Mindful Living: Peri(pre)menopausal Relief

You probably didn't discuss much of perimenopause with your mom or talk about it much with your friends. Peri(pre)menopause is the time when the bodt gradually stops producing its usual mix of estrogen, progesterone ans testosterone and starts shutting down baby-making operations. It usually starts in a woman's 40s, but can start in her 30s or even earlier. The average length of perimenopause is 4 years, but for some women this stage may last for up to 10 years. Yup! 

Symptoms include: 

  • Hot flashes 
  • Heavy periods
  • Weight gain
  • Decreased sex drive 
  • Change in sleeping patterns
  • Memory issues 
  • Urinary incontinence 
  • Breast tenderness
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Headaches 
  • Mood swings

Perimenopause is unique life stage in woman's life (menopause is marked by going one year without your period). It's not not an illness.  It's a natural biological process where there is a hormone shift to include any of the above mentioned symptoms. It is quite normal for hormone levels to fall in middle age. 

As an advocate for natural remedies, they are safe and helpful in getting you through this transition phase. These include a balanced and healthy diet, regular exercise and supplements to balance hormones. 

The asana (physical yoga) practice has been proven to have a positive effect on perimenopause by significantly reducing related symptoms while increasing concentration and attention span. The combination of breathing techniques and specific asanas (postures) increases strength and flexibility in the body. Yoga reduces physical stress and increases physical relaxation. 

More than ever, the physical pain and discomfort is alleviated. Aches and pains associated with menopause like back and neck pain, and chronic pain in general, can be eased along with a regular, gentle yoga practice.

Sun Salutations are an awesome way to increase flexibility in the joints, working every muscle. This moving prayer gives a workout for both the mind and body. Practicing 5 - 10 rounds every day (even if you dont have time for more yoga in the day), will give dramatic relief to aches and pains in the joints associated with perimenopause. 

Problems in the joints can lead to arthritis. Although, not all women experiencing perimenopause will have arthritis, it is a health concern associated to aging. Yoga has been proven to ease the joint pain, fatigue and other related symptoms. 

Often your doctor can make the diagnosis of perimenopause based on your symptoms. Listen to your body. It is telling you what it needs.