There are many jokes flying around about menopause and how it affects women and unless you have actually experienced the physical and emotional changes that occur during this time, you wouldn’t understand the punch lines. This is a very profound time for women; their bodies begin to alter, their emotions become erratic, their memories can fail in an instant. It can feel so foreign that it has sometimes been described as if there was an alien in residence in the body. Life can be very stressful whilst engaged in these changes. It can be exhausting enduring the night sweats, the hot flashes, the sudden tearful outbursts, the bloating and weight gain. It can be depressing seeing what was a normal and every day life morph into the unrecognizable and erratic. Menopause is no picnic for some…
There are many herbal remedies to ease some of the discomfort and tension during this time. Vitamins and minerals are important in supporting the changes in the endocrine system. Hormone Replacement Therapy is another option to mask the symptoms. And yes, essential oils can play a big role in relieving the uneasiness of the body.
Mood swings are a common symptom of peri-menopause and menopause. Here, emotions are wild and uncontrollable, swinging from elation to abject depression. Fits of crying for seemly no reason at all, manic rage and/or panic, sudden inexplicable fear – all of these can erupt out of the blue and subside just as quickly, leaving the woman drained and dazed. For times like these, burning essential oils in an aroma lamp can be invaluable. Oils such as melissa, lavender, marjoram, chamomile, celery seed and neroli can help ease the sudden outbursts and calm frayed nerves by entering the limbic system and working directly into the brain center to regulate chemical production. Inhaling these sedative herbs allows the mental processes to alter into a gentle, more comfortable brain wave, alleviating the high tension and nervousness. Giving the body and mind time to balance is important when the hormones run riot. Sitting quietly, with the essential oils wafting through the consciousness, and meditating on internal equilibrium can bring about needed tranquility and peace once more.
Bathing in essential oils, especially with sea or mineral salts added can be rejuvenating and stimulating to a peri-menopausal woman. Ah, the blues… The heavy fatigue and lethargy that comes with imbalanced hormones… The inability to cope with even the smallest or easiest of tasks… Why bother? Why not just take some time to yourself and soak in a warm tub filled with supportive scents like rosemary, helichrysum, peppermint, geranium, basil, lemon or verbena. These will help pick up the spirits and also as an added bonus, stimulate the mind. Poor memory and lack of concentration are often attributed to menopause. These aforementioned oils can help clear the fog and bring back more focus and attentiveness.
Hot flashes and night sweats are very debilitating. Some good essential oils for relieving some of theses symptoms are clary sage, fennel, geranium, melissa and chamomile. Massaging a combination of these oils (in a carrier oil) in a clockwise movement over the belly and around the breasts can increase lymphatic flow while allowing the oils to penetrate into the blood steam to be carried through to the endocrine system where they can work on balancing hormones.
Edema or water retention can also be a very depressing and fatiguing symptom of menopause. Natural diuretics such as fennel, juniper, black pepper, cedarwood, rosemary and sandalwood can aid in the release of body fluids. Lymphatic massage is particularly helpful in encouraging excess fluid build up out of the body. Bathing in a combination of up to 3 of these oils can be useful as well.
For the lucky women who sail through menopause symptom free, these oils can just be a delightful addition to balancing life. For others who suffer the full onslaught of “the change of life”, essential oils can be a lifesaver. Balance is the key word and these oils can unlock the door to a smoother transition to the next wonderful chapter in life.