To Your Health
March, 2007 (Vol. 01, Issue 03)
Increase touch. An often-overlooked factor that adds to the overall burden of menopause is lack of touch. Touch is vitally important throughout our lives, yet it is generally given very little attention in Western society.
The sense of touch is the first of our senses to develop and is also the most fundamental. Of course, this offers women and their partners a wonderful opportunity to connect at a very intimate level by giving and receiving a massage, holding one another, caressing and cuddling. This is vital not only in enhancing total well-being, but also in keeping intimacy (often a victim of menopause) alive.
Reduce stress. Women also need to think about stress, since high stress levels will compromise all aspects of health and potentially exacerbate menopausal symptoms. Effective stress management involves reducing the levels of stress to which women are exposed, while at the same time, improving the means by which their bodies cope with stress. Coping better requires good nutrition, a program of regular exercise, meditation or other type of relaxation practice, time for family and leisure pursuits, and time to nurture oneself.
GET Regular, restful sleep. At least eight hours per day helps the body cope better with stress. And satisfying sex is one of the most effective de-stressors of all. Unfortunately, with diminished libido, which is a common symptom of menopause, women often don't practice this most fundamental and effective form of stress reduction.
Love your life. A woman's state of mind also can have a profound effect on her ability to enjoy long-term health and vitality. The best way to nurture that emotional state, or what some refer to as the "energetic anatomy," is for women to "love their life" and let go of all the hurts and unhappiness from the past. Women can further nurture their energetic anatomy by accepting life as it comes and responding to change as a positive force. This includes accepting the reality of aging. When women accept it with grace, revel in their acquired wisdom, and enjoy being proactive in this new stage of life, they are less likely to resist or resent the loss of reproductive capacity and the passing of youth. This attitude further fosters ongoing health and vitality.
In summary, while the responsibility for a positive attitude rests squarely with women, it is equally important to make lifestyle choices and create an environment conducive to optimal health. There is much women can do to impact their health before, during and after menopause. Talk to your doctor for more information.
What's Wrong with Taking Synthetic HRT?
Many women are given artificial estrogen, alone or in combination with progestin (another hormone), to fight symptoms of menopause. However, for some women, this may increase their chances of getting blood clots, heart attacks, strokes, breast cancer, and gallbladder disease. The Food and Drug Administration recommends women take the smallest dose and for the shortest time possible.
Jan Roberts is a pharmacist with a postgraduate diploma in clinical nutrition. She is author of the best-selling series The Natural Way to Better Babies, Better Pregnancy, Better Birth & Bonding, and Better Breastfeeding. She presents seminars and workshops to the public and health care professionals throughout Australia and New Zealand.