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What type of menopause change agent are you?

So – what type of menopause ‘change’ agent are you?


It helps to know when you are setting out on this journey.

First of all, ask yourself – why is menopause often  mysteriously and rather secretly, referred to as “the change?”

Having been through it, I know why.

It literally caused me to change a lot of things in my life. And I am very happy that I did.

My  5R Sweat Reduction programme is also a mini ‘change’ programme. It’s a way of finding out what doesn’t work for you so you can make changes that will support you. Night sweats are often a real sign that your body is in perimenopause and make life very, very tiring and difficult.

But what kind of ‘change’ agent are you? Depending on your ‘type’ you’ll find that managing change is either a breeze – a bore – or just hopelessly frustrating.

Check it out – which  one are you? Or are you a combination of more than one? Read more

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Menopause. A mid life crisis into pain and power?

menopause, hot flashes, hot flash relief,

What do you think triggers a mid-life crisis? Is it just a natural part of the menopause process? Maybe it’s a secret fear of being on the downward slope to eternity? Perhaps it’s money worries? Or loss of purpose, role, looks – and/or divorce?

These are not really the triggers. These are the potential effects of something much more subtle. The rumblings of this energy will have been felt before the earthquake happens.

chiron, menopause, mid life crisis, One of the ‘lost priestess/woman wisdom teachings’ that I have resurrected is that of the connection between mid life menopause crisis and the energy of  Chiron. Chiron was and is known in mythology as The Wounded Healer. This little planet will return to its station in your natal chart to mark the 50 or so years since your birth. It does so to  open up the opportunity for you to do some deep work and transformation.

It just so happens that, as I write, tomorrow (23 September, Equinox)  is a New Moon in Virgo with an opposition of Chiron. This means  that we have a rare and universal opportunity to see or feel the ‘wound’ and heal it. We all individually get this opportunity at mid life but  this Equinox is like having the spotlights glaring!  It’s as though we are being asked to  really ‘get’ it!

If you know what a ‘wound’ really is, and  how it has been invisible to you, you can really clear the so-called ‘blocks’. You also need to know  how this ‘wound’  shows up as a shadow issue. This element of teaching is one of the most potent, powerful offerings  in my menopause mentoring work. Because once you have grasped this ‘hidden’ power, embodied it and are ready to move on with the resulting self knowledge it brings, you are also in the position to overturn the patterns of the past. You can really  ditch the energetic ‘pull and push’ of your old stories.

It is time  to reinvent yourself.  The birthing of your new archetypal self is now in your hands. Phew. Spiritual maturity at last… and it doesn’t happen without some birthing pains! My joy is to ease them and leave you with tools that you will use every day,  well past menopause, past hot flashes, night sweats and all that comes with the physical shifts.

I like MysticMamma for my astrology insights. Here is this 2017  Autumnal Equinox’ posting from them.



Blessings and alchemical balance to you!

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8 Cool tips for hot flashes.

hot flash relief, menopause,

cooling down the menopause heat

Hi there! You’re in the right place for information and support on your menopause journey and this article is about hot sweats.

Hot flashes and night sweats  are a topic that occupies a lot of time and attention for many pre menopausal women. Approximately 25% of women in menopause (perimenopause too) suffer  them to a lesser or greater degree. If you have them, then you  know, it is not the same sensation as going for a run and feeling sweaty . It’s a crawling, stinging, or burning sensation that comes on unexpectedly.  If you haven’t experienced hot flashes, please don’t write off your sister’s/partner’s/mother’s  experience as trivial. Most of all – please…


hot flashes, night sweats,

Key Symptoms (Romm A. M.D. 2010)

  • Sensation of intense heat creeping over the face, neck, and upper chest
  • Progresses to a generalized feeling of being overheated

Additional Symptoms of Menopause (Romm, 2010)

  • Rapid heart beat
  • Dizzy, light headed or faint feelings
  • Cold sweats
  • Sensation of insects crawling on skin
  • Pins and needles

These are symptoms you may feel. That is pretty ‘yuk’ on its own.  What also kicks in is the emotional response to the event. This is very important in understanding why menopause can be so distressing.
Some women handle it, some feel overwhelmed, angry, embarrassed and very frustrated. This emotional response is one of the inner keys to supporting yourself, so hang on for a second, while I get my editor’s head on. I promised 8 tips, and here they are:


