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Workplace, women and menopause: is it a good deal?

Menopause in workplace When I first started work, the Sex Discrimination Act of 1975 wasn’t on the statue book and my workplace was unusual in that it offered equal pay.

(This right is of course,  now enshrined in the 2010 Equality Act)

Until then, I was NOT permitted to wear trousers to my workplace (in the British Civil Service).

I made sure that I did on the day that the S.D.A. became law ( and I remember them vividly: powder blue, with a very high waist,  silver buckled fabric belt and super wide bottom hems). I trotted about the workplace with a defiant look on my very young face and dared anyone to challenge me.

It’s been a long haul. From 1975 until 2018  – 43 years – is huge chunk of my life. I have unconsciously and consciously had to hide or ignore the ways my female body works, from periods to pregnancies. Worse, it didn’t occur to me not to.

 

Post, post feminism, at last, the way a woman’s body works is beginning to be recognised as more than a nuisance that can be overridden by Just Getting On With It. (Fact is, what our bodies do is utterly, utterly magical but what room is there for magic in the workplace and its race to the bank?)

Workplaces are just beginning to look at the needs of their female tribe, as our gender’s contribution is now clearly recognised, valued and measured (OK – in some places!) and some have created policy to highlight and support the “passage to power” of their women colleagues.

 

The Union, UNISON state that:.

  • “Roughly half of UK workers are women, all of whom will experience the menopause. There are currently 3.5 million women workers over the age of 50 in the UK, which is almost half (45%) of the over-50 workforce.”
  • 50% of these women were experiencing difficult to severe menopausal symptoms. 10% had given up employment.
  • And by 2018, nearly 31 million women in the menopausal age range will be employed in the US.80% of those 31 million employed women will experience menopausal symptoms. So, nearly 25 million women.And while I’m still stunned by the numbers (even having worked in this area for some time)  I am also conscious of the further impact on co-workers, family members, work/life balance, professional performance, financial security and more.
  • We are still in an era where women have taken their place in environments designed (largely) by men. The term ‘workplace’ is in and of itself, archaic and limiting in a creatively driven world.
  • Take the built environment as an example. A friend recalled her early days in what was then called the ‘typing pool’. (Ask your Gran to explain – it was like a Victorian classroom with typewriters and women seated and tapping away all day).
  • Out of the blue, her supervisor became like an evil overlord, her face regularly flushed bright red and sweat dripped onto her key board. She huffed, and sighed and spoke to no-one except to bark orders or criticize. My friend remarked that it is only now she realises that her long-ago boss was in the grip of serial hot flushes. How she must have dreaded having to sit tight, typing all day with only momentary escapes to the loo – and with the full glare of the giggling and unsympathetic ‘juniors’ full on her as she headed up the ‘pool’ in the same way that a teacher sat in front of a class.
  • SMART working environments (I’ll write more about that) help but above and beyond this, it is the emotional support that is so badly needed. I don’t mean a pat on the back and a ‘pity party’,  I mean the kind of support that stems from an acceptance of  this passage of perimenopause as being normal, necessary and expected – and seeks to ensure the culture responds to this with the same intelligence as it might do a pregnancy, or a paternal leave request.
  • Once upon a time, when I was that girl in powder blue baggies, I wanted to buy a house. Getting a mortgage meant getting married, and promising to stay on the Pill. Pregnancy was bad for business and you had to let the man know you wouldn’t mess up his financial plans by daring to conceive. How very dare we?
  • menopause change
  • Thank Goddess for change: however slow, it is happening.
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Perimenopause as the gateway to a new life? Is that ridiculous or reasonable?

perimenopause helpLife begins at 50?

No, not really. Life simply continues – but there are some ‘portals’ on your journey, such as perimenopause when you have a golden opportunity to reset and refocus. And I am in no doubt that perimenopause is one of those magical, messy, and sometimes crazy making, but ultimately rewarding portals.

Have a listen…and please comment, it helps us get the message to ears that need to hear it!

