Menopause isn’t a disease, so let’s stop treating as if it were one. In conventional medicine, we take a pill to deal with our “disease” symptoms and voila no more problem, right? Not so fast… there really isn’t a magic pill to heal yourself. Pills, taking away our symptoms, don’t deal with the real problem at hand, don’t heal us at all. If anything pills do two things: they kick the can down the road to deal with the problem at a later date and they give us the green light to keep going with our lifestyle choices that got us into this mess in the first place. I know, it sucks taking full responsibility for our health and truly healing ourselves! It’s hard work and requires discipline and commitment, two things that we are often sadly lacking. Getting down off my holistic health coach soap box, let’s talk about menopause specifically.
Menopause is a teacher, a big fat, sometimes unwanted, right up in your face, ruler rap on the knuckles kind of teacher. But a teacher none the less.
She’s gonna require you to look at your lifestyle and the choices you’ve made up to this point. Yikes! Better that than some nasty real disease down the road later on. So, heed her teaching now and stop looking for the magic bullet pill, or cream, or HRT, or bio-identical hormones to fix it. It’s not a disease that needs fixing. It’s a lesson that begs for our attention and awareness.
First off, I think every woman should make the choices that work right for her. If that means taking hormones for a little while, then go for it. I just want to offer that there are alternatives to this, which rarely get talked about in our big-pharma driven society. It’s not a forgone conclusion that you have to take drugs to get through menopause and beyond. The reality is HRT doesn’t heal what’s underlying those hormonal imbalances. Millions of women have gone through menopause without drugs for thousands of years, so what’s our problem? Lifestyle is a big hint.
If you’re ready to heed the warning signs your menopause symptoms are showing you, kind of like the engine light coming on in your car, you’re probably going to have to do some soul searching and take an honest look at your lifestyle choices thus far. We never really get away with anything, we just think we do. For starters, you’ll most likely need to examine at your diet, your alcohol consumption, how you care for your body with sleep, exercise, stress, where your emotions are at, and what you’ve been doing with your energy all these years.
That’s what I mean when I say menopause is a teacher.
She’s throwing symptoms at you like hot flashes, insomnia, dryness, anxiety to get your attention. I say give it to her. You probably know right now deep down inside what you’ve been doing or eating and drinking that you know you “shouldn’t”. Something probably came to mind right when you read that last sentence. That would be a good place to start. I promise it’s better to do this now instead of later when your body might be much more rough with you in it’s request for your attention.
Some places to begin looking are… how much animal product do you consume? Animal product consumption has been shown to mess with your hormones, including dairy and eggs. I don’t advocate a vegan diet either, as that messes with your hormones too. Mostly, I’m saying you don’t need to eat copious amounts of animal products, like the average American does. Protein is important, that’s why I’m not a fan of veganism either, as all the protein in a vegan diet comes loaded with carbohydrates, aka sugar. The solution… eat lots and lots more vegetables. Make veggies your dietary mainstay and sprinkle in animal products.
Daily alcohol consumption is another issue. I just saw Dr. Joel Fuhrman lecture and he answered a woman asking a question about alcohol consumption by saying there is research that shows 1 glass of wine per day for women leads to a 12% increase of breast cancer. He said alcohol is particularly hard on women.
And, of course all the “whites”, all the white foods that don’t do our bodies good, like sugar, white flour, french fries, basically all the processed foods. Again, give veggies the leading role in your eating movie. Nutrients are where it’s at and processed foods don’t have any (or very, very little in the best cases).
Add hormonal balancing essential oils in daily.
Essences like Clary Sage, Geranium, or Anise Raven are great to balance hormones in whatever direction they need, so you don’t have to worry if you’re estrogen dominant or not. The black oils, like Cardamom Black, Pine Black, Spruce Black, etc. bring awareness to your shadow side, the stuff you haven’t been looking at, to see what areas in your life need attention. They can be a big help in discovering what may need addressing in your lifestyle if you don’t immediately sense this, which most of us don’t.
Take time for yourself. This might be the most important step you can take during menopause. You need space to listen to what your body is trying to tell you isn’t working for it. Awareness is the key first step here, so take some time to tune into yourself and pay attention to what comes up. Don’t disregard you ability to hear what your body is telling you. Trust yourself and your intuition and follow the messages you get. That is what will ultimately take you to the other side of menopause and beyond in your life with success, joy and purpose.
Take your holistic health into your own hands (and out of the relentless pill prescriber’s hands) and explore what menopause is teaching you. I promise you will not only feel better, but be much, much better in the long run. If you ever wondered what’s the harm with HRT’s, then check out my previous blog post on Environmentalism and Big Pharma Don’t Mix.