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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, sexuality and sensuality.

perimenopause help

Menopause seems to be shackled, at least conceptually, to a long list of (very real) woes and laments. I get that. I had those experiences too. Sexuality seems to be the least highlighted but often, one of the most missed parts of a woman’s life experiences during this time.

 

But I do believe there is a vision – a powerful one –  and  better, healthier framework for menopause,  that is rarely shared. It’s not a surprise that it’s almost a secret. Where, in any of my  – or your – school biology lessons,  did womens’ bodies get a mention beyond ‘reproduction’. Menopause wasn’t important.  It wasn’t even visible! Do you think I’d be  I be getting too ‘over the top’ if I assert that this was, at least in part, because the female gender wasn’t  very important anyway and once female ‘productive’ years had finished, who would waste time writing about menopause?

 

Sexuality is always a defining aspect of humanity. And for most women, it has taken a very long time (and it’s a work in progress) to claim it for our gender as a multi-dimensional aspect of our lives (I mean, we ‘have sex’ for reasons other than procreation or being ‘good partners’). Sexuality, in this context  has purpose, pay-off – an end result. Making babies: feeling bliss and pleasure (sometimes!): being intimate: making money: staying safe: being dutiful: trying to ‘grow up’:  pleasing someone else: having to bow to someone else’s needs – perhaps even being forced to.  Being a victim in war, peace or  in the supposed safety of your own home because of someone else’s uncontrolled needs.  All, some or none of these affect most women.

 

Menopause brings with it the opportunity to withdraw from active sexuality for a while. It offers, through what I call it’s ‘hidden technology’, a  precious time to go inward. It’s a time to  protect and save your energy for inner work (physical and emotional) so that when the primal force returns (your Kundalini flows powerfully again, in Yogic terms) you are more connected – not  less.

 

menopause meaning

But this  new cycle  of life  is more about sensuality than sexuality.  It is about how you feel, with or without sexual activity,  a partner, or sexual stimulation that is external.  Your newly enhanced system is coded for sensuality. Sensuality for some, is bliss experienced simply from standing in a field and having the sound of a bird’s song pierce your skin and heart so that you smile and cry. It’s the feeling of formerly forbidden pleasure waves that convulse you as you stroke the velvet patch on a horse’s muzzle, the satin of a cat’s fur or run your hands over the cool smoothness of marble. The sun on your back can generate peaks of pleasure and dreams, dancing and dining can take you to some very ecstatic places.

menopause sensuality

This is one of the great and unsung rewards of riding the peri menopause waves with knowledge. Your central nervous system can become more powerful and more sensitive, so that your feelings, sensations and experiences are translated in ever-more exquisite ways. With the ‘right’ partner, sexual encounters deepen and transform your body into a palace of pure pleasure. But guess what? You don’t need a partner, you just need to keep deepening your own practices of connection. You are your partner: you are, ultimately, your beloved.

 

My top practices are still Hatha Yoga with some Tantric practice: mindful eating, meditation, walking and self-care (and I don’t mean I do this 100% but I do keep my awareness around the topics).I run the high frequency energies of Transference Healing ™ every day and that one has probably been my life saver.

 

I choose words and use them with care: I intend to feel all my feelings deeply and working ‘with’ them and not against them. I love being in nature in all her moods. And  I practice gratitude.

Practice it until it’s as natural as breathing. Gratitude for everything will open your heart (and it contains it’s own special cells, ‘sensory neurites’ which are like brain cells) and help your energy systems to calibrate to the powerful, indescribable pulses of joy which literally ripple through the grid of our planet all the time.

menopause sexuality, menopause anxiety, menopause fire,

My vision is that menopause gets the balanced framework and press it deserves. Women have felt (and allowed themselves to feel) undervalued, cheated and overlooked for too long. Nature has a treat in store for us, at least, that is my belief, but working with the natural forces, opening heart and  mind and getting information, support and knowledge are, as in everything else, key.

