Friday, November 8, 2013

Sharing what I've learned on my menopause journey (thus far)...

I am a pretty private person when it comes to the "woman side" of life, but I have several friends who have been having a really difficult time lately (and I saw my naturopath today) and decided to share in hopes this may benefit other women

I had a terrible time with hormone imbalances in my mid-30s to early 40s and saw a naturopath that prescribed bio-identical hormones (these were plant based and not synthetic - and I encourage you to do your homework if you decide hormone therapy is right for you - and I'd encourage you to see a naturopath, if at all possible).

I've dealt with plenty of anxiety through the years and emotional ups and downs and, of course, numerous health challenges.  For me, the symptoms leading toward menopause have been relatively mellow thus far (and I do consider myself most fortunate and give thanks daily to God for His grace on this journey and know His faithfulness will continue if my symptoms changed tomorrow).

So, as I said, I saw my current naturopath today.  We talked about how I was doing.  Not bad - main new symptom (from late evening to early morning) is what I call:  "hot flushes"  (my entire body is suddenly warm/hot and I get a bead of sweat across my forehead, causing me to take off covers, less pjs, sheets are burning hot to touch, less layers if out of bed and then I'm freezing and reverse what I just did until the next flush.

As part of my supplement regimen, I used to take GLA 130 (evening primrose - an essential fatty acid) from the full moon to the new moon and then, Fish Oil from the new moon to the full moon.  It was a cyclical support of fats.  Today, Dr. Jones indicated that I only need to be taking the evening primrose oil every day.

For the "hot flushes or flashes," she is introducing Biotone EFA (more essential fatty acid support) to be taken in the evenings.  I'll let you know how effective this is for me.
I've had friends say they are stressed out/lots of anxiety, etc, and I wondered why I wasn't experiencing the level of anxiety that they are.  What is in my diet/supplement regimen that may not be in theirs…  My observations:

Because of nervous system issues that I've dealt with for a long time, I have taken Magnesium for some time.  Not only is magnesium calming my nervous system, but it's also supporting muscle issues I deal with too.  In addition to the Triple Mag pictured, I also take an additional magnesium powder in the evening (or just before bed).  I think this has really helped with anxiety and stress, for me.

In addition, Suzanne at Cedar Mountain Herb School makes a Hawthorn Elixir.  You can order it through her site.  Hawthorn is heart medicine and shares the message "everything is going to be okay" with your body.  Since meeting Suzanne last year and learning a little from her and getting this medicine, I feel much more at peace.  This is good medicine!  

Here is more information about Hawthorn.  One of the things I've learned about herbs, is to start with small intake and gradually increase to optimal dosage for you (or seek professional guidance from an herbalist).  I take 1/2 teaspoon of the Hawthorn Elixir daily (usually in the evening - but I will take more if engaging in a stressful situation and yes, I take it with me in the car if there is a possibility of anxiety or stress in something I'm doing for the day.)

Suzanne also sells a Bee Calm Herbal Extract that utilizes several different plant sources in a grain based alcohol that is great for calming nerves/anxiety.  It is available for sale on her site.
I also drink mineral tea (and I add a few Hawthorne berries to the tea I am infusing).  My naturopath determined which minerals I needed more support of, so my tea mixture is customized for me, but there are a number of mineral teas available for purchase (see your local store selling herbs - ask the herbalist on staff).  I make about 6 cups of mineral tea per day (I boil hot water, put the tea amount in a muslin tea bag and hold onto the string while I pour the hot water into the 3 cup container.  I put the lid on and let the infusion occur throughout the night.  I remove the tea bag in the morning; putting the used tea leaves/hawthorn berries in the compost and put the lid on tight and leave it on the counter - drinking it at room temperature.)  *The reason for mineral tea:  our soils are very depleted of the minerals required to keep our bodies functioning properly.  I have felt improvement since adding mineral tea to my diet.  Some people take liquid minerals (ie. BioMax).  I also take 2 capsules daily of Vitamineral Green (that I purchase at Whole Foods).  

And, in doing some research in sharing with others, I came across a Joy Tonic from Urban Moonshine and it's also available at Mountain Rose Herbs.  Doesn't that sound lovely?  JOY TONIC!  Just want to share some options for people to consider in finding the right medicine to help support their journey.  If I wasn't feeling really good just taking the Hawthorn Elixir, I would definitely try the Joy Tonic myself.  I did order a bottle for my Mom (yes, Mom, it will be arriving in the mail to you shortly) and I'm looking forward to hearing what it does for her.  This isn't a medicine just for menopause, it's for anytime we need a little JOY encouragement.  Remember, that sometimes it takes time for herbal medicines to work - and this is an example of one of those medicines.  

Here are the directions and description from Urban Moonshine:

Our Certified Organic Joy Tonic is a carefully formulated blend of aromatic herbs and flowers that help to support you through life’s transitions (big and small) with grace and ease. We know stress is inevitable, and rather than trying to stimulate our way through it, or sedate our way out of it, we do best when we relax, focus, and engage the stressor. Our Joy Tonic adjusts the level of tension in our nervous systems, internal organs, and blood vessels. Its volatile components can help restore positive mental attitude and promote a relaxed feeling when overworked or overwhelmed. Feedback between body and mind moves towards synchrony and we feel peaceful. From this place we make better decisions and become more inspired and creative. Stress becomes a tool for positive change.

  • Joyful herbs for the darker days*

  • Support during times of grief, transition, and loss*

  • Relieves occasional sleeplessness*

  • Eases occasional tension in the body*

  • Relieves occasional stress*

  • Non sedative formula

Use and Directions

Enjoy 1 teaspoon (4.9mL) daily or up to three times per day if needed. Mindfully let go of tension, making room for love and gratitude!* Natural sedimentation occurs in this product. 

Tonics build health over time, and are not meant to provide instant relief of illness. We encourage you to embrace your tonic as a part of a regular regime to build radiant health!*

If using the refillable, travel-sized spray bottle, we recommend spritzing directly onto the tongue or into water 24 times. 24 sprays equal 1 teaspoon. There are about 3 servings in a ½ oz. (15mL) spray bottle.

If using the 2oz. dropper bottle, we recommend using 2 droppers full directly on the tongue or diluted in a little water. Two droppers full are equal to 1 teaspoon.  There are approximately 12 servings in a 2oz. (59.1mL) dropper bottle.

If using the 8.4oz apothecary bottle, we recommend using it to refill one of the smaller sizes, or measuring 1 teaspoon (approx. 8 dashes) for use directly on the tongue or in water. There are about 50 servings in an 8.4oz (250mL) bottle.

The Certified Organic Joy Tonic is very pleasant when taken in a little sparkling water. This helps to volatilize the aromatics in the blend, and dilute the taste of the alcohol.

For me, I take herbal extracts or tonics in a small amount of juice.  Works well for me and I think it's a good alternative if you don't want to drink sparkling water.

AND FINALLY, try to get outside and walk for 20 minutes or more each day.  The fresh air is definitely healing! 

What works for you?  Are there natural remedies, supplements or herbs that you're utilizing to help with this season in your life?  I'd love to hear about it. 

Abundant blessings upon your journey in this life!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! It all sounds very, VERY complicated! Getting outside and walking for 20 minutes is something I can identify with - that, and drinking plenty of plain old water...


Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! Abundant blessings on your day... Joanie