Tackle your haywire hormones with some smart and soothing self-help moves…
HOW TO DEAL WITH HOT FLUSHES
Hot flushes are very distinctive: a sudden feeling of heat that spreads through your body, often along with sweating, palpitations and a red flush; they vary in severity. Flushes and night sweats are basically the same. HRT will stop it completely, but there are non-hormonal tactics you can try…
Wear lighter layers so you can quickly disrobe
If you feel a flush coming on, spray your face with a cool water atomiser and sip cold drinks
Have a lukewarm shower or bath instead of hot
Keep your bedroom cool and wear silk or cotton nightwear
Reduce stress and increase exercise (but not within two hours of sleeping)
Avoid triggers such as caffeine, spicy food, alcohol and smoking
Buy wool as it naturally pulls heat away from the body and regulates body temperature
Take an extra supplement, like Periagna Agnus Castus Fruit, £10.75 for 60. “It allows th ebody to make its own progesterone and achieve hormonal balance,” explains Shabir Daya, pharmacist and co-founder of victoriahealth.com.
HOW TO TACKLE THINNING HAIR
A devastating problem that is likely to be due to declining female and dominant male hormones disturbing keratin production.
Shabir suggests a supplement with a blend of amino acids known to be required to make keratin -try Hairjelly by Hairmedic, £29.95 for 60 capsules.
Roller-coaster moods are often the first inkling that menopause is on its way. “Hormone fluctuations can cause increased irritability or a blue feeling,” says Dr Chantal Hofstee, author of Mindfulness on the Run. “A mindful approach is ismply to acknowledge them with kindness.”
Acknowledge, link, let go – a three-step process that soothes emotions
Acknowledge your emotion simply by saying hello to it in a non-judgemental way. This process “separates” you from the emotion which immediately gives you perspective and more control.
Link the emotion to the event that caused it. Then out loud or in your mind, say to the feeling “It makes perfect sense that you are here given the situation and given what my body is going through.”
Let go of the emotions so your brain can store it in the library of your mind and you can move on. Put one hand on your chest the other on your stomach. Take a deep breath. As you breathe out, relax and drop your shoulders. Say or think “I let it go”. Repeat a few times.
HOW TO HANDLE STRESS AND ANXIETY
“Aromatherapy is th equeen of all therapies to help combat stress, and as the menopause causes stress and stress worsens the symptoms, it helps you break free from the vicious cycle,” says founder of Balm Balm, Glenda Taylor.Treating yourself to an aromatherapy massage or spoiling yourself at home can take the edge off symptoms.
The best oils? Surprisingly, there’s a relaxing essentil oil for every symptom:
For fatigue – sandalwood, frankincense and lavender
For mood swings – cooling rose geranium, mandarin and palmarosa
For flushes and headaches – peppermint, grapefruit and lemon
A good blend would be 2 drops each of frankincense, rose geranium and grapefruit in 1 dessert spoonful of evening primrose oil for massage and daily moisturising. Use concentrated massage over fatty areas – where hormones are manufactured and stored.