It is very narrowing to associate Menopause only to the end of menstruation or to a simple physical evolution. Too many women are buried ( often even before being at this stage of their lives ) under the weight of this occidental vision that associate it to a burden including aging, wrinkles, decay, weight gain, loss of libido, hot flashes, loss of confidence and self-esteem in their beauty and femininity and all the Pandora’s box.
Well, in reality, it is the exact opposite of that.
Ayurveda, the multi-millenary medicine of India, and the Chinese Medicine agree on the fact that this time is on the contrary an accomplishment that opens to the third phase of a woman’s life after the menstruation ( “Celestial Water” in Chinese Medicine ) and pregnancy ( “The maturation of the Fruit” ). The Menopause is called “Second Spring”, to signify that there is a renewal of the energy and of opportunities in Life.
It is in any case not an aging, but a natural effort of the body to slow down and to bring a new balance for the coming years. It is the ultimate step on a path towards unity and totality where our vital essence ( Prana ), our Spirit ( Manas ) and our potential are balanced to engage in harmony. At this time, we clarify our mental, our inner deeper identity. We leave the past aside to become who we want to be. In fact, our energy is given back to us instead of flowing externally, to nourish a new potential.
Before, we were building a family, a career, we were into relationships, we were identifying ourselves to our social position, our husband, our cultural or familial expectations,etc. But, during Menopause, we are given the power to find our own independence, to express ourselves in full authenticity : moving, following a Yoga retreat, share love with our relatives, travel, nurture a project,…as much as new chances.
LIVING A HEALTHY TRANSITION
The lowering or loss of hormones induce a diminution of our vital energy ( Prana and Ojas ), along with the immunity and the internal coherence ( Homeostasis, comprising the temperature, the ecosystem and flora, the nervous system,etc. ) : all is readjusting.
The activity of the sympathetic nervous system rise, which rise the cortisol level ( the stress hormone ), the blood pressure, the cardiac rhythm; all that imprison a lot of fire element ( Pitta ) in the body that shows as : hot flashes, insomnia, cardiac disorders, dry vagina, digestive disorders, osteoporosis, memory disorders.
All that because, as in with each transition, there is an adjustment of the Body and Mind. We can feel overwhelmed by contradictory emotions, but all that has for only goal to lead to the wisdom of understanding that changes and cycles are inherent part of Life and that it is time for new emotions to emerge, other than frustration or anger.
So, how to return to that graceful, harmonious and luminous Menopause that woman knew in ancient times?
Here are some strategies that any woman can easily put in place:
Please note that those advises do not apply for everyone, they are here to enrich your perception and offer you keys. In any case, auto-medication is suggested. One should work with an Ayurveda practitioner or competent holistic practitioner that would be able to personalize and adapt a treatment.
Igniting the Agni ( Digestive Fire )
- With deepana ( digestive ) and/or carminative ( pachana ) spices along with the meals ( cumin, fennel, cardamom, turmeric ,coriander ) but avoiding strong spices
- By avoiding to drink with meals but at least 30min after
- By eating warm and cooked food
- By choosing healthy food, easy to digest, made of whole cereals and pulses, and cooked vegetables
- By avoiding or removing coffee, alcohol, teas , that will bring more warmth and toxins to the Liver along with stress to the nervous system
- By avoiding or lowering the consumption of milk products, refined and industrial products, too rich in fat or sugar
- By avoiding or lowering the consumption of meat, especially red meat
Calming the Nervous System and the Pitta Dosha
- By ensuring proper hydration, regularly drinking warm or lukewarm water
- By trying infusion of fennel, coriander, sweet mint
- By eating some fruits aside of meals ( apples, pomegranate )
- By using tincture or decoction of Milky Oats and/or Skullcap, both nourishing herbs and tonic of the nervous system
Using Mother’s earth gifts
- Shatavari root : superb tonic for woman that tones up the uterus, helps against dryness, nourish the blood, favor the creation of healthy tissues, quieten the mental dispersion, nourish the immunity, calm the spasms, helps against insomnia
- Ashoka bark : wonderful plant for woman, who has the special property ( Prabhava ) in the spiritual level to remove grief and deep sorrow from the heart
- Neem leaves : bitter plant to assist the liver, purify the blood, helps against odors, excess of heat and inflammations as well as acne and skin disorders
- Arjuna bark : plant of excellence for the cardio vascular system
- Brahmi leaves : relaxing herb, helps for concentration and memory and all neurological and cerebral disorders
- By waking up before or with the sunrise and sleeping early around 10PM
- By taking time to do soft self massage with sesame oil infused with jasmine or rose
- By doing some exercises such as Yoga, QiGong , to strengthen the body and align the mind
- By taking deep breaths daily and specific Pranayama such as Nadi Shodana ( inhale right nostril, exhale left, inhale left, exhale right, etc. ) to clarify the channels of energy, or Sheetali ( open mouth and make tongue in U shape, inhale/exhale ) for a cooling effect.
Make peace with the past, accept the present and hope for the future. Nothing dis-balance more than hate, anger, frustration, resentment, nervousness.
Let’s give yourself forgiveness, contentment, compassion as answer to all the negative emotions you can face. When we forgive, to us or others, or the turns that our life took, we do not remove nor forget what happened. We just free ourselves from the power it had on us and the vitiated attachment to that suffering. Surprisingly, it requires no effort…simply an opening of the heart.
The Menopause celebrate and welcome the entrance, the start of a new radiant time of wisdom and grace. It is a transition for which we can prepare with objectives, perspectives, without seeing it as a vortex of changes and instabilities.
ACCEPTING THE IMPERMANENCE
Childhood is the time to absorb, to grow and to discover the world. Then comes the time to initiate, to build, to do , those are the years for the Ego and its need to make its place in the world.
Eventually comes another time, a time to let go of that need to prove something to the world and others, to get the energy back on us, to work on a self-accomplishment, for oneself and by oneself. It is no longer time to be in image or demonstration. We have no longer anything to prove and clarity comes as we listen to our inner and higher Soul, in a deep contemplation on Life. It is also time to share this wisdom with our family, relatives and the society more globally.
Accomplishing oneself in that time will allow to reach and approach the sunset of our life with satisfaction and peace, remembering that ultimately we are a Soul, a pure essence that will remain well after the body will return to mother Earth who lend it.
Hence, by reconnecting to our essence, we will be able to flood the world with our felicity and compassion.
The best way to prepare or live a healthy and serene Menopause is to start right now, wherever you are, with whatever you are.
You have all means to transcend that time. It is ultimately only another phase, such as puberty or pregnancy. It is not at all a disease, as it is often claimed to be in Occident.
As any transition, it requires that we remain listening and careful to make wise choices since all the disagreements and disorders manifest only to show something that needs to be taken care of.
Bow to and recognize the natural intelligence that is put in place and return its energy inside; it is one of the most beautiful thing that you can offer to you and your family.
Let’s help each other for health, femininity and remove all the negative connotations that makes too many woman in our society face this phase with discouragement even before having start to live it.
I hope this article will support you in that way.
Traditional Chinese Medicine for Women: Reflections of the Moon on Water, Xiaolan Zhao avec la collaboration de Kanae Kinoshita, Partie VII