 

As we continue to evolve as a species, some of the ideas about women reaching the end of their ‘useful’ lives (i.e. productive, and/or childbearing) are beginning to look a bit feeble. There are plenty of ‘useful’ women in high profile and less well known situations, contributing their awesome gifts in a myriad of ways.

I started to research how many women, over 50, are in influential positions – and the sheer volume was very exciting. I have simply taken the names of the first 7 who came to mind. No preferential order is given but I did have a feeling I should put Queen Elizabeth 2 at the top of the list. Seems respectful to someone who is 92!

Queen Elizabeth 2, (92)

Angela  Merkel (64)

Theresa May (61)

Germaine Greer (80)

Susan Wojckicki (50)

Mary Robinson (74)

Dame Viven Duffield (78).

 

I am not saying that any of us ‘has’ to go do something world shattering. I saying though, that the days of women over 50 just fading gently into the background, are well past. Thanks be!

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Menopause and sleep – or lack of it!

Menopause and sleep – or in reality, menopause and  not sleep.

Disturbed, sweaty nights that are often more like a nightmare than a dream. Not only does it make day life tough – it can bring a sense of tension ahead of bedtime. “How many hours will I get tonight before I wake in a pool of sweat?”. It pays to take steps to design a sleep ‘routine’ that works for you as best you can.

 

I also believe that disturbed sleep is a sign of our subconscious being over active. Night time should be a time when the whole physical/emotional body system settles and the psyche opens to receive new information, or clear old and unwanted patterns. Sometimes this is in the form of dreams, or we just wake with a new understanding around something. Keeping a journal of the times when you wake and what – if you remember it – you found yourself thinking (all those things buzzing around in your head) may not get you more sleep initially, but it may calm things down and help you to see what is on your mind that you can’t ‘see’ in the daytime.

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Symptoms of perimenopause. Symptoms or signals?

menopause symptoms, perimenopause symptoms,

What really are the symptoms of perimenopause? Well, that’s what a lot of people (mostly, but not exclusively women, want to know).

I’ve written about symptoms, It’s a long list of  the same set of physical inconveniences, horrors and menaces as most menopause helpers/teachers/healers would write.  Also I have  added a few important ones, that I think are missing from many lists – emotional symptoms.

Then today, I just asked myself – why exactly do we use the word “symptom”? Is this the correct term? Is it helpful to talk about peri menopause symptoms at all?  And, OK, I caved. I asked the Big G.  I googled. It says: –

ˈsɪm(p)təm/
noun
  1. a physical or mental feature which is regarded as indicating a condition of disease, particularly such a feature that is apparent to the patient.
    “dental problems may be a symptom of other illness”
    synonyms: manifestationindicationindicatorsignmarkfeaturetrait;

    prodrome
    “he described the symptoms of the disease”
    • an indication of the existence of something, especially of an undesirable situation.
      “the government was plagued by leaks—a symptom of divisions and poor morale”
      synonyms: expressionsignindicationmarktokenmanifestationMore

       

    So, we have here: “… indicating a condition of disease,…” and “an undesirable situation”.

    Now, call me picky and call me mean, but I do not believe perimenopause is a disease or illness, and neither do I believe it is an undesirable situation. To overlay a natural (if highly inconvenient and sometimes, debilitating) passage in a life, with medical terminology, is to stuff perimenopause tightly into a box filled with ailments, diseases and illnesses that, medical science hopes, can be cured. And in that box, by default, women become ‘patients’ and expect a cure.

    You don’t need a cure for perimenopause. You need support. You need systems, understanding, knowledge and applied wisdom. Because for a % of women (mostly in the Western ‘world’) all of these new  pieces of information form a bridge: they become a foundational part of your continued growth and potential expansion into someone even more amazing, true and representative of your unique self.

    Let me add another layer to this:

For “you need systems” read “you need to learn how to run your daily life so  you are not exhausted, dragged down or just plain bored.

You need help, joy, rest, nourishment, sensuality, inspiration –  and more rest.  These ‘resourcers’  should be part of your every day (given the inevitable days when you REALLY can’t…)  – and you have to systematically choose what will support you.

You need a system of daily energy management that does more than feed and exercise your body and mind. In fact, you need the  shamanic/Yogic understanding of yourself as a much broader ‘being’ with subtler layers of energy,  so that you can effectively housekeep these ‘invisible’ layers. This is one of the big ‘secrets’ of life, let alone perimenopause.

 

You feel cynicism or doubt about this? Ever spent an hour with an ‘energy vampire’? Or watched a movie or piece of news that made you feel awful? Or thought thoughts that kept you awake half of the night? You – I – we – are constantly responding to our environment. And our environment is huge, messy, deep and also more under our control than we imagine.

The truth is, this ‘stuff’ is better felt and experienced than written about.  For one thing, for it to be effective it must be embodied – become a part of you. I am devoted – and I do mean devoted – to showing women how this can be done. I know that  you can learn a lot in a long weekend. Certainly enough to do your own ‘energy housework’. The benefit of this work is that you get to keep more precious fizz for yourself and that energy can go into – well – almost anything you choose – but initially, into getting your physically balanced and operational again is a great place to start.

And here is what I consider to be the BEST way to get this stuff covered and reclaim your self.  Join me for a special one-of-a-kind event and learn the true wisdom of menopause, discover the tools to lift yourself out of the tough spots and the hidden technology that is actually running the whole show. Maybe your symptoms of perimenopause are a little voice yelling loudly that there is more to this!  Trust me, this stuff WORKS!

 

perimenopause symptoms, menopause symptoms, menopause help,

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Menopause, insomnia and – really, who wants to be sleepless in Seattle?

Menopause insomnia is a well documented and debilitating menace.  Whilst waking up every couple of hours if you have a  baby to feed for instance, or a new puppy to cuddle, has a clear purpose to it, waking up randomly; sticky, sweating and tense, seems to have no ‘point’ to it at all. (On a positive note, it is worth recalling previous episodes of enforced insomnia that might give you heart). You. Will. Get. Through.This.)

 

Well, maybe it does have a point. Just free your thinking up enough to include this idea. Maybe the point is that this passage, this transition, is all about you. Yep. Just you. Not your elders, your offspring or your beloved pets. Just you. And although insomnia, or any wakefulness of this kind is something that needs to diminish and even disappear, I do believe that your body and psyche are super busy and at their most – communicative – during these times.

insomnia, menopause, anxiety, money worries,

Not only do I believe this, I also know it is also the movement of ‘kundalini‘ energy, disturbing your sleep. It is also the unfinished business, unexpressed emotions and general ‘first half of life’ debris that is causing restlessness. There are other physiological reasons that must not be ignored. I am not one of those spiritual teachers who turn their nose up at what the body needs. If your body is already out of whack, then deal with that – and also deal with any ‘inner’ business.

 

In addition to my video on how to improve the quality of your sleep,(watch it below) I suggest you keep a journal/piece of paper (preferably, NOT your mobile phone) by your bed. And a pen, of course! Just before sleep jot down any and all the things that are on your mind. Don’t stress over grammar, editing or politeness – get it all out. And if you feel that the words may offend someone, just make sure they don’t see them.

During the night, or in the morning, write down  your dreams, let all that is buzzing around your head out into the world, because, like Pandora’s Box, once the buzzing is out, there is a spark of Hope.

 

You may or may not see or gradually become aware of, patterns in your thoughts, or unfinished business that you would do well to attend to. But don’t get into a menopausal tizz about doing this as a ‘piece of work’. If you have done the spade work, writing stuff down, making your thoughts physical and anything else that comes, is a bonus.

 

 

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Signs of menopause: physical and emotional changes that rock your world!

menopause signs,There are hundreds, if not thousands, of lists  available across the internet, about the  physical signs of menopause. What doesn’t seem to be included often enough, are the less obvious, (but very impactful)  emotional signs of menopause. These stirred emotions, are often the  first rumblings that something – (you) – is changing. Emotional change may even arise with or without the ‘classic’ perimenopause (“peri” meaning “around” menopause) physical symptoms.

