Guidelines for menopause
Many women fear that, the menopause will bring hot flashes, emotional swings, sleepless nights and other scary symptoms...
However, from an ayurvedic point of view the menopause is just a natural phase of a woman´ s life and it does not need to be accompanied by discomfort.
The best way to prepare for menopause is to stay in touch with your body and check in with yourself periodically, especially when it is about your menstrual cycle. According with Ayurveda, the menses-phase is a time of introspection, awareness, insight and connection with your deeper self, with your intuition and spirituality.
These days, women stress too much, work too hard and exercise excessively. As a consequence, many have painful menses and disturbing menopause symptoms. Stress, intense exercise and under-nutrition (severe diets) compromise the natural cycles of the body and more likely cause/increase unpleasant symptoms surrounding menses and menopause.
Hot flashes are maybe some of the most upsetting, sometimes even debilitating, menopause symptoms. From an ayurvedic approach, they can be seen as Pitta-imbalances. Therefore a pitta balancing lifestyle can help a lot.
When Pitta is out of balance, one might experience not only hot flashes, but also digestive problems, dehydration, excessive sweating, irritability, sleeplessness, inflammation, etc. A Pitta pacifying diet helps with chilling one from inside out. Foods with sweet, bitter and astringent taste have a calming and balancing effect.
In Ayurveda foods that are considered sweet have cooling, soothing and grounding qualities and slow down an overstimulated mind-body. Recommended sweet foods are for example: mango, avocado, coconut oil, dates, basmati rice, milk.
Bitter taste helps eliminate toxins and heat-inducing acids. Some recommended foods are dark leafy greens, aloe vera, turmeric, spinach, black tea, dandelion root.
Astringent foods helps with excessive sweating and have anti-inflammatory powers. Good examples here are green beans, cranberry, hibiscus tea, pomegranate.
And there is not only your diet to look at. Your exercise too should be chosen wisely, in order to support you. Intense practices, like competitive sports, hot yoga or fast vinyasa-series are not good choices, since they increase heat. A gentle asana-practice, meditation and calming pranayama exercises will work for you the best. Sitali or Sitkari pranayama practices are cooling and have a calming effect on the nervous system. Even something as simple as taking long, slow breaths while staying grounded and calmly focused will make a huge difference in your state of mind. A daily self-massage is also helpful in nourishing your nervous system and relaxing your body.
The key for staying balanced is choosing nourishing, calming and relaxing practices, from cooling drinks that flush out toxins to spending time with the right people. You want to tone down the intensity of your symptoms and whatever surrounds you influences you. Surround yourself - for example with soothing shades of blue and purple, with relaxing scents like chamomile and lavender and listen to calming music. Choose wisely your priorities and re-assess your life´ s focus. Menopause is not an end. It´ s a beginning. Up to you the beginning of what!
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