 

Don’t short change yourself or your families, colleagues or society. Learn the rites of this passage and reap the amazing rewards! I offer retreats, mentoring that includes energy work and of course, there is my book, ‘ Menopause Magic “which I had entirely forgotten about until I started this article! Now I can’t blame that on peri menopause. I’m 61!

 

 

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Improve Your Financial Life by Learning to Take Care of You First

Our fabulous guest blogger this week is Dr Nikki Ramskill, a hardworking medical doc.who regularly sees some of the difficult issues created when women, in particular, have not been given a sound financial education. Over to you, Nikki!

 

money,menopause, pensions,debt,

“My name is Dr Nikki Ramskill, and I’m otherwise known as the Female Money Doctor. My mission is to help women feel much more empowered around their personal finances because I believe that not only will her own mental and physical health improve, society as a whole will improve too.

If more enlightened women take the reigns in positions of power, I absolutely know the world will be vastly improved.

I’d love to be able to say that it doesn’t matter who you are, or what your background is, but unfortunately I can’t. Yet.

Money Talks

menopause money,

The truth is, money talks, and without this, it’s pretty hard to make big things happen. Whether you loathe it or love it, no one can deny that money is the lubricant in most everyday transactions, and unfortunately, in routes to power.

Now at the moment, you may not have such lofty aspirations as to want to become the next female prime minister, but I’m willing to bet that having more money to help your partner and your family out would be helpful to you?

Yes? Well then, the secret is TO START WITH YOU.

Take Control

For many women, focusing on themselves feels selfish, unmotherly, or dare I say it, “bitchy”. But in my view, it’s none of those things.

Actually, looking after yourself financially is probably one of the most loving things you can do for those around you. Too many women in later life are starting to realise that they are facing the prospect of retirement without significant savings to enable them to live a life they want after stopping work.

 

menopause money,

In addition to this, their kids aren’t able to move out due to spiraling property costs, and increasingly, women in later life are taking on the burden of providing childcare for their daughters who are going out to work to make ends meet.

Quite frankly, women are such awesome caregivers, that they’re forgetting to look after themselves, and the consequences can be dire for our finances.

WASPI Women

Take the WASPI campaign for example. This is a generation of women born in the 50s who are now having to work more years than intended to, because the government have moved the goal posts for the age at which they can collect their state pension. Women who may not be able to continue to work, are now having to find money to plug the gap, and have lost out on a significant sum of money.

This is the sort of situation that for those of us in younger generations should avoid. In fact, in light of this campaign, we’d actually be doing the WASPI Women a MASSIVE disservice if we DIDN’T take action now. Much like the suffragettes in the early 20th century who made the vote happen for women in the UK, so too have the WASPI women helped blaze a trail before us.

You Can Do It Too

 

menopause, anxiety, money worries,

No longer do we have the excuse of ignorance. The information is right there in front of us to see, but you have to know where to look.

Another issue that a lot of women are still guilty of is giving all the financial responsibility to their partner. I know because I used to be just such a woman, and I let my (ex-)partner have full control. We tell ourselves that It’s “too hard” and we’re just “not good with money”.

Well let me tell you that having control of your own personal finances is not rocket science. I promise you that with the right guidance, and a lot of perseverance, you CAN do what it takes to sort your own finances out.

So what can you do right now?

menopause checklist money,

1. Check your state pension status. Use the UK government website to work out your current state pension and your pension age. You can pay extra contributions to fill in gaps where you may have had time out of work such as maternity leave for example.

2. Get into a pension if you aren’t in one already. Most places are automatically enrolling their employees now as per government guidelines, however, if you’re self-employed, getting a SIPP is essential, and can provide you with some much needed tax-relief.

3. Maximise your workplace pension. How much are you paying in per month? How much is your workplace paying in? Could you maximise these contributions? See what your work place is willing to match you up to, and increase your contributions to this maximum. Take advantage of this free money!
4. Work out how much money you need in retirement. There are loads of pension calculators out there, and there are so many variables to really know if your pot of money will give you the find of income you want, but it will give you a rough ballpark figure.

