The road from perimenopause to menopause is not always smooth. Menopause is a natural biological process that happens when your ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone, marking the end of your menstrual cycle.
Hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain or mood swings are not funny to anyone, especially you. Menopause’s hormonal fluctuations are tiresome, frustrating and anxiety-producing. Fortunately, menopause doesn’t happen from one day to the next.
Standard treatments for menopause include estrogen therapy, low-dose antidepressants, Gabapentin—a drug used to treat seizures but it can also help reduce hot flashes—and medication to prevent or treat osteoporosis. But continued use of these drugs could bring unwanted side effects and many women are choosing a more natural path.
Maharishi Ayurveda: the natural option
Ayurveda—which means “science of life”—is a traditional system of medicine originating in ancient India. Ayurveda is a holistic, natural and comprehensive means of bringing balance to the body and mind.
Dr. Nancy Lonsdorf is a recognized Maharishi Ayurvedic expert specializing in women’s health issues. She tells us that Ayurveda is sometimes seen as the “missing manual” for the mind-body system. It’s a lifestyle strategy that eases the transition, reduces or even eliminates your symptoms.
Dr. Lonsdorf emphasizes that menopause is a natural time of life that we should embrace—but we need to take care of ourselves. She tells us that Ayurveda recommends we eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and most importantly, stay rested. Her advice to women, “Avoid always working under deadlines or time pressure. Do not overwork. Prioritize, delegate, simplify–whatever it takes to ensure that you can get through your day without constantly being stretched.”
She always recommends to her patients that they practise Transcendental Meditation. Why? Because TM provides a very deep state of rest to both the mind and body.
Since stress, anxiety and fatigue are triggers for common menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and sleep problems, helping the body avoid these issues is critical. The deep rest gained during the practice of TM has been shown to be highly effective at reducing stress and fatigue.
Other Maharishi Ayurvedic tips for a smooth transition
- Stay hydrated–drink water throughout the day
- Eat plenty of cooked, leafy greens–this helps elimination and is also a good source of calcium
- Eat lots of sweet juicy fruits–pears are particularly good for calming the emotions
- Do not skip meals and eat at regular times
Especially don’t skip breakfast. Skipping breakfast can negatively affect our mood and mental performance which are already strained during menopause. Here is a light and simple recipe to add to your breakfast routine.
Cooked Apples with Cloves
- 1 whole fresh, sweet apple, cored and peeled
- 5 whole cloves
- ¼ cup of purified water
- Dice apple into small pieces and put in a covered pot with cloves
- Cook apple in ¼ cup of water until it is soft
- Discard the cloves, cool slightly and enjoy