Yoga for menopause

Yoga for menopause

We’ve long extolled the virtues of yoga to help alleviate menopause and peri-menopause symptoms and generally make you feel amazing. So we’ve put our money where our mouth is and teamed up with an amazing yoga teacher to bring you a range of poses. These will be in the form a course which will be available imminently but for now we wanted to give you a little taster.

Don’t worry, you won’t need to stand on your head with your ankles round your shoulders. These are some simple poses designed to combat individual symptoms. There are photos and directions to accompany each one. While you are in these poses concentrate on your breathing

About our yoga teacher – Claire Rother


Claire is an experienced yoga teacher who offers classes in Kent, United Kingdom. Yoga has been an important part of Claire’s own healing journey and she is immensely grateful for that. It is so much more than an exercise, than just a way to increase in flexibility, strength and tone. It certainly has those benefits (and many more!) but the real beauty of yoga is it’s transformative power; a power it has through the focus on both the health of the mind and the health of the body as one.

You can find our more about Claire on her website www.clairerother.com

Hot flushes

Ardha Halasana (Supported Plow Pose) with the legs resting on a chair:

  • calms jittery nerves
  • cooling and restorative
  • tension in the body can make hot flashes worse, so using a chair with a blanket helps to
  • support legs and release deep held tension

Directions:

  • Place three blankets on top of mat. Make the blankets neat and folded edges in a clean line. This goes under shoulders to make space for the neck, protecting it.
  • Use a bolster or a folded blanket across seat of chair
  • Lie down on the blankets – head at the same end as the chair – and line the shoulders so that they are on the blanket but the neck and head are on the mat.
  • Bend knees into chest, then lift the hips and bring legs back so that the feet and front of  shins come onto the blanket or bolster on the chair.
  • Keep the arms down by the sides of the body or if more comfortable, place them over head.
  • Rest here for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Whilst here, work on softening the throat, temples and jaw. Try to widen the back of the neck and shoulders. Allow the legs to release their weight onto chair.
  • Roll down and take a couple of breaths before coming up.
Arda halasana – supported plough pose 

Anxiety / irritability / insomnia

Forward folds can help to reduce tension and stress because when we fold forwards, we remove distractions from our external environment and we feel a sense of coming home to ourselves and feeling protected.

Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) – with head on chair

  • Stand facing the chair, feet together or hip distance apart, whichever is most comfortable for you.
  • Fold forward so that the the head is supported by the chair (using a blanket or two to raise height if needed). Allow arms to either fall down to the sides or rest arms on chair – holding each elbow with the opposite hand.
  • Stay for 5-10 breaths.
  • Whilst in this pose, keep a soft bend in the knees to prevent from locking them and work on drawing the lower belly in towards to spine and lifting the sit bones upwards to help create extra length in the back of the legs.
  • On an inhale slowly come up.
Uttanasana – Forward fold

Upavista konasana (Wide-Legged forward Bend)

  • Sit on a folded blanket or a yoga block to help raise hips and support lower back. Make sure you have a bolster or chair or yoga brick in front.
  • Open the legs wide.
  • Push into heels and draw the big toe mounds back towards the body, toes and kneecaps facing the ceiling.
  • Hinge forward from the hips and walk the hands out in front of you. Rest the forehead on your block, blanket or bolster so that is it supported. walking your hands out and resting your forehead on the block, bolster or chair.
  • With every inhale, lengthen torso; with every exhale, allow tension to release from the neck and upper back.
Upavista Konasana – wide legged forward bend

Tell us how you get on 

We’d love to know how you get on with these poses and what your experiences of yoga are. Let us know in our Facebook group where you can share your experiences of menopause and peri-menopause and get support from like minded women.

Rescue remedy for Menopause and Peri Menopause

Here are the symptoms you don’t want to talk about. Heavy, flooding periods. Mood swings. Insomnia. Hot flushes.

They’re not nice symptoms because, well, it’s not fun to bleed through your clothes or wake at night with your heart pounding and your sheets all wet.

And part of you is thinking that maybe you’ve done something wrong to get into this situation. Or, at the very least, that you’ve made the shameful mistake of getting older in a society that doesn’t want to hear from older women. And so you keep quiet.

