Naturopathy and yoga can help you remain healthy after menopause, writes Babina NM
Menopause hits women when their bodies experience a change toward the cessation of menstruation and ovulation. It denotes a period when important hormonal changes are taking place in the body. Menopause might affect one woman differently than another. This natural biological process usually begins between ages 45-55 and can bring with it a host of uncomfortable symptoms such as irregular periods, vaginal dryness, decreased fertility, hot flashes, increased abdominal fat, loss of breast fullness, sleep disturbances, thinning hair, irritability, mood swings, and poor focus and memory.
Contrary to Western culture, Eastern traditions see menopause as a period of increased wisdom and introspection. It is a normal stage of life that should be cherished and gratefully accepted. While menopause can be challenging for women on an emotional and physical level, they can manage the symptoms and create the right balance in their lives by embracing naturopathy and yoga.
In comparison to conventional prescription medications, naturopathy and natural remedies take a completely different approach. Instead of only providing short-term relief, naturopathy addresses the cause of the symptoms and lessens their intensity. The equilibrium between the sex hormones progesterone, oestrogen, and testosterone is restored via natural treatment. One also avoids the additional risk of adverse medication and antidepressant side effects.
Changing one's lifestyle, which includes eating healthy food, doing yoga, getting rid of environmental contaminants, getting enough sleep, and managing chronic stress, is a crucial part of naturopathic treatment. All of these modifications also significantly and proactively lower the risk of various illnesses, particularly those affecting the heart and bones. Here are a few things that can help:
Well-balanced Diet: Natural medicine uses food as a treatment. A well-balanced diet rich in whole foods and nutritional supplements can significantly reduce the cellular effects of hormone imbalance. Your daily diet must contain the proper ratio of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. At every meal, consume a lot of fruits and vegetables with green leaves. Keep an eye on how much sugar and carbohydrates are in your diet. Examine your exposure to toxins and chemicals like toluene, which is present in nail polish, and phthalates, which are present in plastic, as these can disrupt the enzymes necessary for the creation of oestrogen.
Many working women who lead busy lives find it challenging to consistently consume a balanced diet that includes all the important nutrients, which causes them to deplete their bodies of the B vitamin folate. The biologically active version of folate, Metafolin, can be used as a dietary supplement. The body can metabolise and absorb vitamin B more easily.
Herbal Remedies: A range of herbal remedies is suggested by naturopathy to help stabilise the volatility in hormone levels. Naturopathy uses the extraordinary power of plants and herbal medicines to control and prevent menopausal and perimenopausal symptoms since it believes that food is medicine. Herbs and plants can support your hormones, slow them down, or adjust them to meet the specific needs of your body because they share many molecular characteristics with human hormones. Some of the herbal medicines recommended by naturopathy include Lady’s Mantle, Black cohosh, Wild yam, Shatavari and Ashwagandha, Chasteberry, Ginseng, Red Clover and John's Wort
Yoga: The age-old science of yoga can be used to ease the transition into menopause due to its capacity to lower stress, encourage a healthy lifestyle, foster a happy outlook, and regulate and balance the endocrine and hormonal systems. A study on the relationship between stress-induced cortisol response and fat distribution in women found that, in addition to the decline in oestrogen levels, stress is another factor that raises cortisol levels, which is linked to an increase in abdominal fat. Fortunately, numerous studies have shown that yoga can improve the quality of life for menopausal women by lowering stress and alleviating symptoms like hot flashes, weight gain, and insomnia.
Some yoga asanas that can be helpful:
Adho Mukha Svanasana: The pose enhances alertness by increasing oxygen circulation in the brain.
Baddha Konasana: It is a stress-relieving, cooling asana that can be beneficial if you're experiencing hot flushes.
Naukasana: It is a core workout that works on the front and side belly muscles and helps to tone them.
Ananda Balasana: This asana is good for relaxation and also stretches the muscles in your lower back and bottom.
(The writer is Chief Medical Officer, Jindal Naturecure Institute, Bangalore)