It’s really  surprising just how ‘early’ perimenopause starts. As estrogen levels begin to fall – generally given as around 44 years of age – perimenopause begins – albeit, slowly. Amongst emotions that may be stirred up,  I’ve noticed the following:

Broodiness – yes, the unexpected longing for a late baby, or even a first baby, can present itself and it’s not always ‘logical’. But then, emotion isn’t logical. And perhaps Nature has a way of having her voice heard as the fertility levels fall and chances of pregnancy do too.

Wistfulness/random tears A sense of wondering “what if….” – (“I’d done that course/married that guy/had a different upbringing”) can permeate your psyche, and even replay in dreams.

Doubt as to current and/or past  choices may be an offshoot of wistfulness . Doubt can create a sense of worry, concern or restlessness and dissatisfaction about who you have become, and the relationships, career choices and family dynamics that are playing out.

Withdrawal. According to Yogic Tantric wisdom, the Mahadeva (Great or presiding oversoul) of this passage in a woman’s life, is Bagalamhukh. She – or her energy field – causes us women to want to withdraw so that we can reflect, reassess and regenerate and come back to the world, post menopause, having left behind what no longer serves us. In the run up to this, a woman may well journey into her ‘past’.

natural menopause, menopause signs,

Anger and tension. It’s not unusual for a woman to feel more angry and tense at this time. Physically, she may be tired or adrenally exhausted, especially if she is a primary carer and has a career too. She may find that what she could normally do easily ,is now draining her.

Anger may arise from feeling overwhelmed and/or under appreciated.  This can cause mass upset across the board, because whereas once, she may have just ‘got on with it’, now,  in the ‘perimenopause pressure cooker’ of unexplained and disturbing feelings (combined with  physical fatigue), anger may volcanically erupt.  When it does, it can really rock the embedded expectations of others around her.

Anger may also emerge as a (not always very graceful)  boundary defence mechanism. It may be the  knee-jerk response to others,  because boundaries/behaviours that may  have been poorly set in the past, now need a radical overhaul. And anger may just be from on overwhelming desire to be heard and seen: in reality, the need for reassurance. Because one thing is for sure, when the foundations of your being rock,  reassurance is massively valuable.

menopause signs, support,

Support systems and structures are even more important now than ever. Extreme behaviour can lead to extreme consequences. So, if you want to avoid burn out, relationship melt down and potentially loss (to name the most common perimenopause breakdowns) please find people who will truly listen to you. Find people who can guide without judgement, can keep a confidence – for ever – and will be able to reflect back to you what’s valuable, what’s just a trip into the past and what you need to do to keep your sense of self.

 

Oftentimes, physical exhaustion (underpinned in many cases, by adrenal fatigue) makes the emotional symptoms worse. I believe however that it is important – maybe vital – to have an emotional ‘spring clean’ right now, to become more fluent and honest with  your needs and feelings, and to put the past ‘to bed’ The astrological impulses of this time of your life are there to support just that, and I will blog about the Uranian upsurge that is impacting you between the ages of 38 – 44 in future. Meanwhile, the three key things to focus on are: –

 

  1. Remove as much stress as possible from your life, including dietary stressors, too  many late nights, over exercising, overuse of electronic devices, addictions, noise and toxic relationship. I know. That is a big list. Aim to reduce one thing at a time. Honestly, every little does help!
  2. When you need to withdraw then let others know that it’s about you, not them. Time out – an hour, a day – a retreat – with a journal, or simply a place to walk undisturbed, makes ‘space’ for old emotions to surface.
  3. Let the past go with gratitude and ritual. Someone said to me this week that he had boxes and boxes of old photographs. He’s about to move house and really doesn’t want to take them with him but equally couldn’t  bear to just ‘dump them in the garbage’. “So make a ceremony” I said. “Let them go with love and your thanks”. I suggested he  take a few quiet moments, set up a (safe) fire in the garden (an old wok can serve as a fire bucket) or the fireplace (if you have one) and just think on all the joy, happiness, friendship – whatever – these photos recall. Once you have that sense in your heart of being connected – then let it go. And say ‘thank you” – cry, rage, yell, laugh.. whatever you need to do.

