can be a, draining, emotional and physical rollercoaster and something of a force to be reckoned with. The time spent on your comfy massage couch, as well as aiding the everyday symptoms, can also be a time to zone out, to escape, reflect and empower the woman, giving the strength and tools to have the best possible outcome.
Never underestimate the power in your hands.