5. Collect your pensions together. If you have lots of different pensions lying around, you can amalgamate them into one pension account. You could use Pension Bee to consolidate them all. There are caveats to this. The first is that you may not be able to transfer certain pensions if you work in the public sector. The other thing you have to be aware of is some pensions are so good you really shouldn’t move them. Final salary pensions are an example of this. Always consultant an Independent Financial Adviser for large sums of money, especially if you are new to this. Unbiased.co.uk is a good place to find an IFA.

6. Make sure your golden eggs are not all in the same basket! Do not rely on your house as “your pension”. Property is not liquid, and may be difficult to sell when the time comes. Also, property markets crash just like stock markets do, and it can take years for it to recover. In fact, some areas of the UK still haven’t recovered from the 2008 crash. Have a better distribution of assets, and utilise all the classes- stocks and shares, gold and other commodities, bonds AND property.

7. Improve your cash flow. Take a good hard look at your budget and trim down those expenses. Start to set aside money for saving and investing so not everything is heading out the door in the form of bills and unnecessary spending. If you’re approaching retirement, and still don’t have a lot saved into retirement funds, you must make this an absolute priority to get on track.

8. Have the right insurances set out. If you have dependents, life insurance is essential, but if you don’t, it really isn’t necessary. Don’t go out and buy expensive funeral cover unless what you pay in guarantees that it will cover all costs. A lot of them don’t, so check the small print before you sign.

9. Pay off debt, this includes your mortgage. Being mortgage free at the time of retirement will free you up enough to be able to enjoy your retirement without the worry of still needing to pay to keep a roof over your head.

10. Update your will and appoint a power of attorney. You never know when you might need this to come into play, so it’s best to have your wishes recorded when you’re fit and able, than when sadly you’re not. A good solicitor will be able to help you with this.

Final Words from Dr Nikki

Make 2018 the year you embrace your finances and take ownership of them. No one else will do this for you, and with women significantly outliving their partners in retirement, we absolutely must make our own finances an urgent priority.

Good luck in your journey to retirement. Yes money isn’t the be-all-and-end-all, but it will certainly go far to supporting you and helping you feel less financially stretched. This puts you in a place of strength to then help others around you do the same.

Being a woman has never before been so good.

With Love,

Dr Nikki x
https://thefemalemoneydoctor.com

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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

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Belly fat, sweating & exhausted? Is it really all because of the menopause?

 

 

If you are suffering from unwanted saggy belly fat, sweating during the day and at night (or having gruesome chills) and feeling exhausted, you’re likely to be told that it’s the inevitable result of the dreaded menopause.

belly fat, menopause,

 

But why would 75% of women never report these symptoms? Or even tell you (as my ‘best’ friend did) ” I just sailed through it” Hmm.

 

Is it REALLY all because of the down regulation of your ovaries? Or could there be other factors at play? Factors that you may be able to work with… have a look at what Dr Berg has to say:

 

 

Have you got your copy of my “30 day sweat reduction programme”? It’s a good place to start taking back control.

Even if your flashes don’t respond and you need more support, you’ll learn a lot about your body and mind. Menopause is not just about your body – it is – in my opinion anyway – a doorway (well, a long tunnel sometimes) to a new and freer life. So don’t write it off, arbitarily medicate it away or feel you are being penalised. Honestly, messy as it can be – a gift awaits you on the other side.

 

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Miss Whiplash or Mrs Patience? Estrogen dominance in menopause.

perimenopause help

Estrogen dominance.

Could estrogen be the ‘Miss Whiplash’ of the woman’s body? A driving force that doesn’t know when or how to  stop?

I’ve been mooching around  FB groups, checking out the ones for perimenopausal women. One of these groups has made my heart ache.

In this particular group, dozens (if not 00s) of (younger) women are  reporting that they are suffering from endometriosis; fibroids; uterine disorders and other womb related pain and disease.  Surgery is often their next step.

I asked myself, is this just random or is something going on globally?