  1. From an Ayurvedic perspective, your body is on a journey to becoming constitutionally more ‘vata’ (I will write in detail about this in another series). Hot flushes are  a sign of significant ‘ pitta’ (another type of energy that you use in your younger life)  running havoc throughout the bloodstream. Like most other menopausal symptoms, it is a signal to take rest and relax; your sympathetic nervous system is on high alert.  You need to train your mind and body to switch to the Parasympathetic systems (think of P for Peace) as often as possible, so as soon as you feel a flush/sweat begin, you can begin breathe deeply into your belly, then exhale slowly, at least 3 times. I don’t mind where you are, someone else can wait. This is about you and your health. Plant both of your feet on the ground (unless you are driving or doing something where this could be dangerous) and imagine roots or lines of energy running down from the soles of your feet into the middle of the planet. Curl your toes upwards so the arches of your feet are strong. Notice what emotions you feel. Just notice, don’t engage.
  2. Eat cooling foods that are seasonally appropriate. I found that red meat, white sugar,  white flours/pastas fizzy sodas, alcohol and cow products (especially cheese) made me sweat. In fact, cheese had always made me sweat a little but I loved it, so I ignored the signs. Swap these items for oily fish (salmon: mackerel: cod) and buy wholewheat alternatives for every white unrefined product, including rice.  Cooling foods include: cucumber, daikon radish, mung bean, dandelion greens, cabbage, bok choy, cauliflower, celery, kale, and romaine lettuce. Eat a least two servings of these a day for your internal ‘air conditioner’ to kick into action. Cold fruits include lemon, cantaloupe, grapefruit, mulberry, apples, pears, watermelon, apricots and persimmons. Mix these foods  into your main meal menus, so you don’t over cool your digestion and get diarrhea.
  3. Honestly, I know you have heard it before – but please keep your water fluids up. And don’t put ice in your drinks. If your face is unbearably hot, by all means open the fridge (if one is handy) door and let the air cool you but ice constricts the veins in your digestive system, which causes greater imbalances.
  4. Wearing layers – it’s obvious but maybe you need to look at your wardrobe again and weed out anything that makes  you feel sweatier (synthetics for example). Silk is NOT ideal because it marks under the arms – so look for short sleeved shirts that you can wear under floaty cardigan-type garments. You can buy underarm sweat pads too.
  5. Resting more. Just do it – it is what your body needs. Meditation, mindfulness, listening to soothing music – all of these help the nervous system to calm down. Make a date, every day, to have at least 20 minutes of this to build the habit – do it in bed, (ban electronics from the last hour of your day as a minimum for soooo many reasons!). Oh and remember, you do need regular exercise to keep your bones healthy. How about 2 x 20 minute brisk walks as a minimum? This will also help elevate your mood and therefore your happy hormones.
  6. Get your kidney energy up and have your adrenals checked. This will support your hormonal (endocrine) system. Traditional Chinese Medicine has a view that loss of kidney Chi drives ageing and the resulting imbalances. There are so many writings on this that I’d recommend you go look (here is one I like TCM/) and  I use Dr Christopher’s Kidney formula daily.Dr Christopher’s Kidney Formula. Likewise, you need to make sure your digestion is working properly. The drop in kidney and liver Chi can negatively impact this and as we know now, our gut makes a lot of important hormones. Don’t ignore bloating, burping, constant low back pain or inconsistent bowel movements. They can indicate a weak digestion and also issues around fibroids or other more challenging uterine illnesses. Go and see a doctor if this is going on for you for more than 3 weeks.
  7. Make a rose water spray/spritz (or make a few and have them in various places where they are easy to find). Add 3 drops of rose essential oil to a small spray bottle of distilled or filtered water (about 20 ml) to which you can add a drop of vodka to purify the mixture. Spray this on your chest when the flush starts (and remember to breathe and ground as well). Avoid your eyes, or anyone else’s eyes, come to that.
  8. My best tip – seek out a highly skilled nutritionalist/herbalist/kinesiologist who can see what your body needs. There are many  herbs that have helped women for centuries, but what works for one woman may not be what another needs. The list is endless – Black Cohosh: Skullcap: Sage: Ginseng:St John’s Wort. I’d advise you not to guess – you can spend a lot of money guessing and that money could be better spend getting an accurate assessment of your needs. Please, don’t short change yourself in the change. You are a valuable asset – unique, and irreplaceable!


Flower in menopause,

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Hot flashes and cold chills – what is going on with me?

So are you feeling hotter? Or feeling chills? Or both?

Hot flashes are one of the bugbears of the menopausal years – but some women will actually feel chills instead. Why do some women suffer from extremes in menopause.

First, it is important to understand how your body normally adjusts to temperature changes. You need to know the framework for this and these are the interactions between the hypothalamus, the pituitary and the adrenal glands. It’s often referred to as the “HPA axis”.

One of the tasks of the hypothalamus is to regulate body temperature. The other major task is to regulate fertility.It isn’t fully understood but it seems that one of the effects of estrogen loss is to cause the hypothalamus to get ‘confused’ and misread signals coming back from the adrenals.  Perhaps because the ovaries are not releasing hormone that used to create a positive feedback loop.

