What is the menopause?

By Camille Pierson

Every woman experiences the menopause differently and for many it can be a difficult time.  Because there is so much variety in how and when different women experience the menopause, there is a great deal of misunderstanding about it including some very strange ideas (usually held by men, if we’re honest).  At The Float Spa, we’re very happy to have engaged the services of Diana Dearlewho is an expert on the menopause and how activities like yoga can help alleviate bothersome symptoms so here are some facts about the menopause and Diana’s advice on how to help.

What is the Menopause?

The menopause occurs when women stop having periods and the ability to get pregnant naturally. Unfortunately, many of the symptoms of the menopause can begin before this happens and continue for up to four years after the last period.  This is due to the change in sex hormones oestrogen and testosterone.  Most women enter the peri-menopausal stage between 40 and 58 but early menopause does happen.  Menopausal symptoms include:

  • Hot flushes
  • Night sweats
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Memory loss
  • Headaches

People experience some, all or none of these symptoms but, as they can be quite troublesome, Diana has some handy tips on how you can alleviate some of them.

Diana’s Tips for Alleviating Menopausal Symptoms

Yoga Poses

As a yoga instructor herself, Diana has seen how yoga can help with the symptoms of the menopause. One of the reasons it is so effective is because it can stimulate the endocrine system which is the network of glands which release hormones into the body.  Certain poses are particularly effective in increasing blood flow to these glands and increasing blood flow to the brain, the hypothalamus in particular which controls the endocrine systems, to supply them with the oxygen and nutrients they need to function effectively.

Breathing

Pranayamic breathing can also help with menopausal symptoms because it doesn’t just help supply the extra oxygen which the yoga poses will help deliver to your brain and endocrine system, it also helps you to relax and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system to help you sleep better, alleviate anxiety and even out mood swings.

Meditation

Diana recommends just sitting quietly at the beginning and end of the day to improve your mood and relieve stress.  Typical of stress, it can make menopausal symptoms worse but relieving it through meditation, breathing or yoga releases feel-good hormones which can make menopausal symptoms easier to deal with.

Diana’s other tips for dealing with the menopause are to maintain a healthy active lifestyle and to eat a good varied diet.  We’re very pleased that she will be teaching a weekly yoga class for menopausal women as well as conducting regular workshops to teach the skills and techniques you can use to get through the menopause with as few  issues as possible.  As all yoga and all relaxation techniques such as massage and floatation are beneficial to menopausal women (and everyone else, of course), we’d be very happy to answer any questions on how all of our services can help you.  Our infrared sauna is particularly good for balancing hormones and helping with menopausal symptoms.  For more information, give us a call on 01273 933 680.

About the Author:

Camille Pierson
Camille is the managing director of the Float Spa and a Trustee of the Brighton Yoga Foundation. She’s immensely proud of the community she’s built at the float spa and takes real pleasure from seeing yoga & floating transform people’s lives. She’s also a mother of two.

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