As it was International Women’s day yesterday (8th March) I thought it would be appropriate to give a few tips that might help alleviate some very female symptoms. It doesn’t matter whether you are approaching the menopause or you have PMS or you just find it difficult to manage mood swings or carb cravings at certain times of the the month. There are some simple adjustments you can make to your diet and lifestyle that can go along way to helping manage these common traits.
Every case , should be taken on its own merits but for the sake of this blog and the diversity of the people it can reach, I will be citing general and common symptoms and recommendations. All the recommendations have contributed to better well-being amongst the clients I see. As a holistic therapist I treat everyone as an individual so please be aware that what works for some will not be as effective for others.
The symptoms that we most commonly come across are:
- Abdominal cramping and bloating
- Mood swings
- Refined carbohydrate cravings
- Hot flashes and/or night sweats
The above is by no means an exhausted list – but are the most common I see in my practice. Generally these symptoms arise from an imbalance in the sex hormones. Progesterone and oestrogen are produced primarily in the ovaries from puberty and continue – in the case of oestrogen, in a greater or lesser form, for the rest of our lives.The 2 exist in a delicate balance and some of the symptoms mentioned can occur when this balance is disrupted. The amount of each hormone produced and it’s effecting ratio varies from day to day , month to month and year to year . It depends what stage of the life cycle you are and on your nutrition, lifestyle choices and exercise regime.
During the peri-menopause and menopausal years the levels of oestrogen are dramatically reduced and progesterone production virtually stops. The fine hormonal balance is greatly effected and results in some of the unpleasant menopausal symptoms suffered. This can also be the case when puberty is in its infancy and the body is trying to find its hormonal balance. Throughout the pubescent years and then through our 20′, 30’s and 40’s our hormonal balance is taking a constant knocking. From environmental hormone disruptors like the chemicals found in cosmetics, water sources, conventionally grown and reared food and plastics to contraception methods and pregnancy, our hormones are on a rollercoaster ride. Keeping hormones on an even keel is by no means an easy task – but if we prepare the body with the right nutrients, plenty of water and appropriate exercise it certainly makes the journey a little easier.
When the menopause does come , don’t treat it like an illness or a disease. It is a natural progression of the life cycle. In fact with the menopause comes a freedom. A freedom of knowledge and wisdom that has only been gained through life experience. Embrace the next phase of your life.
These are my top tips to balance hormones:
- Drink plenty of water. 1 1/2 -2l per day. Add lemon (1 drop of doTerra essential oil) and a 1/4 teaspoon of Himalayan salt to a glass in the morning (Only use glass or stainless steel carriers when using essential oils)
- Consult your doctor or health care professional (for a referral) for Natural Progesterone supplementation. This is NOT to be confused with synthetic progestins which are normally prescribed. Traditionally natural progesterone comes in a cream form but more recent research shows sublingual forms are better absorbed and require smaller quantity.
- Eat organic where possible and reduce the chemical load in your home. This means choices on the type of cleaning and laundry products you use. Reducing the use of plastics for storage and everyday use. Swapping non-stick pans for glass or ceramic cookware
- Spend time outdoors everyday
- Implement a good sleep hygiene. Remove phones, laptops, TV’s from the bedroom. Try to have an Epsom salt bath before bed.
- Reduce and manage stress. Use meditation techniques and add yoga to an exercise regime.
- Exercise!. A mix of integral training and yoga type exercise is a good combination. Rebounding and using the body weight are good ways to maintain bone density
- Good fats -coconut oil, flaxseed oil, avocado, butter/ghee, eggs, nuts and seeds,
- Clean protein – grass fed and organic meat, wild caught fish, sustainable caught oily fish quinoa, lentils, sprouting beans
- Anti-oxidant rich fruit and veg – Organic and dark green, red cabbage, squashes, onions, carrots and all colour bell peppers.
A RAINBOW ON YOUR PLATE!
- Use apple cider vinegar and lemon as a dressing
- Healing spices – turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne, cumin, garlic, ginger
- Hormone Balancing Tea – contains the following herbs – Red Clover Red Raspberry Lemon Balm Dong Quai Chasteberry Damiana Leaf Rose Hips Fennel Seed Liquorice Dandelion Root Orange
- Supplements – please consult your health professional for interactions and choices- these recommendations are general and may not be suitable for everybody – Black Cohosh – Vitex agnus Castis -Ashwaghanda – Calcium – Magnesium – Vitamin D
- doTerra Clary Calm is a roll on blend that can be used on the wrists or directly on the stomach to alleviate cramps – contains the following oils Clary Sage Flower, Lavender Flower, Bergamot Peel, Roman Chamomile Flower, Cedarwood Wood, Ylang Ylang Flower, Geranium Plant, Fennel Seed, Carrot Seed, Palmarosa Herb, and Vitex Leaf/Berry essential oils.
- doTerra Clary sage – aromatise or use topically
- doTerra Peppermint – aromatise, use topically or internally
- doTerra Lavender – aromatise, use topically or internally
- doTerra PMS Blend – aromatise or add to wrists – 3 drops clary sage -10 drops geranium – 3 drops ylang ylang
All the essential oils can be purchased here: