Let Yoga Carry You Safely through the Signs of Menopause

In a woman's life, there is a stage called perimenopause, which manifests itself to signal the forthcoming arrival of menopause.  This stage manifests differently among different women. There are women who need medical consultation and prescription for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to deal with the symptoms of menopause.  HRT is supposed to help women by decreasing the intensity of perimenopause and its symptoms by raising estrogen and progesterone levels.  Unfortunately, reports have shown risks of stroke, heart disease and breast cancer in many women resulting from HRT and have lessened incidence of HRT prescription for perimenopause.

One stage in a woman's biological system is menopause which occurs when the woman is between 40 and 60 years old and it comes with several hormonal, physical and psychological transformations.  Women experience these transformations in various ways and forms.  The usual signs are mood swings, hot flashes, backaches, vaginal dryness and change in sexual drive.

Various investigations reveal that about 65 percent of women at this stage experience these signs. When menopause begins to set in, there is less production of the estrogen and progesterone hormones in the ovaries. The pituitary gland is alerted by this change and it stirs up the ovaries to more production, causing an imbalance in the body. This destabilization begins about six years before the cessation of the monthly periods and stops within a year after the last period. That is when the body gets to regain its equilibrium when the production of hormones is reduced.

Because of the numerous reports of complications arising from HRT, women have been seeking other means to cope with the pains and other signs of menopause. Studies and actual reports have brought out Yoga as among the best means.

One effect of yoga positions is the stretching and easing of muscles, and this results in more oxygen regularly transported to the cells because of the improved blood circulation. The improvement in cell oxygenation and blood flow helps in leveling the physical changes brought about by menopause. At the same time, because menopause strikes at midlife, other body issues at this stage are dealt with by yoga, like bone strength and cardiovascular condition.

Yoga best works when incorporated with proper diet, healthy lifestyle and consistent exercise. The Bridge Pose, or Setu Bandha Sarvangasana and the Shoulder Stand or Sarvangasana both work to put the body at a state of rest. Remedial or curative poses that are bolstered by a chair or some other support, give calm to the nervous system and enable the endocrine system to perform its function better.

The first and most common indicator of menopause is hot flashes, experienced by almost 80 percent of women in menopause. They are indeed like flashes, come-and-go so quickly but are easily set off by fatigue or stress or expending too much energy at one time. This symptom can be dealt with by the Bridge, Shoulder stand, Half Plow, Bow, Locust, Pump and Pelvic Arc postures.

Stress and Irritability are caused by the hormonal fluctuations which lead to heart palpitation and upset the digestive tract. The Standing Forward Bend, Wide Standing Forward Bend, also the Bow, Sponge, Dollar and Child’s Poses are promoted for dealing with this symptom. These take out mental distractions and ease the stress which results in bringing back the body's normal functioning.

For stress-induced Insomnia, inversion poses ending with restorative postures ease this condition by stimulating a state of rest.

Another common sign is fatigue, which can be felt briefly or as long as many weeks, triggered by, again, the hormonal imbalance.  Supported or easy backbends like the Supta Baddha Konasana provide relief because these poses expand the chest and heart and so improves circulation and respiration.

Like hot flashes, the more common signs are mood swings, especially depression. These may be due to mid-life stage but hormonal fluctuations are definitely among the causes. The effect of yoga poses on circulation and respiration as well as the general sense of wellness resulting from yoga practice are proofs of yoga being effective for this condition.

Hormonal imbalance brings on memory loss too, becoming an additional cause for anxiety. Poses like the Downward-facing Dog and those used for mood swings are good for mind clearing and memory enhancement. The Corpse allows the nervous system to calm down, giving a state of serenity.

When doing yoga for menopausal symptoms, always remember to support the body. This will make the postures less difficult,  and help avoid unnecessary additional stress and come up with the desired results.

Check out Yoga Instructors Kamloops for more yoga info.

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