Holistic Support for Menopause - By Katy Grimston
‘Menopause is not a condition, it is a life event’ writes Maisie Hill in her brilliant book Period Power. We have the choice of whether we engage with it, participating in and easing the transformation or allowing it to happen to us, dragging us along on a wild rollercoaster ride.
In this blog I speak with three of Mamma Wellbeing’s menopause practitioners.
Nutritional therapist Beanie Robinson urges all women to take back control. ‘If we take ownership of the situation, actively making small changes and better decisions, it doesn’t have to be this horrendous ordeal,’ she says. Balancing blood sugar levels is key. She recommends swapping out grains, refined sugars and processed meats for a diet rich in vegetables, fibre and omega 3s. Herbs and spices are the unsung heroes of her pantry. The sprinkle garnish? Not for Beanie! She uses parsley and coriander like salad leaves, chopping huge bunches of them through salads and swears by sage tea and liquorice to soothe typical menopausal symptoms. Beanie’s tailored nutritional programmes, with round the clock support over 12 weeks while you implement her lifestyle changes will not only help to balance your hormones but empower you to take control of your wellbeing.
High levels of the stress hormone cortisol are known to exacerbate menopausal symptoms so anything that promotes a sense of calm and relaxation is a good thing. ‘I always ask my clients to find something they love doing and prioritise some time for that. So often hobbies fall by the wayside with families and careers to think about but now is the time to show yourself some love and do something for the pure joy of it,’ encourages Beanie.
Annelie Whitfield is a Functional Medicine Practitioner and Naturopath whose programmes promise Metabolic and Hormonal Mastery - vital at this time of life where the hormonal milieu is changing so dramatically. Annelie sees profound benefits to investing in yourself at this time. ‘This is when your creative genius is really activated. Through those emotional peaks and troughs you can get a vision for what the next phase of your life is going to look like - a time when you might be more comfortable in your skin, when you can rise up and be a leader. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that some of the most powerful women in the world are menopausal. Look at Hilary Clinton!’
For Annelie, the first step is often running a DUTCH hormonal panel. ‘It gives me a really complete picture of what’s going on and from there I work with the client to decide on the best course of treatment. For some it may be hormones or bio-identical hormones, others have excellent relief from herbal infusions.’ Annelie is a big fan of adaptogenic herbs like ashwaganda which are tonifying and nourishing at a cellular level. A former stuntwomen, she has experienced firsthand the life changing benefits of lifting weights and encourages all women to incorporate short bursts of weights into their exercise regime. ‘Muscle mass is the number one factor predicting how well you’re going to age,’ she says. For a personalised programme that can help you reclaim your hormones and get to the root of any hormonal imbalances.
When clients approaching the menopause first come to see Abi Adams they are often aching, with a higher percentage of body fat than they have had in their lives and with muscle declining. For her too, weights are the answer. ’From the age of 30, women lose 0.51% of muscle mass every year. Lifting weights not only helps to reverse this but has been proven to balance blood sugars too,’ she says.
Abi’s non-invasive approach relies on movement therapy and kinesiology which uses muscle testing to get into the body's circuitry and access the root cause contributing towards health issues. Supplements can help: the majority of peri-menopausal women Abi sees are deficient in zinc and magnesium and suffering from adrenal fatigue, but clearly, there is an emotional dimension that needs to be addressed also. ‘I see clients who are in shock, angry, frustrated and emotional. They are grieving because they are having to say goodbye to someone they never even had the chance to meet - their menstruating queen,’ she says. Abi’s beautiful 8 week Prøject Wøman course empowers women of any age to understand and support their bodies, making the most of the natural superpowers each stage offers. ‘Getting in tune with your hormones and emotions and understanding that our bodies were not designed to go, go, go, that periods of withdrawal are essential, is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself’.
Known in many cultures as ‘the wise years’, the menopause can bring with it an enlightening new perspective. There is great empowerment that comes from understanding your choices and making the correct ones for your body; with a diet, supplement and exercise regime tailored by an experienced practitioner to your particular needs, you can engage with this new phase from an emotionally stable and physically strong base. And when that happens, well, world watch out!