Menopause is an important topic, and nowadays women have decided to be more open to discuss it in open forums, to live it happily, with a different healthy perspective than generations ago.
Aromatherapy can hugely help to ease the symptoms naturally.
We call this transition into menopause – Perimenopause – and it is when most of the common symptoms appeared. The body stops making as many female hormones as before, and one of these hormones is estrogen, and the reduction causes many issues, this hormone also protects our heart, our bones, our brain function. There is a myriad of symptoms and each person is unique and go through them very differently.
Why we say it’s a Transition? Life is starting to look very different at this stage, you could have children leaving home to university, you could be looking after grandchildren, you could have elderly parents to look after, or both, so you could have a lot going on, and forget to look after yourself.
Lots of women will report a change in their own attitude like: “right, I am not putting up with any of this rubbish anymore” or “I’m not taking this crap anymore”.
This transition normally happens between the ages of 45 and 55 although we know that it goes right outside this age range. The symptoms are vast and they can vary from extreme ones to have no issues at all.
The symptoms that we can experience based on the hormonal changes can be:
And it sadly continuous….
Insomnia is really a common symptom and very often takes on the same pattern as the person who suffers with high stress levels: Tends to wake up around 1/2 am, awake till about 4/ 5 am, and then could just sleep for the whole day.
So, what can we do naturally to ease all the symptoms?
As Aromatherapists, our holistic approach and lifestyle advice does go way beyond essential oils. We need to bring awareness on topics like:
Are we drinking enough water? How is our nutrition? Are we looking after ourselves? Are we having some exercise? Are we getting enough rest?
- Let’s see the “Exercise” topic
Pilates and Resistance training with specific duration and intensity, increases the hormones of bone strength. We are protecting our bones, which may be an issue with less estrogen production. Yoga for mental and emotional health. The breathing techniques reduce the stress levels, the worries, the palpitations. To produce cortisol the adrenal glands, need to steel progesterone (raw material) to keep producing it which increase the imbalance between Progesterone and estrogens. We are increasing the gap instead of fostering hormonal balance. More breathing means less stress. Not shallow breathing …. deep ones, where the exhaling through the mouth is taking longer than the inhaling. Its simple, its free! Mixed approach to gym: less frantic exercise, less intense training. Over exercise => exhaustion => hormonal imbalance.
If you need encouragement try a roller ball of peppermint at the back of your neck. Its good when you feel warm and without energy for your physical exercise.
- Are we getting enough Rest?
To tackle those awakenings in the early hours: a drop of Lavender essential oil on the pillow or a tissue, smell from the bottle: excellent for hot flashes and it helps with insomnia.
If you experience night sweats during those awakenings: leave a damp flannel on your bedside table, spray hydrolats over and apply over chest. It will give you some relief and if you add cypress, or geranium or Lavender to the hydrolats you get that calming sensation to go back to sleep. Or Clary Sage a very profound relaxant, very feminine and great for hormonal balance.
A Spray of cool peppermint hydrolat during the day for hot flushes is phenomenal and boost your energy too.
- we drinking enough water? How is our Nutrition?
Keep an eye on the daily water intake
Phytoestrogens are compounds that naturally occur in plants, and they are found in a wide range of fruits, veggies, legumes, and some grains, so you can get phytoestrogens from a plant-based diet (organic soy beans, tofu, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, wheat, berries, oats, barley, dried beans, lentils, rice, alfalfa, mung beans, apples, carrots, wheat germ). When we eat phytoestrogens, our bodies may respond as if our own oestrogens were present, and because they mimic your body’s own oestrogen, phytoestrogens can accomplish some of the same things, like: relief from hot flushes, help to maintain normal bone density, making us less vulnerable to osteoporosis, relieving menstrual discomfort. There is also Phytoestrogen supplements that could serve as a type of natural hormone replacement therapy to a limited extent. Always discuss these supplements with your GP for the quality. Anyway, a diet rich in plant foods poses only health benefits. There are no known health risks from eating more plant foods. Include Pre-Probiotics for
Aromatherapy can help with the physical and emotional symptoms, and support during this transition:
Geranium: balancing in big letters, for emotional support, hot flashes (along with clary sage, peppermint, rose). For fluid retention (with Lemon, Cypress, Juniper Berry), hugely calming.
We can help with joint pain with essential oil blends
Roman Chamomile: versatile, cramps, tension, pain.
Some oils contain plant hormones known as phytohormones which are similar in action to our own and act within the body in a very similar manner reinforcing or replacing the effects of the corresponding human hormones. For example, fennel contains a plant
Rosemary: for that lack of concentration we talked about, the struggles and brain fog for long working days. It fosters Alertness.
Coconut oil for vaginal dryness and sexual intercourse.
Ylang Ylang to lower stress and foster libido.
As you can see, there are many ways we can help ourselves to deal with menopausal symptoms naturally to live it happily and healthy as another phase of our journey through life.