Symptoms - How to overcome them the natural way

What can we do to help us through this time?

Your body is experiencing a huge change, therefore, focus on nurturing yourself, be kind and supportive of yourself. Rest is important, as is relaxation, give yourself time for things which are important to your wellbeing.

Lets first look at some of the symptoms you may experience. Not every woman will experience all symptoms, some will cruise through without noticing any, but in being prepared we can make the transition as easy as possible.

What are the initial physical symptoms?

  • Menstruation becomes irregular, and may become heavy.
  • Hot flushes
  • Headaches, giddiness, dry eyes.
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue, thyroid problems.
  • Disturbed sleep patterns
  • Vaginal dryness.
  • Dry skin
  • Bladder problems

Psychological symptoms can include:

  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Loss of confidence
  • Nervous tension
  • Difficulty in making decisions

The statistics show that few women are so badly affected that they must give up work or are unable to look after the home. You may experience only 1 or 2 of these, or sail through without any significant symptoms.

So what can we do?

The first major symptom may be hot flushes:

  • At the onset of a flush, drink a glass of cold water or juice.
  • Dress in layers. Use cotton clothing to enable your skin to breathe (and cotton sheets)
  • Not too many covers on your bed.
  • Keep an ice pack by your bed at night
  • Avoid hot spicy food, coffee and alcohol
  • Avoid warm rooms wherever possible
  • A small personal fan on your desk or table can be a lifesaver
  • Try cooling facial sprays
  • Exercise: Research shows that women who exercise regularly experience fewer hot flushes.

The second most distressing symptom may be sleep disturbances!

Here is what you can do to help:

  • Read for a while
  • A few drops of lavender essential oil on your pillow will soothe your senses
  • Visualisation and affirmations eg "I am calm & relaxed and I will now drift into a deep refreshing sleep".
  • A relaxant containing calcium and magnesium.

Fatigue is often partly the result of coping with this lack of sleep.
Try and catch a nap in the afternoon, or at least a short rest, listen to some music you love, or spend some time out doors relaxing in the garden or a park.

Delegate some of your household tasks - explain what is happening to your partner and family and encourage them to help. Your calm outlook and demeanour will be the happy outcome for everyone.

Anxiety and irritability
There are many natural ways to soothe and calm these very real symptoms. Rose Geranium oil is wonderful for anxiety, nervous tension and depression. Use 1 or 2 drops on the pulse points of your wrist, rub both wrists together. It will balance and uplift your emotions.

Try massage (preferably with calming essential oils such as geranium and lavender) you will feel revived and your aching muscles will also thank you. Also use my suggestions for moods and depression.

Meditation is a wonderful way to achieve a calm, positive outlook. Join a meditation group. There are some really good ones to choose from [read a short meditation].

Try a soothing bath, again using 3 or 4 drops of essential oils of lavender and geranium; and enjoy the healing power of some soothing music.

Use an oil burner with geranium and lavender oils.

Yoga is also an excellent way to relax; with the added benefit of increasing your flexibility and deep breathing, it will calm and help you to see the bigger picture. There are postures which help with these problems.

Moods and Depression

A word on emotional issues:

Rid yourself of guilt, it is important to realise and accept that everyone has caused someone distress at sometime. Learn from the experience and move on.

A gentle walk in the fresh air will often lift your mood.. Walk slowly and take in the beauty of the sky, the trees, the birds and breathe in joy and gratitude. Any exercise will have a good effect.

Talk with an understanding friend whom you trust and share your experiences, shed a few tears on their shoulder.

Music, meditation and yoga will also help but if all else fails, do not hesitate to consult a counsellor.

A few words on lack of confidence

Many women experience this at this time in our lives. Review who you are, not how others may think you are. You are a wonderful, unique person with knowledge and experience that is different from anyone else on this planet. That is something to hold in your heart with pride.

Aches and pains

A calm mind will ease each of your physical symptoms, as will massage ease muscle aches, try lavender oil on the temples and back of the neck for headache.

Racing heart or palpitations may last a few seconds or minutes. Causes can be menopause related or related to caffeine, anxiety, fear, and nicotine. If they occur frequently, see your doctor, as they may also be a symptom of heart disease.

While we are talking about doctors,

What should you look for in a doctor?

What do you expect from your doctor as a mature woman?

  • To be treated with respect
  • Be listened to and have any health concerns acknowledged.
  • Interested in you, as a person.
  • A positive attitude to mature women and menopause
  • Up to date knowledge
  • Will refer you for specialist care if necessary.

Relationships (Family, work and social)

It can help to confide in a trusted family member or friend. You are changing, life is all about change, go with the changes which are happening to you; get to know this new person - older - yes, but she is wiser too.


Manage your stress using any or all of the methods and aids I have mentioned above: keep it to a minimum wherever possible, as the cortisol and adrenoline surge your body experiences when under stress can cause damage to bone tissue.

Do you crave time alone?

Many tribal cultures encourage women to spend some time in seclusion to get to know this new person and to let go of the old. On her return she is accepted and revered for her wisdom as she has graciously become an elder. Take a day away, a weekend, or preferably longer. Take the time to go to a quiet place; a bush retreat, a health resort and return revitalised and ready to take on your new self.

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