Can hypnotherapy help me manage the menopause?

The menopause can be a challenging time for women. For some it is marked by feelings of loss, anger or confusion whilst others experience a range of physical symptoms including hot flushes, weight gain, sore muscles and irregular heartbeat. Often it is a time when you can feel that you are no longer in control of your world or of your own body. 

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Here we will explore the three stages of menopause, its biological basis, the symptoms of menopause and how hypnotherapy can help you manage those symptoms and take back control. 


What are the three stages of menopause?

The three stages are perimenopause, menopause and post-menopause. Generally, these stages all occur in women between the ages of 45 and 60. 

Perimenopause

The perimenopause marks the beginning of a woman’s hormone levels changing. This phase can extend over some months or over a period of years. During this time, a range of symptoms may be experienced including brain fog, night sweats, hot flushes, forgetfulness, and irregular periods. 

Menopause

Menopause is considered to occur when a woman’s monthly periods have stopped for 12 consecutive months. The average age for women in the UK to experience the menopause is at the age of 51 years. 

Post-menopause

The post-menopause phase is defined by the absence of monthly periods for a duration greater than 12 months. At this stage, some women find that any previous menopausal symptoms that they were experiencing either lessen in intensity or disappear altogether. However, for other women, the symptoms may remain (e.g. urinary incontinence, depression, hair loss, and insomnia.) This post-menopausal phase continues for the remainder of a woman’s life. 


What is the biological basis for menopause?

It is useful to step back a little and consider the biological basis for menstruation as this demonstrates very clearly the important role of the two main sex hormones, progesterone and estrogen.   

The menstrual cycle can be considered as comprising two distinct phases; the follicular phase (prior to ovulation) and the luteal phase (which occurs following ovulation).

The follicular phase

During this time, estrogen levels increase. Estrogen supports memory, mood, bone density, and libido. It also helps to maintain healthy energy and blood pressure levels.

The luteal phase

During this time, progesterone, which helps regulate the impact of estrogen on the body, is produced. It assists with the timing of menstruation and contributes to feelings of tranquility and calm. Progesterone levels rise at the midpoint of the luteal phase and then reduce immediately prior to menstruation. 

As the perimenopausal stage begins, both progesterone and estrogen levels start to become less stable which directly contributes to the wide range of menopausal symptoms that can be experienced. The impact is significant because it is not merely that hormone levels are decreasing but that the two hormone levels are not decreasing at the same rate, creating hormonal imbalances as a result. By the time menopause is reached, the levels of both of these reproductive hormones are very low and they remain at this low level throughout the subsequent post-menopause phase.

Having developed a greater awareness of your own needs and life goals, you will find increased motivation to move forward and claim the life you deserve. 

What are the symptoms of the menopause?

The menopause has 34 identified symptoms which can last for up to 15 years.  Many women feel as though they are unable to cope with life as well as they used to, and some women feel, at times, as if they are going mad. These feelings and experiences can have a significant impact upon both quality of life and wellbeing.

Menopause symptoms can be grouped into five categories.

Physical symptoms

Physical symptoms include hair loss or thinning, brittle nails, itchy skin, irregular periods, irregular heartbeat, headaches, aches and pains throughout the body, insomnia, allergies, vaginal dryness, painful sex, incontinence, dizziness and osteoporosis. 

Gastrointestinal symptoms

Gastrointestinal symptoms include constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, nausea and stomach cramps. 

Vasomotor symptoms

Vasomotor symptoms relate to the constriction and dilation of blood vessels within the body. Hot flushes, night sweats and changes in body odour are all attributable to vasomotor processes. In a review of complementary and alternative medicine for menopause, hypnosis was found to provide consistent evidence for clinically significant reduction of hot flushes (Johnson, Roberts and Elkins, 2019)

Oral symptoms

Gum health can deteriorate. Some women also experience a burning sensation in their mouth or on their tongue. 

Nervous system

The nervous system can also be affected, resulting in the experience of tingling in fingers or toes or an increased susceptibility to electric shocks. 

Cognitive and emotional symptoms

These symptoms can often be overlooked or misunderstood by others.

Cognitive symptoms include difficulty in focusing and forgetfulness. 

Emotional symptoms include tiredness, feelings of sadness or depression, feeling anxious, irritable, or fearful of what lies ahead. In addition, some women experience significant changes in mood whilst others experience a complete lack of interest in, or desire for, sex.  


How can hypnotherapy help you manage your menopause?

Hypnotherapy provides a holistic approach to your menopause that extends far beyond the actual symptoms that are causing you concern.

Hypnotherapy can help you to relax

When you relax, your anxiety levels will reduce.

When your anxiety levels reduce, you may find that the intensity of your symptoms will reduce too

Hypnotherapy can help you to imagine the change you want

When you imagine the change you want, your body will respond positively due to the power of the mind/body connection. You will move from imagining the change to beginning to create it as a reality.

Hypnotherapy can help you to regain control

When you start to feel more in control of your body, by choosing to control how you respond to symptoms, your levels of confidence, calm, and self-belief will rise.

Hypnotherapy can help you to challenge old, unhelpful thinking

It is easy to get locked into unhelpful patterns of thinking that only allow you to view a situation from one perspective. Through hypnotherapy, you will learn to replace old, unhelpful beliefs about the menopause with new, positive, and forward-looking approaches.

Hypnotherapy can help you to commit more fully to your own wellbeing

Having developed a greater awareness of your own needs and life goals, you will find increased motivation to move forward and claim the life you deserve. 


If you'd like to find out more about how hypnotherapy can support you through the menopause, you can contact a hypnotherapist on Hypnotherapy Directory or contact me via my profile below. 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Hypnotherapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Linlithgow EH49 & Edinburgh EH7
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Written by Anne-Marie Parham, BA PGCE Dip.Hyp. CNHC Reg GHR Reg
Linlithgow EH49 & Edinburgh EH7

Anne-Marie is a GHR accredited clinical hypnotherapist and certified HypnoMenopause® practitioner. She uses a combination of hypnotherapy, mindfulness and CBT to empower women at all stages of their menopause journey. Anne-Marie works online and face to face with clients within Edinburgh and West Lothian. (PGDE, BA (Open), Dip. C Hyp.)

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