Hot stuff or hot flushes...
The menopause used to be one of those little secrets that was whispered between women of a certain age and never, ever discussed in front of men or their children. It was seen as one of those unmentioned sacrifices that women went through when the monthly ‘curse’ finally stopped.
Thankfully nowadays we, as a society are more open about it and there are various forms of help out there to help alleviate some of the symptoms a woman may experience. However, like most things in life, it affects individuals in different ways. Some females sail through the menopause and hardly notice any changes to their body, whilst others feel the full force of the many symptoms associated with the process of this life changing experience. Some may suffer for years with symptoms coming and going called the perimenopause stage whilst others wake up one day to find their monthly period has just stopped and carry on loving the new found freedom it brings. No more monthly cramps, expensive sanitary protection or cancelled activities and best of all – no more fear of getting pregnant.
The average age for a woman in the UK to reach the menopause is 51 when their ovaries stop producing eggs every 4 weeks. However, some women experience premature menopause as early as their late 30’s and others don’t stop having a period until their late 50’s. The menopause is caused by a change in the balance of the sex hormones with oestrogen levels decreasing in the run up to it. This change within the body can result in physical changes such as hot flushes where the woman very suddenly feels her temperature rise and her face flushing without warning and night sweats where she wakes up drenched. Many women feel as though their body temperature is constantly turned up a degree more than it used to be. Some women also feel that they gain weight more quickly which can be frustrating at best and depressing at worst. It can also cause emotional symptoms such as mood swings, leaving the woman feeling depressed and teary with little cause or reason. Forgetfulness can also be a symptom which can be very frustrating and worrying for her. However, as this is also a time in her life when she is juggling perhaps work, a home, a family and maybe looking after ageing parents, she naturally has a lot on her plate to deal with and it will pass.
For some females it flags the end of her child producing years as her biological clock comes to a standstill. Whilst some woman are relieved they are no longer at risk of having a child, others feel saddened and maybe even grieve the fact they can no longer have a child and this can lead to feelings of depression and feeling unworthy. They may feel a failure at either being unable to conceive throughout their life or having never had the opportunity to have more children perhaps through no choice of their own. A woman whose husband did not want her to have more children may suddenly find herself divorced whilst her ex-husband moves on with another, younger woman having more children in to the bargain. This can be extremely heart-breaking for that woman and lead to depression as she realises that whilst her husband can produce children indefinitely, her window of opportunity has now passed for good.
There are some medical interventions available to help alleviate some of the symptoms of the menopause such as HRT (hormone replacement therapy). This replaces some of the lost oestrogen however there may be an increase in the chances of developing breast cancer and some other cancers - especially if the woman has been taking the contraceptive pill for years before hand so it is advisable to weigh up the pros and cons and discuss any fears with a medical doctor. Some women prefer to take a more natural approach by taking vitamins and supplements to ease the symptoms and to keep them healthy. It goes without saying that a healthy diet and lifestyle will promote good health and keep bones strong. Exercise such as yoga, aerobics or walking help with strength and flexibility and helps maintain a healthy body weight and muscle mass.
Hypnotherapy is especially beneficial to help alleviate the emotional symptoms which often occur during the menopause as it is completely free from any harmful side effects. Hypnosis is used to take the person into a guided state of deep relaxation where they remain in complete control of their thoughts and feelings. It can be used to reprogramme some of the negativity often associated with the menopause and to overcome any worries they may have associated with this time in their lives which may also be affecting their quality of sleep. It can help them reassess their feelings and relieve mood swings which often appear to have no basis. As the change of hormones kick in they can feel fragile and teary for no reason which also leaves them feeling frustrated at the lack of control they have with their own emotions.
Hypnosis can also address any weight gain problems by changing the behaviours from within and teaching the client to curb any cravings she may have which are not congruent with her goal of getting rid of excess weight.
The hypnotherapist can teach the woman some self-hypnosis not only to control the emotional rollercoaster she may feel she is on but also to regulate any physical discomfort she may be experiencing. Find a good therapist by asking for testimonials from satisfied clients. Remember – the ‘change of life’ can be an opportunity to change your life for the better.