What is naturally good for menopause?
Lots of people want to manage menopause and the changes that come with it without resorting to medication. That’s completely fine, and for some people it will be enough. However, it’s important to remember that if you are struggling, you shouldn’t be afraid to speak to your GP.
As therapists we can encourage clients to do their research, speak to other people about their experiences, and find the right path for them. They don’t need to feel wedded to the ‘natural’ way of handling menopause if it doesn’t suit them. We can support clients in finding the right journey to suit their needs.
That said, things that can help support individuals through menopause, either on their own, with a mix of things or in addition to medication (they should just make sure they check the use of any supplements with their doctor first to make sure there are no contraindications).
- Vitamin E: In trials, vitamin E has been shown in trials to have a significant effect in reducing the severity of hot flushes in menopausal women. It’s also known to be generally good for skin health.
- Yoga: As with everyone, yoga has been shown to help reduce the emotional symptoms of menopause, as well as ease aches and pains and generally aid fitness and wellbeing. It can also aid digestion and circulation which will generally have a positive impact on menopause symptoms.
- Aerobic exercise: While there isn’t evidence to show that aerobic exercise has a specific impact on acute menopause symptoms, its overarching benefits remain highly relevant. It can help manage weight as many women find they gain weight with hormonal changes. It also helps to boost endorphins. Doing certain exercises can help with bone density (some women find they’re at higher risk of osteoporosis after menopause), and can help ward off heart disease, a condition that's more common among women of menopausal age. A brisk walking, jogging, biking, swimming or water aerobics are recommended.
- Breathing exercises: The general cognitive and emotional benefits of rhythmic breathing are often found to be helpful to women going through menopause. It can help with mental clarity, reducing stress and helps our bodies deal with stress hormones.
- Cold drinks: It sounds obvious, but don’t underestimate the power of a cold drink to ease higher body temperatures and hot flushes. Try to avoid caffeine and alcohol in general as they encourage dehydration and can make hot flushes worse. Aim for cold water or fruit juices (perfect for serving up in the post-treatment relaxation room.
- Phytoestrogens: These are plant-based compounds that mimic oestrogen in the body. Essentially, you can access them through your diet. They are found in high concentration in soy bean products, tofu, flax seed, sesame seeds, wheat, berries, oats, barley, dried beans, lentils, rice, alfalfa, mung beans, apples, carrots and wheat germ.
- Reflexology: Lots of people find that reflexology helps to aid relaxation, improve mood, release tension, enhance sleep and ease water retention, amongst a variety of benefits that are much appreciated during menopause.
- Aromatherapy: As with all circumstances, aromatherapy can be extremely supportive for anyone going through menopause, as long as you know what you’re doing with your blends! For example, geranium has been linked to helping menopausal women manage hormonal changes.
- Massage: As we have already mentioned, massage is generally a great way to relieve stress and tension. It can also help with water retention, which some may suffer with during menopause.
Vitamin E: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17664882