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Natural Menopause Relief Secrets » 2007 » February

Archive for February, 2007

Can Acupuncture Help Control Menopause Symptoms?

Posted in Menopause on February 22nd, 2007

The treatment for migraines and other menopause symptoms is not the same in every part of the world.  Different cultures have different medicine practices and beliefs.  However, it is interesting to note that the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), acupuncture, is becoming a popular therapeutic method in Western culture to treat a variety of psychological and physical conditions including menopause.

TCM views menopause as the time in a woman’s life when her body shuts down her natural monthly reproductive cycle because she can no longer reproduce.  However, it is believed that her body stops menses to conserve her qi (body life energy), so as she ages she can retain all of her resources. 

Unlike women in western culture, for most women in the East, menopause is rather uneventful.  It is thought the reasons for this is because Western women lead a more fast-paced, stress-ridden lifestyle, and tend to consume poorer diets.  Thus, as a result, women in Western culture tend to experience far more intense menopausal symptoms than their sisters in the East.

Despite the real causes of menopausal symptoms, the fact remains that Traditional Chinese Medicine does not consider menopause to be a syndrome.  The thought is that women suffering through menopause have a variety of qi problems such as constrained liver qi and kidney yin deficiency.  In other words, their qi is imbalanced and is wreaking havoc on their mind and body.

Thus, the goal of TCM is to uniquely treat each woman based on her specific symptoms.  This means that different techniques aside from acupuncture may also be suggested, such as Chinese herbs, lifestyle or dietary changes and exercises - all of which are used to help restore balance to the body.

How does acupuncture work?  Acupuncture is based on the belief that there are approximately 2000 acupuncture points (trigger points) throughout the body.  These trigger points are linked to one another via a group of 20 different meridians (pathways).  Meridians are responsible for conducting qi between the surface of the body and the internal organs.  Qi has a specific affect on each point it passes through.  When qi properly flows throughout the meridians and all its points, it maintains a healthy balance in the mind and body.

During an acupuncture treatment for menopause, an acupuncture therapist will help a woman bring balance back to her body by focusing treatment on the trigger points related to her symptoms.  Only some trigger points are used, and will vary depending on the symptoms.  Thus, every menopausal woman is treated individually based on her problem.

Acupuncture is administered through the use of tiny, solid needles that are inserted into the targeted trigger points.  The purpose of the needles is to help stimulate the meridians to encourage qi production.  This might mean needles could be inserted into the shoulders, arms, legs or even the feet.  If inserted properly, needles shouldn’t cause pain or bleeding; however, their may be slight discomfort or a tingling or numbing sensation which fades fast.  Treatment is often very relaxing, and sessions usually last for 30 minutes.

Does acupuncture benefit menopause?  Yes.  Research has found that most women who participated in different acupuncture studies found relief from menopausal symptoms including:
• Hot flashes
• Insomnia
• Stress
• Anxiety
• Vaginal dryness

If you are interested in using acupuncture for alternative or complimentary treatment to ease menopause symptoms, it is imperative that you visit a qualified and experienced acupuncture therapist, in order to realistically determine if this method is an effective treatment option for you.  

Remember, no two women are treated the same, and acupuncture therapy is often long term, ongoing treatment.

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If you would like more information on the different ways to ease menopause symptoms, please visit Natural Menopause Relief Secrets. Or please browse through the rest of the blog.

 

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Menopause Migraine- Breaking the cycle

Posted in Menopause on February 15th, 2007

Hypnosis may be effective in relieving some menopause symptoms, but when it comes to treating and preventing menopause migraines, women who experience this unpleasant symptom will likely require other remedies.

Unfortunately, severe headaches and migraines are quite common in perimenopausal and menopausal women.  A migraine is the wickedest form of a headache, and is one of the worst menopause symptoms that can be suffered.  A migraine can be so painful and intense that it can incapacitate its victim and spoil days of their life at a time. 

What causes migraines to occur during menopause? 

Psychological Factors include: emotional distress; anxiety; stress; overworking; fatigue.  If these factors are allowed to spin out of control, it can cause chemical imbalances in your brain which can have an affect on the functioning of the body, resulting in a migraine.   These migraines are generally brought on by stress and are often alleviated when stress is reduced.

Physical Factors include: hormone imbalance; medication; genetics. 
Physical factors are far more likely to be the cause of a menopause migraine than psychological factors.  The reason is because many believe the drop in estrogen hormone is the main culprit behind migraines and headaches.  When hormones fluctuate they cause the brain’s blood vessels to overreact which can lead to a headache or migraine.  Thus, as estrogen levels decline, it is a likely migraines will occur more frequently and with greater intensity.