These symptoms won’t last forever. And there are simple things you can do now to feel better quickly. (Things that aren’t the hormonal IUD or antidepressant your doctor wants you to take.)

Please try them IN ORDER, adding the next treatment only if you need it.

Step 1. Magnesium plus taurine

Together, magnesium and taurine boost GABA which is the calming neurotransmitter your brain needs as it adjusts to the great progesterone crash in your 40s. They’re incredibly soothing and can improve sleep, mood, and hot flashes. (300 mg magnesium plus 3000 mg of the amino acid taurine.)

For additional relief, consider adding 50 mg of vitamin B6, which is another good way to boost GABA.

In a 2017 paper called “Magnesium in the gynecological practice: a literature review,”magnesium was found to be effective treatment for symptoms of menopause and peri menopause.

For mood and sleep and hot flashes, this could be as much treatment as you need. Try it for a few weeks, and then if you’re still suffering, consider adding progesterone.

Step 2. Natural progesterone cream

Natural progesterone or micronised progesterone is entirely different from the progestins used in birth control or conventional hormone replacement (HRT). It’s not a drug. It’s the beneficial hormone you used to make in your 20s and 30s.

Progesterone has many benefits.

• It makes periods lighter so progesterone can be used together with turmeric and other treatments to relieve the crazy heavy periods of peri menopause.

• It relieves hot flushes— even on its own without oestrogen. Progesterone works best in combination with magnesium and taurine.

• It improves sleep. For severe sleep problems, a progesterone capsule such as Prometrium is preferable to a cream. By ingesting progesterone, you can convert more of it to the sedating metabolite allopregnanolone (which is like a natural sleeping tablet).

It helps to clear histamine thereby relieving the histamine intolerance that can flare up during perimenopause and menopause.

• It stabilises the HPA or adrenal axis and improves your ability to cope with stress.

 Tip: Other strategies to stabilise the HPA adrenal axis include rest, meditation, and adaptogen herbs such as ashwagandha and Rhodiola. All are valuable treatments during the menopause transition.

  Tip: Natural hormones should not be taken continuously; they should be stopped for at least five days per cycle.

Magnesium + taurine + progesterone should be enough for most of you. Try it for a few weeks, and then if you’re still suffering, consider adding a small amount of oestrogen.

 Tip: Do not take oestrogen until you are first taking natural progesterone.

Step 3. Oestrogen

It’s okay to add a small amount of oestrogen. It’s a lot safer than you’ve been led to believe and can be incredibly helpful for sleep and mood and hot flushes. (Please read In Defense of Oestrogen).

 Tip: Most of the cancer risk from conventional hormone replacement was from the synthetic progestin—not oestrogen.

If you do decide to add oestrogen, please choose one that is:

• Low-dose. When it comes to oestrogen, the lower, the better. If you can get away with a little dusting of Vagifem cream or a pessary, then stick with that. The next step up is a low-dose patch like Estraderm 25.

• Bio-identical, which means it is identical to human estradiol or oestrogen. Fortunately, most (not all) modern conventional oestrogen products are bio identical.

• Transdermal, which means you absorb it through your skin from a cream, gel, or patch. Oestrogen is better and safer when taken this way.

 Tip: Please also take progesterone—even if you don’t have a uterus! You need natural progesterone for mood and to protect your breasts.

  Tip: Do not take oestrogen if you’re still having periods. A common situation is first, your periods stop (you need oestrogen). Then, your periods return for a few months (you should stop oestrogen). And finally, your periods stop again (you need oestrogen again). But you can take the basic prescription of magnesium + taurine + progesterone during all the tumultuous years when you’re having symptoms but still having periods.

This information is from an article by

Lara Briden, Naturopathic doctor and period revolutionary

What is the peri-menopause?

