MENOPAUSE - THE NEW STORY
In February 2023 Stories for Change have received funding from Rosa, an organisation supporting women and girls, for their project “Menopause- the New Story”. The aim of their campaign is to raise awareness of of the menopause and to support women entering it and going through it.
Stories for Change has run self-expression, empowerment and support groups for peri/menopausal women in Totnes area, creating a sense of community and holding.
See Workshops page for details.
We intend to educate, raise awareness and start conversations.
We wish to normalise and re-frame this important life transition: as a time of initiation and maturation for women, requiring care and attention.
It is a critical window for health, during which we need more rest and attention to our well-being. Resourcing and reducing stress levels is crucial at this time, as our adrenals need to work extra hard.
There are also many mental/emotional changes, that are all part of this bodymind transformation. If we support them, we will emerge with new capacities, like that of our brain hemispheres working together in a balanced way.
Agata and Rooh, who are delivering the project, believe that the world at this point is desperate for the wisdom of menopausal women. Luckily there are more of them on the planet now than ever before.
From reading books (list below) by wise menopausal women , talking to many of them and observing ourselves we’ve gathered that:
It’s a life review time, to prioritise and let go
You need more rest and nurturing and less stress
It’s the time when all that is unhealed comes to the surface
You might crave time alone
You might find yourself less tolerant and less accommodating
It’s the time to bring self-compassion and cut down on expectations
It is a journey and you will emerge
There is no “right way” to do it
It’s helpful to connect with other women
HOW TO SUPPORT YOUR BODY DURING THIS TRANSITION
1. BALANCE YOUR BLOOD SUGAR
2. SUPPORT YOUR LIVER
3. COOL INFLAMMATION AND GET ALKALINE
4. NURTURE HEALTHY GUT AND MICROBIOME
5. FIND A MOVEMENT PRACTICE RIGHT FOR YOU
6. SOOTHE YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM
7. NURTURE A HEALTHY CIRCADIAN RHYTHM (DAY AND NIGHT CYCLE)
8. REST, RELAX AND RESTORE
SUPPORT YOUR INNER LIFE
This helps wellbeing of the mind-body-spirit continuum. If needs are met here, you will feel less stressed, more rested and more supported – which makes everything easier.
Cocoon time, rest
Saying NO, Putting your own needs first
Delegating, Asking for help
Letting go of perfection, lowering standards
Expression – dance, music, art, poetry, singing etc.
Sharing – sister circles & listening partnerships
Ceremony, spiritual practice
Soothe your nervous system
Losing oestrogen and progesterone is destabilising for the brain and nervous system. It needs extra resilience. Recovery occurs in the parasympathetic nervous system (responsible for rest, sleep, digestion and healing).
Role of the vagus nerve- trauma resolution exercises (Irene Lyon on youtube)
Calm by sending signals of safety.
*being in nature
*co-regulation (friends, pets)
*slow breathing with longer exhale
*yoga, attuned movement, meditation
*self touch, tapping, squeezing, EFT
*returning to our senses-direct experience
“Hormone Repair Manual – every woman’s guide to healthy hormones after 40” by Lara Briden ND.
This is a very good book on what happens in the body and how to support optimum health, as well as discussing many symptoms and treatments. Even if you don’t have symptoms, you need to now how to support health, to lay good foundations for the rest of your life. Naturopath approach, and she covers both hormone therapy and alternatives.
“Second Spring-The self-care guide to menopause”- Kate Codrington
“Wise Power: Discover the Liberating Power of Menopause to Awaken Authority, Purpose and Belonging” - Alexandra Pope and Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer
“New Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way” by Susun S Weed. Super useful book for herbal support, goes through many symptoms and has a positive ‘menopause as empowerment’ framework.
“The Wisdom of Menopause – creating physical and emotional health through the change” by Christianne Northrup, MD – a huge bible of health from a medical doctor turned alternative expert, so straddling both worlds.
“Hagitude: Reimagining the Second Half of Life” by Sharon Blackie- Rich with the combination of myth, landscape and eco-feminism.
‘Goddesses in Older Women’ by Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD
‘Me and my menopausal vagina’ by Jane Lewis
Red School, Alexandra Pope: https://redschoolonline.net/
Lara Briden https://www.larabriden.com/
Magdalena Wszelaki – https://hormonesbalance.com/
The Menopause Charity - https://www.themenopausecharity.org/
My Menopause Doctor / Newsome Health Clinic - https://www.newsonhealth.co.uk/
Menopause Matters, an independent magazine sharing info and options: http://www.menopausematters.co.uk/
Daisy Network -For women experiencing premature menopause: https://www.daisynetwork.org/
The British Menopause Society: www.thebms.org.uk
Menopause Cafe: www.menopausecafe.net
Rock My menopause: https://rockmymenopause.com/