What are the signs and symptoms of migraines?

Migraine with aura symptoms: The aura may begin anywhere from 15-60 minutes prior to the headache and cause -
• Visual distortion – IE zig zags, flashing light, color variations, complete loss of vision
• Pain around one eye that is accompanied by tingling or numbness in the surrounding area

Migraine without aura symptoms – This is the more common migraine experience and can cause –
• Unusual sensations
• Scalp tenderness
• Irritability
• Double vision; blind spots; seeing zig zag; partial blindness in a single eye
• Dizziness or lightheadedness
• Nausea and/or vomiting
• Pounding or throbbing head pain
• Sensitivity to sound and/or light
• Paralysis on one side of the face

All symptoms generally subside after the cessation of the migraine.  However sensitivity to sound and smell, and a feeling of weakness and loss of appetite, may linger during migraine recovery.

How long can a migraine last?  Anywhere from a few hours (3 or more hours) to a few days (3 or more days)

How can you treat migraines?
• Medication – some over-the-counter medications can provide migraine relief.  However, depending on the severity of the migraine, some women may require prescription pills.  Furthermore, migraine medication should be taken when first signs appear.  Usually, a fully developed migraine will not respond to medication.
Note:  talk to your doctor about your migraines and ask for medication recommendation

• Solitude – Seek the quiet comfort of a dark, cool room, lie down, and close your eyes.  You may also want to try relaxation or meditative techniques that focus your mind on a positive image or thought to help relieve pain.

How can you prevent menopause migraines? 

Reduce stress – If you are overworked, anxious, or suffering emotional distress you need to find ways to alleviate stress.   Take breaks and enjoy time to yourself - relax.

Exercise – Exercise helps improve circulation, mood and reduces stress.  Walking, swimming, or engaging in Yoga, are ideas you can explore.

Watch your diet – make sure you are eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of water, fruits and vegetables.  Limit your intake of caffeine, alcohol and preservative foods, all of which can contribute to migraines.

Get proper sleep – Restful sleep is important for bodily health and balance.

Hormonal therapy – If your menopause migraines are not stress related, ask your doctor about taking hormonal therapy to increase estrogen levels to achieve hormonal balance.

If you would like more information on menopause migraines or other common menopause symptoms, please visit Natural Menopause Relief Secrets. Or browse through the rest of the blog.

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Is Hypnosis an Effective Menopause Remedy?

Posted in Menopause on February 8th, 2007

Exercise can help keep your body strong and healthy and alleviate menopause symptoms.  However, for some women experiencing menopause, although exercise may help improve or prevent symptoms, it isn’t always the best menopause remedy when it comes to relieving the sudden onset of a symptom such as a hot flash.  For this reason, many women are turning to hypnosis for relief.

What exactly is hypnosis?  It is an alternative therapy that allows a person to achieve a deep state of relaxation.  In this state, the person under hypnosis is able to suppress their conscious state of mind and tap into their subconscious, a part of the mind that is typically unavailable to us while we are awake.  In other words, hypnosis allows one to reach an enhanced state of awareness.

While in this special state of awareness, a person is presented with positive ideas, and concepts through talking, audio methods (IE. audio CD, music) or imagery, to promote psychological and/or physical healing or positive development.  This particular form of hypnosis is known as hypnotherapy.  Hypnotherapy may be self-directed (An individual puts themselves in a state of hypnosis for self-treatment), or it may be directed by another, usually someone skilled in hypnotherapy, such as psychotherapist.

What does hypnosis achieve?  During hypnosis when the body is released from the control of the conscious, breathing is slower and deeper, there is a drop in pulse rate and the metabolic rate lowers.  There are also changes in the hormonal channels and nervous pathways.  These changes cause the symptoms the person is feeling to fade into the background and become less acute as they naturally are during the conscious state. 

Does hypnosis work?  Yes.  Proper hypnosis is effective for most people (approximately 80%). The reason is because once a person puts their subconscious in control, the subconscious doesn’t know the difference between what is real or imagined.  Therefore, whatever is perceived by the subconscious is believed true, and the body reacts accordingly.

Of course, although most people are generally responsive to hypnosis, it usually takes a number of sessions before a person is able to experience effective results.  For this reason, many people often perform self-hypnosis in the comfort of their own home.