The peri-menopause can be a confusing time. Here we explain what ist's all about and what it means for you

Peri-menopause and what it means for you

Peri-menopause is the end of a woman’s child bearing years, around the age of 40 onwards, culminating in menopause. It’s also the end of periods. Yay…there are some pluses! The resulting decline in progesterone can cause some of the following symptoms:
  • Hot flushes
  • Weight gain
  • Mood swings
  • Low libido
  • Sleeping problems
  • Irregular periods
These occur as progesterone levels decline, leaving the hormone oestrogen dominant, and an increase in cortisol, (the fight or flight stress hormone) After menopause, the adrenal glands take over from the ovaries in the production of oestrogen and progesterone.
Stress will lead to increased cortisol and a decline in the production of the sex hormones. As progesterone decreases, oestrogen and cortisol increase, so it’s important to source a bio-identical form of progesterone to combat this, preferably as a cream. A balanced life style and a healthy organic diet is all important, too. I’ll go into this in more detail in the future. Don’t despair, there’s lots you can do!
P.S. Feeling hormonal? Why not download my free guide to hormone imbalances. Click Here

P.P.S. Any queries, ideas or if you would just like to say Hi, email me at info@menopausematters.guru

Natural Ways to Relieve Hot Flushes

Natural remedies for hot flushes

Hot flushes (or flashes) and night sweats are a very well known symptom of menopause. They happen when blood vessels close to the skin dilate to cool. The sudden feeling of heat appears from nowhere and  seems to spread through your body. They can appear at any time and if they turn up at night for you, are known as night sweats. A flush can cause redness, sweating and sometimes palpitations. The incidence and severity, like all menopause symptoms, varies from woman to woman.

Hot flushes are often inconvenient and uncomfortable but there are plenty of natural ways you can try to reduce them.

Keep a diary of your hot flushes and see if there are any patterns or you notice any triggers. These may be caffeine, hot and spicy foods, alcohol or stress. Smoking may also trigger hot flushes.

Lifestyle

Cut down on caffeine and hot spicy foods.

Wear clothes and choose bedsheets that wick away sweat, particularly those night sweats which leave you feeling cold and clammy afterwards. For natural fabrics try bamboo yarn which is naturally wicking. Avoid cotton as the moisture stays close to your skin.

Keep your rooms cool and sleep with a window open if possible

If you are a smoker then giving up the habit will benefit you in more ways than just hot flushes.

Other remedies

Meditation, yoga and breathing exercises all help reduce the stress that can be a trigger for hot flushes. Try a minute of slow deep breathing. 6-15  breaths per minute is ideal

Red clover provides a rich source of isoflavones (water soluble chemicals which act like oestrogen – known as phytoestrogens). It is available in tablet form, tea bags and dried flowers which can be taken as an infusion

Black cohosh used by native Americans for many years since it was discovered it can help reduce menstrual cramps and menopause symptoms

Sage has been used for medicinal purposes since ancient times. Sage tea has may uses not least of which is to reduce hot flushes and menopausal sweats. Sage is also available in tablet form.

Evening primrose oil  has many benefits for menopausal women including lessening the effects of hot flushes

Natural progesterone cream. I am a huge fan of this and know from experience that it is extremely effective in getting rid of hot flushes

Natural Progesterone for Menopause – Nature’s Magic Bullet

NATURAL PROGESTERONE Nature’s Magic Bullet for the problems of Menopause

NATURAL PROGESTERONE

Nature’s Magic Bullet for the problems of Menopause


PROGESTERONE
is the mother hormone from which all hormones are made, including oestrogen.Natural, bio-identical progesterone is the exact match to the progesterone your body manufactures and allows the body’s innate intelligence to manufacture exactly what hormones it needs. It is a non-invasive, natural way of dealing with imbalances that are caused primarily by our toxic environment with its hormone disrupting chemicals, and is a wonderful treatment to apply from peri-menopause through menopause and beyond. Oestrogen should always be in balance with its antagonist, progesterone, which is secreted in large amounts during ovulation.When ovulation ceases (peri-menopause) so do progesterone secretions. This results in serious “oestrogen dominance” with its symptoms of bloating, weight gain, high blood pressure, mood swings, allergies, low libido, migraines and memory problems.