I am a mentor, coach and an energy healer. Yes, I know. “Energy healer” is a fancy term that covers a lot of ground, most of which is quite indistinct. But one thing I do know,  deep in my cells and that is, I have always had a sense of the ‘quantum’. Let’s call it the invisible world that we – as human animals – are woven into. Well, now the physicists agree at least!

Therefore,  in my world, everything that has a physical component, has a non-physical component.

Going back to this physical world for a minute, let’s understand the basics in our body.

Estrogen dominance is a term that describes the hormone estrogen being dominant (ie. not being within it’s normal ration of 50 – 200: 1 to progesterone) in the body.

We know  that too much estrogen – not effectively balanced by progesterone – fuels excess growth. That growth can show up in places where we don’t want it. The womb, for example.

So what role does Estrogen play in the female body?

Estrogen is the hormone that stimulates breast growth at puberty and  causes the womb lining to develop every month: it signals the change to allow curves to form on a young woman’s body. It regulates menstrual cycles and prepares the vagina for adulthood by thickening the tissue and helping it to secrete lubrication.

We know that too much Estrogen going  where we don’t want it and we get growth where we don’t want it. Fibroids and endometriosis, for example, may be a result of excess, un secreted Estrogens – included the so called xeno Estrogens.

Other symptoms that have been linked  to Estrogen dominance include:

  • Sore and swollen breasts.(has also been linked to excess progesterone).
  • Fluid retention.
  • Emotional mood swings.
  • Low thyroid function.
  • Fatigue
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Sweet cravings and..
  • Belly fat.

Yuk.

It’s not just the estrogen that our ovaries make that may be contributing to the problem.

We now have a whole host of so-called xeno (foreign) estrogens in our environment. They are in plastics; beauty products: fertilisers: antibiotics: pesticides and synthetic hormones. Other contributing factors are around life style and Vitamin D deficiency.

To save you reading and knowing how important this topic is, I made a quick talk for you.

My talk on oestrogen dominance

From a metaphyisical/healer perspective, I just have to speak up for our wombs!

The womb and all her support systems (ovaries, fallopian tubes, vagina, labia, clitoris and supporting muscles) are the BIG focus here. If the womb is the representation of our personal and planetary sacred and creative space,(and I believe it is) then we must do all we can to keep her (us) in balance so that life can be created and  sustained, in a healthy way.

This is what I – and many others – call Divine Feminine space. The seemingly empty  and still space of  creation. And it isn’t a space limited to women because our menfolk need it to, but we are the majority shareholders in this gift, because of our biology.

Keeping the Planet in balance and keeping our bodies in balance are mutually supportive.

menopause help

menopause endocrine disruption

Make a start now. You might like to use this App to check out any products that you buy to make sure they are not going to add to your burden of the driving force that is estrogen.

 

https://www.thinkdirtyapp.com/

menopause help

 

Or you might like to book a chat with me to see what is fuelling your worst menopause symtoms – just book your “Focus on You” session right now.Let’s talk about you.

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The brain and ovarian hormones

 

 

I’ve shared this video becauses – amongst other things – Marwa Azab has really underscored my “5R Sweat Reduction Plan”s main approach, which is to get to know yourself. She also makes it really simple to understand the HPA axis https://debsdevries.com/2017/09/14/hotter-colder-whatisgoingon/ and sheds some wonderful medical wisdom on female hormones. 17 minute and worth watching!! She is specific in mentioning that it is the ovarian hormones – and related endocrine system – that we are talking about.

Marwa Azab, Ph.D., is an adjunct professor of psychology and human development at California State University, Long Beach. She studied psychology for many years and completed a masters in counseling from Toronto, Canada and her Ph.D. in neurosciencefrom University of California, Irvine, where she taught in the biology department.

 

I particularly like the way – as an academic and scientist – she doesn’t shy away from making the point that the body is one holistic system. It’s OK to teach subjects separately, she says, but not to apply that knowledge separately.

 

Please help yourself to my “5R Sweat reduction programme” where you can begin to dig deep into your own sweat triggers.

 

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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.

http://www.mysticmamma.com/astral-insights/

 

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,