How can hypnosis improve menopause symptoms?  Hypnotherapy with the use of guided imagery can relieve just about any menopausal symptom (IE. stress, anxiety, insomnia, hot flashes, etc.) if performed correctly.  If you can put mind over matter, the mind can tell the body what it should and shouldn’t feel.  For instance -

Hot flashes –Estrogen plays a role in regulating the temperature in the brain.  When estrogen levels drop, the brain thinks the body is overheating, and goes into emergency cool down mode which results in excessive sweating and releasing heat through the skin.  Due to the fact that hot flashes are clearly a malfunction of the brain, the mind can be used to influence the body by hypnotically cooling down hot flashes. 

To help a woman get her menopausal symptoms under control during hypnosis, imagery may be used.  For example, in her subconscious state, a woman could be prompted to imagine a control room full of valves, switches, and dials, all of which represents balancing her hormones and controlling her menopausal symptoms.  All she needs to do is find the right dial or switch, related to her symptom (IE the “cool down” dial) and adjust it to the proper setting. 

Before engaging in self hypnosis as a menopause remedy, you should first seek treatment from a trained professional so you know what the treatment feels like and how to perform it.  You can try finding a hypnotherapist by asking a health care provider, looking in the yellow pages, or search for a local hypnotherapy clinic or hypnotherapist online, by using your city name and “hypnotherapy” as keywords in your search.

If you would like more information about other alternative menopause remedy ideas, please visit Natural Menopause Relief Secrets or browse through the rest of the blog.

 

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Why Exercise Really Can Provide Menopause Relief

Posted in Menopause on February 1st, 2007

Aromatherapy isn’t the only alternative remedy for menopause symptoms.  Believe it or not, but exercise is also a great way to gain menopause relief from unwanted symptoms. Exercise helps you reduce stress, loose and regulate your weight, feel good about yourself, and improve your overall physical and mental wellbeing. 

It becomes easier for women to gain wait during menopause due to a slow down in metabolism and the fluctuations or hormones that can increase hunger.  Weight gain can actually make menopause symptoms worse.  Not only that, but did you know that menopausal women who don’t engage in regular exercise, and lead a sedentary lifestyle, are more likely to suffer from -
• Weak and stiff muscles
• Poor circulation
• Insomnia
• Chronic fatigue
• Chronic back pain
• Shortness of breath
• Loss of bone mass
• Depression

In addition, physically inactive women put themselves at a higher risk of developing serious medical conditions including -
• High blood pressure
• Obesity
• Diabetes
• Osteoporosis
• Coronary heart disease
• Cancer

By simply engaging in a regular exercise routine, you can dramatically reduce your chances of developing the above physical and psychological symptoms and conditions.

What are other benefits does exercise offer menopausal women?

Increase in bone mass - When our bodies remain inactive, we lose bone mass, increasing the risk of osteoporosis; a condition that is already a high risk factor for menopausal women due to the fact that their body not longer produces estrogen.  However, just because an inactive woman may be suffering from loss of bone mass doesn’t mean she can’t do something about it.

Scientific studies have found that exercise encourages the rebuilding of bone mass.  In fact, engaging in regular, moderate endurance exercises such as walking or jogging can help rebuild bone mass and preserve it, reducing the risk of future fractures.  How is this possible?  Exercise stimulates the cells that generate new bone to work excessively.

Improvement of hot flashes – Some research suggests that exercise may in fact increase estrogen levels which decreases the intensity of hot flashes

Reduction of mood swings – Exercise boosts your energy and can give you a sense of empowerment and control simply by improving your mood.  The positive effect that exercise has on a person’s state of mind can be attributed to the release of endorphins that occurs during physical activity.  Endorphins are the body’s “happy” hormones that also act as a painkiller when the body is injured.

The following are exercises that help to improve menopausal symptoms:
• Endurance exercises – As was previously mentioned these exercises help to build bone mass and include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, aerobics, etc.
• Strength training – This type of exercise is designed to use resistance (IE weights, resistance bands, etc.) to help a person lose excess body fat, increase metabolism, and improve and maintain the strength of their muscles.  If you are interested in this type of exercise, it’s a good idea to be taught by a qualified trainer.
• Yoga – This is an extremely beneficial exercise to both the mind and body.  Yoga can provide energy and balance to a menopausal woman, which is something she may desperately need if her bodily changes are making her feel out of sorts.  Yoga also gently stretches every muscle in the body which improves blood circulation, provides oxygenation to all tissues and cells and allows the body to fully relax.  It’s a good idea to go to a Yoga class to receive proper instruction before going it alone.

Always remember to talk to you doctor before engaging in any vigorous exercise regimen as a means of menopause relief.  Also make sure that you ease into your exercise routine and only increase your endurance when your body has become accustomed to the new physical activity.

If you would like more information on alternative methods of menopause relief, please visit Natural Menopause Relief Secrets or browse through the rest of the blog.

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