What is going on?
Being a woman, you think you know what is going to happen when you ‘reach a certain age’. It isn’t until you actually get to that stage yourself, that you realise that everyone is very different. You hear people who are older than you talking about it, and you seem to be drawn to magazine articles and vitamin supplements that may help you.
I’m sure the term peri-menopausal is a new word meaning ‘we don’t really know how long this is going to go on for, or what other issues you may develop!’ In fact, it is the time of transformation before women have gone through the menopause. This will have happened after you haven’t had a period for a year. Although, I am told that hot flashes can go on longer.
When I reached about 47, I noticed my periods were very sporadic. No other symptoms except hip pain. Hip pain that I had blamed on poor yoga instruction, from not engaging my core when moving through sun salutations. It wasn’t until I saw an acupuncturist, that I realised I could be approaching the menopause. This ‘approaching’ could actually last up to ten years! Deep joy!
So I did a little research. Being younger than most of my friends, I could see how they were coping first. Although this is very much an individual journey.
A good nights sleep can be an elusive thing.
Recently things are changing. I’m nearly 50 now, and I’ve been waking up at about 4am, not with night sweats, but with aching legs! This has been really irritating. Just the tops. A dull ache. Not the sort of ache you get when you have done too much gardening, more of a throbbing-need-to-fidget, type of ache. I then realise I’m hot. This is unheard of, as I’m the coldest person on the planet. I get up, and pop downstairs to check the washing machine, and notice that my skin is actually freezing cold, but inside I’m a furnace. Not every night. There is no pattern to it. Bodies are funny things.
It wasn’t until a client was discussing her night sweats, and her achy legs, that I realised this could be another symptom! Thank heavens for that. I thought I had some weird muscle disorder.
So yes, it’s started. I am officially ‘going through the menopause’. My ovaries are slowing down, my oestrogen levels are dropping and my body is starting to adjust. This happens around 47 – 50 years old, and can continue for……. quite a while! About 70% of women experience symptoms, while only 10% seek help from their GP. I think these days there is so much support from natural sources, that the GP is often the last port of call.
So, there is a list of things you may experience. You may get none, all, or a few of them. You may sail through with just noticing your periods stop.
It’s a time of transition and change.
I could write for ages about the maiden, woman, crone, philosophy. The way some women feel about loosing their ability to have children, and the way in which some people think their lives are over. There are plenty of blog posts out there covering all of those issues. In my line of work, I treat many clients who have reached this stage of their lives, and lifestyle sometimes needs to be adjusted, while skin care regime also needs to be changed. I can really appreciate what they meant by hot flushes!
For me it’s about continuing to be as healthy as I can to support my body through this transition. The more we understand about it, the more we can prepare. In the old days, no one would talk about it. It was just known as ‘The Change’.
I write a lot about health and diet.
People are becoming more aware of their overall health, and are not waiting until their body starts to transition before looking at their lifestyle. Start early. Just look at your general health. We are no longer in the age where we have to pierce the film on convenience foods – we have a choice. Look in to eating clean, and eating organic where you can.
My advice to anyone in their mid 40s, if they haven’t already, is to:
- Reduce alcohol
- Stop smoking
- Really look at your diet – more plant based proteins, less sugar, more water.
- Kick out processed food
- Reduce Caffeine
- Manage your stress – look at your job, lifestyle etc.
- Take more exercise
I have found a selection of treatments that work for me. Acupuncture, aromatherapy and cranial sacral osteopathy are superb treatments. Green Sage by Vogel is reported by clients to help with hot flushes. I use this ready blended oil from Tazeka every day, to help with general hot emotions! (The web site is American, but I stock these oils in the salon for £32.50)
We all notice changes within our skin as we age.
Our collagen levels deplete. Fine lines and wrinkles appear almost overnight. This is a great time to reevaluate skin care regimes. The products that you have been using for the past 20 years may need an upgrade. Yes, you may need to spend more!
Repêchage is my product line of choice, and I have been using and stocking it for nearly 30 years. Have a look at the video to see why! Even for me, I have upgraded to their more advanced line containing even more phyto-marine actives. Helping restore and stimulate collagen growth and improve the elasticity of the skin. Book a facial with your local salon. Ask for advice, and invest in some good products.
It’s also worth remembering that your skin and muscle tone will alter as your gums and teeth also change. The underlying structure changes shape, and so will those lines around your mouth. Make sure you look after your teeth and gums too!