In collaboration with Erika Bloom Wellness
Written by Becca Wagner, Erika Bloom Wellness and Macy Morris, ORA
Menopause is a significant milestone and natural transition in life that affects our mind, body, emotions, and lifestyle. Each woman's journey through Menopause is unique, and we must honor and listen to our bodies with compassion, love, and patience. Doing so can support our overall health and well-being in the face of Menopause and the sometimes uncomfortable, overwhelming symptoms it brings. By resourcing ourselves through healthy sleep, daily movement, holistic acupuncture, breathing practices, and supportive connection, we can empower our journey through Menopause and beyond. Here's a closer look at six areas to honor the body through Menopause:
Listening to The Body
Menopause often meets us during other significant life transitions, whether aging parents, kids leaving home, career shifts, or anything else. At a time when there are many life shifts, honoring your needs and making supportive choices become especially important for physical and mental health. Even noticing tiny moments and signals can have a significant impact. For example, if you notice a time during the day you feel tired, allow yourself to rest. If you see a moment when you feel thirsty, can you let yourself get up to drink some water? Each moment of self-nurturing compounds and helps make it habitual to tune in and care for ourselves moment by moment and day by day.
Sleep and Hormonal Balance
Sleep is a time to rebalance hormones, making it a pivotal component of caring for ourselves during Menopause. Hormonal changes occur as estrogen levels drop and the body transitions from estradiol (E2) to estrone (E1). These changes can result in uncomfortable symptoms such as hot flashes, sudden mood shifts, and vaginal dryness. Many studies show symptom flairs during the day are caused and exacerbated by sleep disruption at night. However, we all know that when our body's temperature constantly fluctuates, jumping from cold to hot, it can make falling and staying asleep very difficult. To cultivate a healthy sleep routine, try rituals like a warm magnesium bath, a cup of ORA herbal tea, or journaling to help wind down in the evening. Practicing breathwork, stretching, and somatic release can also help set the tone for beautiful, restorative sleep. Adding regular acupuncture treatments can also significantly reduce insomnia and hot flashes, making it another great way to improve sleep.
Women often experience a decline in bone density and muscle mass during menopause. It’s also common to see a decline in metabolic health that gives way to weight gain and decreased energy levels. With these in mind, it’s essential to have a regular, supportive movement practice like the Erika Bloom Method that keeps your heart healthy, circulates healing fluids, and encourages positive brain chemistry. Erika’s signature method focuses on aligning and balancing the entire body, and includes strengthening work that builds muscle, bone density, and supports metabolic health. Through her method, she has helped hundreds of women care for their body and mind with more ease, joy, and health as they navigate menopause. Try these three complementary at-home practices to begin building your own daily regimen.
Breath and Meditation Practices
When uncomfortable emotions rise to the surface, connecting to our breath through breathwork or meditation can help us return to peace and calm in both body and mind. As we regulate the nervous system, dropping back into the parasympathetic state of rest and digestion, the body can rebalance and recenter. Another benefit is we're able to shift how we react, think, and see things. This allows us to process what's coming up and meet ourselves with more compassion and patience. Try using a square breath, pranayama, or mantra meditation to begin the day, at night, or call upon it whenever you need it.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine
Just as regular acupuncture can help to improve sleep at night, it can also support the body during Menopause and your personal symptoms. Within Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are several herbs and formulations that can also help address common menopausal complaints. For instance, black cohosh and dong quai are known for their ability to manage hot flashes, while ginseng can help combat fatigue and boost energy levels. Be sure to consult with a trained traditional Chinese medicine practitioner to determine the most suitable herbal remedies for your specific needs.
Connection and Support
Having people around you who can support and hold space for what you're going through can be very helpful in challenging or isolating times. Reach out to friends, spend time with family, find supportive practitioners, or get involved with values-aligned communities online or near you that can help support you.
Although our hormone balance is delicate and ever-changing, our body has the amazing ability to balance itself when we give it support through restful sleep, healthy movement, breath, awareness, acupuncture, and nourishing food. Creating balance in our body, mind, and all parts of our lives allows for an environment that supports our vitality, joy, and inner peace. Menopause is a powerful, transformative time in our bodies and external lives. It's an invitation to tune in to and reflect with ourselves, to connect with our needs, to move more deeply into the body, and to create an even more beautiful path forward in our lives.