The truth? There’s nothing to report. A few posts back I was in a bad way. The hormones were taking me for a mad ride and I didn’t know which way to turn. But then, in a rare, bright, lucid moment, I decided on a three-pronged attack: acupuncture, exercise and massage.
The good news?
It worked. I’m back to my normal, well-balanced, chronically optimistic self. It’s a great feeling.
Was there one therapy that seemed most effective, or did they work symbiotically?
The acupuncture in combination with the herbs my acupuncturist prescribed and increased cardiovascular exercise were great co-captains. Body therapy in the form of a few Rolfing sessions and one perfect chair massage became important team players and helped to reduce stress. I also improved my diet by reducing sugar, caffeine and alcohol in favor of whole grains, fish and vegetables.
I wish there was an easy answer that didn’t involve manipulating our body chemistry with Big Pharma. But the bottom line is, we’re all different. As we go through this transition the most important thing we can do is stay in touch – with our bodies, our emotions and with each other. For every woman who claims she “sailed through” menopause there will be one who believes she is lost and alone. In my case, I felt silly admitting how bad I was feeling. I’m a yoga teacher. Shouldn’t I be the poster child for well-balanced good health? Once I realized that even yoga teachers lose their equilibrium from time to time I became proactive and sought advice from friends and medical professionals.
Acupuncture and massage can stretch the pocketbook but a brisk walk around the block is free. My symptoms – the raging mood swings and the frightening emotional plummets scared me into taking action. But I had the time and the freedom to explore options. I asked for advice and then chose the approach.
Exercise is easy; looking at what you’re eating and then making subtle dietary changes towards wholesome, living food is doable. We should all be exercising and eating well whether we’re moving toward menopause or not.
But as a peri-menopausal woman, deciding if our symptoms are severe enough to require ‘chemical intervention’ – whether it’s in the form of Chinese herbs or artificial hormones – is difficult. I must admit to feelings of failure when I finally admitted I couldn’t navigate this passage on my own. But those feelings disappeared the moment I began to feel better (which was almost immediate following the first acupuncture treatment and the start of the herbs).
The bottom line is, we want to feel our best – for ourselves and for the friends and family we love. I’ve chosen a path that has put me back in touch with the person I’ve always been inside. What solutions have you tried for relief of symptoms associated with menopause?