 

Remember, this too WILL pass – and with the coming of your “Second Spring” you’ll emerge, like Persephone, triumphant with the seeds of another new you safely embedded in your psyche!

menopause signs,

 

 

 

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Mid life weight gain: a menopause issue or a feminist issue?

menopause weight gain,

I recently met a lady who told me a  weight gain story that is – sadly – not uncommon. First of all, this lady is a health care professional herself. OK, that doesn’t necessarily mean she is doing ‘everything’ right – but she is really  taking care of her physical needs by eating well (avoiding overeating, sugary and refined foods and lately, alcohol) and exercising adequately.

 

She noticed (well, how could she miss it?) a roll of fat appearing around her belly area and try as she might, it would not shift. It worried her. It puzzled her. It made her feel uncomfortable in her clothes and embarrassed in her work situation. So she went to her doctor. He did not ask her any questions (intelligent, or otherwise): he did not even dignify the conversation by noticing that she was upset about this change – over which she seemingly had no control.

 

He simply said “Eat less and exercise more”. She was crushed. She left that surgery feeling like an idiot and also with no support or answers. If he had questioned her properly, he would have developed a  picture of her healthy lifestyle, she might even have shared with him some more factors (which she shared with me) that would shout out to all and sundry, that the lady was suffering from too much stress. She had developed a ‘cortisol’ belly. She was having nightmares – not ‘just’ nightmares, but the kinds of dreams that are SO vivid, that they appear real for hours after waking.

menopause anxiety, weight gain, menopause and grief,

Menopause is SO much more than a physical change. Yet, it is vital to keep the body as well as it can be. The stability of the body helps everything else to settle and transform, over time. Doctors in general practice really don’t have any training or much focus on this key passage in a woman’s life so we must measure our expectations against that knowledge. Let’s face it, most biology books  don’t mention a woman’s body, after the onset of  fertility and child birthing. So, it’s up to us, we  women who are in transition, to find those that can help us, want to help us and have taken time to understand menopause and hand on that wisdom.

 

Weight and weight gain,  is and has been a ‘feminist’ issue for aeons. “Fat” women are seen as being lazy, stupid and out of control. Not to mention ‘not very feminine’. The Rudd Center for Food Policy &  Obesity at Yale University highlighted this in a report as far back as 2008. (“Fat bias worse for women”).

And the trend continues. Women are more likely to be dismissed, demoted and just ignored in the work place if they are perceived as ‘fat’

 

ttps://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/aug/30/demoted-dismissed-weight-size-ceiling-work-discrimination

No wonder it’s hard for most women to deal with weight gain and I salute those brave souls who embrace a larger body (larger than what, or who, I wonder?!) and live without apology in it.

 

menopause weight gain

Challenge your health care professional to explain to you the link between stress and the belly jelly roll. If they can’t, then go find someone who can. And as you know, excess weight also increases risk of heart disease, joint pain and stress, and related issues – some big tummies can be as a result of internal changes, for instance, ovarian cancer. Weight gain is not always about personal irresponsibility.

 

So IF you know you are taking healthy steps and nothing is changing, do not be fobbed off with a simplistic and sometimes, offensive answer. (One other friend was told by her GP (who was wolfing down a packet of biscuits while he spoke to her) to “pick a number and let’s see if we can get you to that age”). I shiver, I really do.

 

perimenopause, weight gain,pelvic floor,

 

 

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Menopause, anxiety and strange dreams. Grief may help.

menopause, anxiety,Anxiety in menopausal years  can be confusing, tiring and upsetting. While it is important to make sure your diet and life style, stressors and supporters, are all in a good place, there is potentially, more to mid-life anxiety. In the invisible realms of your body, something is calling for your attention and this low level anxiety is a clue.