“This is an area that’s still very much under research. We cannot quite tease out what it is about estrogen that is the issue.” Professor Helen Teede- director of research at the Jean Hailes Foundation for Women’s Health in Melbourne.

What is clear though, is when the hypothalamus senses that the body temperature is too high, it sends impulses. These impulses (signals) cause blood vessels supplying the capillaries in the skin to dilate. This is called vasodilation. The increased blood flow to the surface tissues under the skin means that more heat is lost. You cool down.

When the hypothalamus senses that the body temperature is too low, the opposite happens. It sends impulses which cause blood vessels supplying the capillaries in the skin to contract. This is called vasoconstriction and it reduces the blood flow to the surface tissues under the skin. As a result, less heat is lost. You stay warm – or heat up.

Vasodilation helps the body to lose heat, while vasoconstriction helps to keep heat within the body.

However, when a woman has  hot flashes, her body perceives that the temperature is rising very quickly . Naturally, it  responds by dilating the blood vessels and causing hot sweats.

In the case of heating up, note that it’s a perception, as the body temperature is not, in fact higher. Isn’t that interesting?

Meanwhile, things you can also get checked  for are:

  • Thyroid function (and you need a test that measures T2 and not just T3) and
  • Adrenal health.

If either of these are out of balance your body will not be able to maintain average temperature and especially in perimenopause.  In my view, our ‘band of tolerance’ becomes much narrower in many areas during the change!

I also want to comment on the perception of body temperature not rising but being only perceived as rising. From a very non medical Debs de Vries/Yogic point of view, the heat that is perceived is the internal heat of uprising kundalini.

That’s why I run weekend events and mentor women. I   teach women how to work with this  natural kundalini force. However, the perception (that the temperature is rising) still causes the HPA axis to activate and overwork to balance your body temperature. You still get hot flashes, but it is possible to  make some changes

There’s a great video that helps explain the HPA axis here.


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Could yoga help your menopause symptoms?

hot flashes, night sweats,Menopause and Yoga?

Have you noticed the upsurge of images in the press and social media, showing lithe beings in patterned Lycra performing impossible looking Yoga poses?  Unless you already practice Yoga then it’s very likely you haven’t thought of Yoga as a helpful complementary part of your peri and post menopause health regime.

It’s a fact that Yoga has a lot to offer mid and later life women. But you do need to know which aspects of it are likely to help and which aren’t. Yoga is much more that just physically demanding poses. At its core it’s a range of practices – some very simple – (called Asana) and breath techniques (Pranayama). They help to  balance mind and body.

During peri menopause many women feel much more stressed, tired and vulnerable than usual. Hot flashes, night sweats, aches, pains and emotional swings are often part of the menopause experience.

In addition, blood pressure can rise, memory become patchy and thinking downright ‘fuzzy’.

Yoga offers relief for increased stress, tiredness and blood pressure issues, particularly through the use of ‘Yin’ style poses. In this style there is no fast movement or complexity. The body is well supported (literally, by blankets, bolsters and blocks) in movements which are slow and easy. There is plenty of time for deep relaxation. Most movement is done either sitting or lying down.

Muscles and tendons are gently stretched without pulling or bouncing.  This  in turn helps joints to release and lubricate as well as releasing tension from muscle tissues. You’ll have heard that  when we are stressed we are often said to be in “flight or fight (or freeze) mode”.  The body prepares for this by increasing production of the stress hormone cortisol (and other hormones) and redirecting blood away from digestion and the reproductive organs. This continues for  as long as the stress inducing threat – or perceived threat – is present in the mind of the individual.

Scientists have known for years that elevated cortisol levels interfere with learning and memory, lowers immune function and bone density, increases weight gain, blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease. So one of the positive aspects of a quiet – or Yin style – of Yoga practice is that it  allows the PNS (the part of the autonomic nervous system that helps us into calm states of being) to be strengthened.

Neuropsychologist and meditation teacher Rick Hanson says the PNS (parasympathetic nervous system) and the SNS (sympathetic nervous system) are connected like a seesaw; when one goes up, the other one goes down.

If your SNS constantly jumps into action throughout the day, your body will produce more stress hormones, your heart will work harder and you may even not tune into your need to rest or eat properly. This will tend to create an imbalance. By activating the PNS, (think ‘P in PNS for peace and ‘S’ in SNS for stress) yoga strengthens its circuitry and brings balance to the’ seesaw.’

Nutritional anthropologist Linda Knittel describes a study conducted by Thomas Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and the Yoga Research Society. When researchers measured the cortisol levels of participants both before and after a yoga class, they discovered a significant decrease after the class.

If you’re interested in trying a class, then talk to a range of teachers before you attend and ask about their style of teaching. Find out whether they have had any particular education in helping women in and after menopause and which of their classes would suit you best. Take a trial session. Proper instruction is necessary to safeguard your health, so please find a qualified teacher with the right experience level for your needs.

