For treatment of menopause natural remedies would be the first choice of many women – before deciding to fall back on using drugs. The natural approaches very often relieve symptoms – if they don’t eliminate them altogether.
I have talked elsewhere about the use of herbs such as agnus castus, dong quai, and menopause in general. Here, I want to look at five other methods of approaching treatment of the menopause.
Natural menopause remedies beyond herbal therapy
Every woman goes through menopause differently. Some go through menopausal symptoms so severe that it becomes debilitating. Some women go through menopause with hardly any symptoms at all.
Because different women have different experiences going through menopause, not all women can be treated the same way. Hormone replacement therapy is dangerous for some women, like women with hormone sensitive cancers or those with premature menopause.
Herbal menopause remedies can provide a natural alternative for some but not everyone responds to medicinal herbs. Some women prefer a completely drug-free and natural way to ease menopausal symptoms.
5 Lesser known natural menopause remedies
1. Menopause diet
It is believed that a lot of the menopausal symptoms that women experience are due to bad eating habits. A healthy diet made up of fruits, vegetables, fiber-rich cereals and lean protein can help alleviate most of menopausal symptoms. The menopausal diet takes the healthy diet one step further by incorporating foods that could treat and help prevent diseases associated with menopause.
In addition to the components that make up a healthy diet, the menopausal adds foods rich in phytoestrogens to that list. Phytoestrogens are plant hormones that have a similar effect to human estrogen. It is believed that by increasing the estrogen levels in the body, the diseases associated with menopause would be delayed.
The menopause diet is like a form of hormones replacement therapy. But there are differences between phytoestrogens and the synthetic estrogens used in hormone replacement therapy. The effects of phytoestrogens are milder than those of synthetic estrogens. Phytoestrogens are also excreted from the body faster and they don’t accumulate in the fat tissues as much as synthetic estrogens. These differences are the reasons why the menopause diet is ideal for women who experience mild menopausal symptoms.
An imbalance of “Qi” or the body’s energy flow can produce unpleasant symptoms.
During menopause, the body’s energy flow is interrupted due to the changes in hormone levels. By restoring the body’s energy balance, the menopausal symptoms could disappear or lessen in intensity.
Acupuncture is painless, produces no side effects, and the benefits last for long periods of time after treatment. A typical acupuncture session for menopausal symptoms lasts for 30 minutes, one to two times a week. The acupuncture session and results may vary depending on the severity of the symptoms, the skill of the acupuncturist and the style of acupuncture used.
Expect a series of sessions – perhaps between eight and twelve. Check with your practitioner how many sessions you should expect so you can plan for it and budget accordingly.
Aromatherapy is often used in conjunction with herbal remedies for menopause. Several essential oils contain hormone-like substances that can ease most menopause symptoms. When used as massage oils or bath oils, these essential oils get absorbed into the body and into the fat tissues. The hormone like substances would then help balance out the hormone fluctuations that cause menopausal symptoms.
Essential oils from herbs like clary sage, lavender, geranium, chamomile and cypress are all helpful in alleviating symptoms like hot flushes, mood swings and insomnia.
4. Paced respiration
Another completely safe and drug- free way to control menopausal symptoms like hot flushes or mood swings is through paced respiration. Paced respiration is a breathing technique that involves slow controlled diaphragmatic breathing. In paced respiration, a person breathes slowly, deeply and deliberately.
It’s believed that some menopausal symptoms are triggered or aggravated by anxiety-provoking stimulus. Paced respiration is a form of relaxation. It slows down the heart rate and lowers the core body temperature. It stops the symptoms even before they start.
How to Do Paced Respiration
Paced respiration takes some repetition to get the hang of. Aim for twice a day for 10-15 minutes each time. It’s a good idea to do it when you spot the first sign of a hot flush. Go to a quiet place and do the breathing until you feel it has passed.
During paced respiration you do not move your ribs. Inhale and exhale by raising and lowering your diaphragm – which sits across the whole section of the body at the bottom of the ribs.
Breathe in for five seconds and at the same time extend your adbomen forward.
Breathe out for five seconds pulling your abdomen inward and upward.
Continue for as long as you wish or until your allocated time has elapsed.
Part of the reason paced respiration works is that it helps to reduce stress and anxiety.
5. Cognitive-behavioral therapy
Menopause not only brings physical changes, but emotional and mental issues as well. Aging, her changing body, and her changing role within the family and society can bring about negative thoughts and feelings. Sometimes the emotional and psychological aspects of menopause can be more debilitating than the physical symptoms themselves and contribute to the severity of these physical symptoms.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy that teaches people how to change their bad habits and bad behaviors that contribute to their physical problems. This form of therapy encourages women to stop forming negative thoughts and doing bad habits. A person’s actions and thoughts greatly impact a person’s physical health and overall well-being. By looking at the changes brought about by menopause in a positive light, menopause become a welcome and pleasant phase in life. The symptoms will stop appearing and overall health improves.