 

You may know that I believe that (peri) menopause is a long term psycho/spiritual developmental stage as well as a physical one. The potential outcome of this development, to my mind, is an expanded way of living, Whether that  expansion is achieved by letting go of outdated ideas, behaviours or systems: or by the adoption of new and more liberating (joy bringing) ways of being. Or maybe it’s a simple shift in self perception that allows more self love. It’s personal.

 

At around 42  years of age, the effects of your Uranian opposition begin to be felt. Now I am not an astrologer and I can only recommend to you the seminal work by Barbara Hand Clow “Liquid Light of Sex” (Bear & Co) which came into my life once I had experienced some profound realisations about menopause, the Divine Feminine, Kundalini and astrology. At around the same age, a woman begins to lose ‘fertility’ – in other words, her body does notproduce so much estrogen. This is the commencement of peri-menopause.

Menopause and Uranian opposition

Astrological symbol for Uranus

Barbara Hand Clow says “unreleased grief is one of the most common sources of chakra blocks and it will lie in the solar plexus chakra until kundalini rises”. She also says that “it will manifest as seemingly sourceless anxiety… (or) in a dream or nightmare” (p 69).

(Erm, One of my nightmares that felt absolutely REAL every time I dreamed it, was that I had  killed a man and  completely forgotten that I had killed him. In my dream, I was going about my daily chores when  I suddenly remembered this murderous act. I can’t even tell you how that felt. It created a lot of anxiety for me. I used to wake up confused to the extent that I had to seriously question whether this was a ‘real’ memory from this lifetime). It’s a classic separation from Uranus (male power) dream and it was horrible!

menopause anxiety, menopause and grief,

What does grief have to do with ANY of this? Well, what prompted my to write this article is that the most powerful, devastating and cleansing grief experience of my life happened when  I was 43. And I have just witnessed one of my closest friends going through the same experience, and hers was not triggered by a death, a divorce or  even a family member moving. She is breaking her heart over a family friend,  a young man who had touched her heart and who, she believes, was a son in a former life. He has been moved away – overnight – by Social Services – and her family is bereft. She has sobbed for two days which is most certainly, not her style and is feeling anxiety and concerns beyond her remit.

In my experience, it’s  always a clue to a blockage about to get cleared, when a response is way out of balance with an incident. Low level anxiety that does not have a clear and reasonable source, is one of these clues.

 

So it was for me.  I had, by the time of my loss, grieved the death of two beloved parents, yet nothing prepared me for this storm.  Days were spent wrapped in a quilt, propped against a wall, so that the overwhelming impact of my uncontrolled grief was minimised on my exhausted body. I dreamed vividly about this long-lost love: I spoke with him in my mind: I found photographs and put them on my altar.

menopause, menopause anxiety

One wet and wild day, a wave of grief took me to my knees, literally as I walked my dogs in the winter flooded fields.  As I allowed the power of pain to sweep through me, I felt a new emotion. It felt like joy. And then – ecstasy. After a time, I  felt only one emotion and it was ecstasy.  In that moment, I knew how my love’s death had served me. It had blasted away all pretense, all mind stuff, all ‘blocks’ and only the ecstasy of pure Love was left for me to feel.  My Uranian opposition had done its work and blasted a path through my solar plexus to my heart. The work began there!

I am not suggesting that you go looking for grief. I am suggesting that if something  ‘triggers’ you, be curious and open. Perhaps an incident will occur that provokes a deep and  possibly, unwelcome response from deep within you. It may feel uncontrollable. Let it take you if you feel you can. or find a counsellor or similar, professional outsider to help you.