Here are some examples of how progesterone helps restore the balance: 

  • It is a wonderful diuretic, helping to reduce oestrogen dominant weight gain and normalising blood pressure due to fluid retention.
  • It improves thyroid function.
  • It helps prevent osteoporosis. While oestrogen prevents bone breakdown, progesterone actually promotes bone rebuilding by stimulating the osteoblasts, the cells that create bone. 
  • Progesterone concentrations in the brain are up to 20 times higher than in the blood, so it has a soothing effect.
  • It decreases migraines caused by excessive oestrogen. 
  • It  promotes sleep 
  • It helps with with memory loss due to low hormone levels.
  • It improves libido

This therapy is a far safer, natural alternative to synthetic HRT. It does not just treat symptoms but gets to the underlying cause of the problems and brings the body back to balance promoting healing in all areas..

with thanks to Sally Longden




FAQS


Q: What is progesterone?
A: Progesterone is a steroid hormone made by the corpus luteum of the ovary at ovulation, and in smaller amounts by the adrenal glands. Progesterone is manufactured in the body from the steroid hormone pregnenolone, and is a precursor to most of the other steroid hormones.


Q: Why do women need progesterone?
A: Progesterone is needed by menopausal women for many reasons, but one of its most important roles is to balance or oppose the effects of oestrogen. Unopposed oestrogen creates a strong risk for breast and reproductive cancers. Progesterone also stimulates bone-building and thus helps protect against osteoporosis.


Q: What is bio-identical progesterone made from?
A:
The bio-identical progesterone used for hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) comes from plant fats and oils, usually a substance called diosgenin which is extracted from a very specific type of wild yam that grows in Mexico, or from soybeans. In the laboratory diosgenin is chemically synthesised into real human progesterone.

Q: How long before the benefits are felt?
A: The recommended course is at least 3 months, as this is how long it takes to bring your body into hormonal balance.


Q: Why not just use the progestins (HRT) as prescribed by most doctors?
A: Bio-identical progesterone is preferable to the synthetic progestins, because it is natural to the body and has no undesirable side effects when used as directed. If you have any doubts about how different progesterone is from the progestins, remember that the placenta produces 300-400 mg of progesterone daily during the last few months of pregnancy, so we know that such levels are safe for the developing baby. But progestins, even at fractions of this dose, can cause birth defects, and many other side effects, including partial loss of vision, breast cancer in test dogs, an increased risk of strokes, fluid retention, migraine headaches, asthma, cardiac irregularities and depression.


Q: What is oestrogen dominance?
A: Oestrogen dominance occurs when the normal  balance of oestrogen to progesterone is changed by excess oestrogen or inadequate progesterone. Oestrogen is a potent and potentially dangerous hormone when not balanced by adequate progesterone. Women who have suffered from PMS and menopausal hormone imbalances, will recognise the hallmark symptoms of oestrogen dominance: weight gain, bloating, mood swings, irritability, tender breasts, headaches, fatigue, depression, hypoglycaemia, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and fibrocystic breasts. Oestrogen dominance is known to cause and/or contribute to cancer of the breast, ovary, endometrium (uterus).


Q: Why would a premenopausal woman need progesterone cream?
A: In the ten to fifteen years before menopause, many women have anovulatory cycles (when no egg is released by the ovary) in which they make enough oestrogen to create menstruation, but not enough progesterone, thus setting the stage for oestrogen dominance. Using progesterone cream during anovulatory months can help prevent the symptoms of PMS.


Q: How safe is progesterone cream?
A: A one-time overdose of the cream is virtually impossible. During the third trimester of pregnancy, the placenta produces about 300 mg of progesterone daily!


References:
John R. Lee, M.D.

What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause: The Breakthrough Book on Natural Progesterone, (Warner Books, 1996)

What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Pre menopause: Balance Your Hormones and Life from Thirty to Fifty  (Warner Books, 1999)

WILD YAM

Bio-identical progesterone  comes from plant fats and oils, usually a substance called diosgenin. One source is a very specific type of wild yam that grows in Mexico.

GOOD NEWS!

Your Guru has found a source of a natural progesterone cream!
For details on how to order this cream go to
menopausematters.guru 



I’d love to hear from you! 
Any questions, or if you have a story you’d like to share,
email me at:
info@menopausematters.guru