Women’s Health: Menopause A Smooth Transition Part 1 – vpk by Maharishi Ayurveda

In 2001, the results of the Women’s
Health Initiative, one of the largest clinical trials ever, held discovered
what traditional health systems have known for thousands of years — that
menopause is a natural transition. The study specifically found that giving
hormones to women as if their body at menopause is going through a change
which is an abnormal change and that they need to take hormones to stay
normal, they discover that doing that actually increases risks of a number of
diseases and overall the risks end up outweighing the benefits, of that
approach. So I was actually happy that this research got done because of my
knowledge of Ayurveda and just that general kind of instinctual feeling that
mother nature created this transition. Menopause is meant to be natural and not only meant to be natural but Ayurveda described it’s meant to be smooth. It’s
meant to be something that we go through as comfortably as the transition from
childhood to adulthood. That puberty and that whole hormonal change doesn’t have
to be stressful. They don’t have to be a disease or condition and if we treat our
bodies right, if we stay in balance that transition should be able to be quite
smooth. In fact epidemiological data shows that only about one-quarter of
women actually have such severe symptoms that they seek out treatment or hormone
therapy. And one-quarter of women don’t have any symptoms, virtually at all as
they go through this transition! Just the period stops and life goes on
just as it did before. And about half of women have something kind of in between. So the point here, is that it is a transition. The body
is going from a certain state of monthly ups and downs, in a rhythmic manner of all of our hormones and we have the sloughing off the uterine
lining on a monthly basis. The body goes from that to not having that whole thing.
Goes to more steady state of hormones at a lower level and an absence of that
that flow, that elimination every month. So what we know from Ayurveda is
confirmed by modern research now, — that reducing stress can help this transition
be smooth because cortisol, the stress hormone, turns out a study published in
menopause found that women who were highly stressed were five times as
likely to have a hot flash problem as women who did not describe themselves as highly stressed. So handling stress, taking enough time for yourself,
meditation, even deep breathing has been shown to dramatically lower hot flashes.
And that would be just breathing in slowly, breathing out slowly, breathing
in slowly, breathing out slowly for a few minutes. At a time that can also be
done through the traditional yoga pranayama of alternate nostril breathing:out, in, out, in, out and you do it in just a natural rhythm that balances the
sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous systems, reduces stress. Secondly, diet can be important. If we’re drinking alcohol in excess, if we’re eating too
much sugar, we’re taking too much caffeine, eating too many hot spices — all
of these factors create more metabolic heat or can trigger hot flashes. So
eliminating those stressful foods like caffeine and too much alcohol and having a more balanced diet with lots of fresh fruits, lots of fresh vegetables, especially
those juicy vegetables such as zucchini and cucumber are wonderfully cooling as well as other greens. And secondly drinking plenty of water, at this time of life. Not
cold water. We don’t want to create a cramping inside or a closing off of the
channels, we want to create a nice elimination of impurities because the
body is no longer doing that through the menstrual cycle. So room temperature
water or warm water if you feel better with that. And you can add some spices to that water that will also help the natural change in hormones and the
detoxification your body wants to do. A little bit of coriander seed and fennel
seed which has a natural phytoestrogen effect and perhaps a little cumin to
help your digestion which can often get off at this time of life.

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