If others may be affected by your grief, then find ways to help them not feel responsible for your emotions. Take yourself to a private space and/or professional office and do what you need to. Don’t project this energy by blaming or shaming self or others, otherwise so that you create a messy ‘web’ for so often, what we feel has little to do with what is really happening outside of us. I promise, from bitter experience, this can have unwanted effects.

menopause anxiety, menopause fire,

Grief can be a fierce healer, but go into the fire with courage (the quality of the heart) and faith. You will emerge, and if you resist the temptation to fall into blame, shame or resentment, you will feel clearer, lighter and stronger. At least, I did and I think my bestie, M would agree.

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Perimenopause support – who wants soggy undies anyway?

perimenopause, pelvic floor,

 

I first heard the word ‘prolapse’ when I was pregnant. In fact, what I heard was ‘rectal prolapse’ and that random phrase galvanised me like a 1000 volt cattle prod poking into my stately rear end.

Peri menopause brings presents – and perils. One of the perils that can be managed is that of pelvic floor weakness In other words, the floor of muscle and ligament that supports your womb, bladder, bowel, rectum and associated plumbing can slacken and weaken. It may have been prompted by giving birth, especially to a large baby, or with forceps assisted birth. Carrying excess weight strains the pelvic floor too, so it’s not all down to menopause. But it will certainly show up now if it’s going to.

 

As the muscles slacken, various organs can move downwards, resulting in discomfort (well, that word covers a multitude of sins) –  leaking urine when you don’t want to – uterine position changes and more. Let’s not dwell too much on this but do be aware.

 

The other aspect of this problem is an emotional/psychological one. A woman in this stage of life may feel pretty vulnerable anyway.

menopause help, pelvic floor,

Finding that you can’t control your bladder so well, or noticing the unwelcome feeling of damp knickers, has a very unsexy effect on a girl’s psyche. Or so I found. The knowledge that things are sagging can  make you feel as though this is really the slide into Tena pads.

Take heart. The drop in estrogen does cause some elasticity to seep from your precious tissues. But getting to know those muscles intimately, and making sure they are healthy, exercised and hydrated and that you carry your pelvic organs correctly (remember ‘deportment’ at school? Bet that’s not what they meant) are going to make a big difference. Orgasm is negatively affected by slack pelvic floor muscles too – and positively improved by a bouncy, muscular, vaginal canal, I can assure you!

 

Things to do:

 

  1. Get intimate: what does your pelvic floor look like? A bit like this…perimenopause, pelvic floor

 

2 Build pelvic floor exercises into your day. Easy to do anywhere, especially while waiting for check out!

You can find out where the pelvic floor muscles are and how you control them next time you go to the toilet. As you wee, try to stop the flow briefly. The muscles you use to do this are your pelvic floor muscles.

Don’t do this more than once, though – it’s not good for your bladder to stop mid-wee and doing it regularly may lead to a urinary tract infection.

Once you’ve found your pelvic floor muscles, try stopping an imaginary wee rather than a real one. Once you can locate them like this, you can exercise them any time you like by tightening and lifting them.

To tighten and lift your pelvic floor muscles, imagine doing the following at the same time:

  • Squeezing your bottom as if stopping a poo
  • Squeezing to stop the flow of wee
  • Squeezing as though you’re gripping a tampon in your vagina.

You can do pelvic floor exercises anywhere you like. Nobody will know what you’re doing – as long as you don’t raise your eyebrows each time you squeeze!

You can exercise on the bus, while you’re on the phone or waiting in the supermarket queue.

3. Discover the power of breath and correct posture to support and enliven those organs and that tissue. This is where a knowledgeable Yoga teacher is invaluable.

Although the classical information about squeezing the pelvic floor muscles is all fine and good, but  does not describe the power and relationship between the diaphragm and the pelvic floor.  This is gold standard information. I recommend you start out by investigating a living legend, Uma Dinsmore-Tuli, and her Yoga work for women’s health:

http://www.wombyoga.org/events-and-courses

 

So, no more waiting and pushing it to the back of your mind. The sooner you strengthen them, the better you will feel!

 

As ever, contact me for details of these teachings. I will be teaching full breath and pelvic floor work,  at my next retreat or just ping me an email