You should be asked about your health history, any current medication and your goals for practicing Yoga. Here are a few ideas of Yoga practices that may help you:-

  • For disturbed sleep try: Yin Yoga style: Yoga Nidra (a very deep relaxation and a Pranayama (breathing) practice called Nadi Sodhana (alternate nostril breathing) which induces a sense of calm and is said to balance the brain.
  • For Cognitive improvements: Deep Yogic breathing and slow balancing poses that require focus. Deep breathing brings more oxygen to the body and brain and exhaling removes toxins; it could help with ‘brain fog’ as may poses that support cleansing liver and kidneys. Also, try meditation techniques with eyes open – say meditating on a candle flame or other object. This helps discipline the mind to rest on one thing.
  • Osteoporosis care –  weight bearing postures can help bones stay strong by ‘stressing’ them. Osteoporosis is a real hazard after menopause and women need to do weight bearing exercise. Yoga has many  poses that do this. For example: Downward and upward facing dog pose: Tadasana: Plank: Warrior: Sun Salutations and balances such as Tree.
  • Blood Pressure. 3 part yogic breathing using the diaphragm correctly (it’s the second biggest muscle of respiration) helps to bring more oxygen into the body while at the same time sending a calming signal (sometimes known as “the relaxation response”) to the brain.
  • When the heart doesn’t have to work so hard to pump blood to provide oxygen to cells it can slow down and recover. Hot flushes. Two breathing practices (Pranayama) are particularly well known for their cooling properties Sithali and Sitkari are said to lower body temperature and the practice of Yoga Nidra (a deep relaxation where you are very relaxed but not asleep) has been found by some women to alleviate flushes.

Lastly, do check with your GP or health care provider before you start any new form of exercise, to ensure you are fit to practice. One of the central tenets of the philosophy in which Yoga exists is called ‘ahimsa’ or ‘non harming’. Find what works best for you and don’t do anything that makes you feel unwell, hurts or otherwise causes you pain or major discomfort.

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Reclaiming Menopause. A woman’s rite.

Menopause, along with menstruation, pregnancy and childbirth, is one of the natural cycles and events in a woman’s life.   These cycles and passages mirror the innate nature of our Universe to expand and change. 

However, although this century has seen some positive changes in attitudes to menstruation, pregnancy and childbirth, it’s not always so with menopause. Prevailing Western attitudes to menopause remain, in general, ones of mistrust, misunderstanding and exasperation. 

The Greeks wrote a little about treatment of menopausal symptoms. But as so few women lived until their menses ceased, and were considered of low value when no longer fertile, it’s hard to find much history of early attitudes or rites around this potent passage. And it is a potent passage! All that turmoil is not random. 

menopause help, menopause

Did you know that there  are a number of pivotal – and invisible – events that impact a woman during the years of menopause, particularly from the age of 49 to 51?  These are influxes of specific types of energy, designed to help a woman develop into not just the Matriarch, but also, at a subtle level, to  be transformed. This means she can birth even more aspects of her soul’s gifts and talents.

What is happening ‘behind the scenes’ is fascinating and little spoken of or understood. Within this ‘technology of menopause’ lies a huge potential that can inspire and fire women to make necessary changes, and live with greater power and wisdom for the rest of their lives. In brief, here’s an overview of the key events.

 menopause, kundalini, During female  reproductive years, two ‘gates’ operate in the base or muladhara chakra. In Yogic terms, this is an energy center (0ne of many) that steps down higher energies into the human subtle energy system. This one I’m referring to is  the one at the base of the spine. These two ‘gates’ allow Kundalini energy to enter the chakra and then, if no  egg fertilization occurs,  the energy flows out at menstruation. If pregnancy occurs, Kundalini will help support the creation of the template of the new life.

However, as estrogen levels drop in later life, (and peri menopause begins) the ‘out’ gate closes, meaning that Kundalini cannot leave the chakra system. It’s programmed to begin its ascent up the chakra system, and therein lies one of the keys to mid-life transformation.

Another critical event is the impact of Chiron, the little planet who is symbolized by a key shape, and who holds the codes for self-healing. Chiron is depicted as a centaur in mythology; a being that combines both earthly attributes and those of ‘higher’ nature.

At some time between the ages of 48 – 51, Chiron returns to the place it was in your chart on the day of birth bringing with it the impetus to deeply review the place where you are ‘stuck’. Some refer to this as a ‘core’ or ‘soul’ wound and it is a passage into the underworld, to visit what you have been unable to see; heal it and move forward.

The opportunity presented is like opening a  portal to receive energy  from Uranus and Saturn. This in turn will assist you in creating the next highest Divine version of yourself. If you understand this and find the right support, the incoming energy really does offer life changing potential.