19 Oct Peri-Menopause and Menopause; How Essential Oils could Ease your Symptoms
Peri and full Menopause – What’s the difference?
For everyone, this phase in life can be very different, some women may have Peri-Menopausal symptoms for many years prior to the eventual finishing of periods, and for others it might be a shorter span of time. As well as how long it lasts, symptoms can vary hugely from person to person in character and severity. Generally, Peri-menopause is when you have symptoms of Menopause but your periods have not stopped – periods may become lighter or heavier, your cycle may lengthen or shorten, it really is different for everyone. Perimenopause ends and you reach Menopause itself when you have not had any periods for 12 months.
What are the signs that you may be in Peri-Menopause?
There are a multitude of changes that may affect you physically and mentally during this time, possibly up to around 50 signs and symptoms! Here are a few of the key signs you may notice:
- Period irregularity, changes to cycle, increased cramping
- Hot Flushes which can be accompanied by body odour and sweating
- Disruptions to sleep, night sweating from all over your body
- Poor concentration, memory disruption and brain fog
- Dizziness, headaches, heart palpitations, bladder weakness
- Depression, Anxiety, mood changes, irritability
- Panic disorder where you regularly have sudden attacks of panic or fear
- Sexual changes such as low libido, dryness
- Breast, muscle and joint pain
- Changes in taste and sense of smell
As suggested by this array of potential symptoms, pre, post and during Menopause can be an unfamiliar place to find yourself in, especially as until recently it has been a subject that hasn’t been discussed much publicly or socially. However, in recent years there has been progress in making the subject less ‘taboo’; Menopause is now finally covered by the National Curriculum in schools, and it seems unbelievable that it’s only down to campaigning for this that it has been added to children’s learning syllabuses. Public figures such as Davina McCall and Meg Matthews have done a fantastic job writing and broadcasting about Menopause and treatment for the symptoms – they have raised awareness which has in turn helped so many women feel empowered to seek support and be more open and positive about the experience.
A Potential Opportunity for Change and Redirection
You may find a natural Menopause to be a new beginning – you are possibly at an age in your life when you feel like you know yourself more and are more confident in who you are as a person. It’s a great opportunity to embrace challenges you’ve always wanted to explore, or to start a new hobby or learn a new skill. New activities can also have a positive impact on negative menopausal symptoms – for example, if you’re suffering with anxiety, a mindful new pastime such as something creative can be really beneficial to your mental health – it can help as a distraction from your symptoms and learning is always empowering. Taking up more physical activities such as walking or swimming can also be hugely energy-boosting and will help to release happy hormones! You can also try our Equilibrium Essential Blend to support you during this time. Equilibrium is a balancing blend specially formulated to help naturally restore the body’s optimal emotional balance during times of hormonal changes and contains notes of Rose, Frankincense and Ho Wood.
Ways to Soothe the Symptoms
There are so many ways to ease your symptoms, whether they be physical or mental. Let’s not shy away from the fact that this can be an unchartered time in many women’s lives, so one of the best ways to ease worry about it is to talk to a friend or your GP. Medically, your Doctor may be able to guide you through using HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) which is a treatment to replace hormones that are at a lower level as you navigate Menopause, thus reducing the severity of symptoms. Chatting to friends or family can also help – symptoms can sometimes have a hereditary thread to them, so talking to older women in your family and how they dealt with symptoms may help understand them, plus they may be able to share ideas of easing them.
A simple practise to soothe physical changes is to exercise gently and regularly to boost your overall wellness. As Menopause affects both our mental and physical wellbeing, exercise is a wonderful way of maintaining flexibility and fitness as well as helping to flood your body with endorphins to help balance your mood. Declining levels of Oestrogen in women’s bodies can have an impact on mobility as Oestrogen can help keep joints supple – if you experience pain or stiffness, we love gentle massage with a light carrier oil like our Grapeseed oil, or our amazing Ice and Glow Cooling Gel is wonderfully calming to sore muscles and the Menthol in it is really penetrating and soothing.
How can Essential Oils be used During Menopause
From the mild to the more severe, though experience and testimonials from our customers, we have found that there are so many ways Essential Oils are so effective in soothing some of the unpleasant symptoms of the period of Peri-Menopause. We have put together a simple table of symptoms and how to ease them.
Recommended Essential Oils/Products
|Difficulty falling asleep||Add a couple of drops of Essential Oil to your pillow or use in a pre-sleep massage to relax body and mind. Diffuse before bedtime in a glowing, low light diffuser.||Lavender, Vetiver, Chamomile, Geranium and Bergamot. Aroma-Blossom Diffuser.|
|Night Sweats and Hot Flushes||Use a fan with an iced bowl of water next to it with 3 drops of Essential Oil in it. As the cold water evaporates it will cool the air with a cleansing fragrance.||Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Peppermint.|
|Panic, irrational fear||Practise Box/Square Breathing; a deep breathing technique that can help you slow down your breathing by distracting your mind. As you count to four, look at 4 different spots in the room repetitively, this will be calming to your nervous system, and will decrease stress in your body.||Rosemary, Clary Sage, Lavender. Aroma-Rolls to roll on your pulse points in the same rhythm as breathing. Choose a familiar scent to you so it feels safe and familiar.|
|Headaches||Use a ready to use pre-blended Oil like Head-Aid Aroma-Roll and roll a small amount into temples, neck and shoulders.||Head-Aid Aroma-Roll, Peppermint, Rosemary|
|Muscle/Joint/ Pain||Add a few drops of Essential Oils to a carrier oil and use to massage affected areas. In a warm bath, use a bath dispersing oil and add Essential Oils to soothe.||Ice and Glow Cooling Gel, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Ginger|
|Period Cramps||A lower back massage to release tension or a warm bath can be wonderfully soothing, make sure you always dilute your oils – a carrier oil is imperative.||Mix two drops of Lavender or Sage with Fractionated Coconut Oil|
|Brain Fog||Inhale the Essential Oil blend on a tissue when you feel the need to focus, or use an inhaler. Rub Head-Aid into temples if your head if feeling stuffy.||Lemon Myrtle, Focus Essential Blend,Focus Aroma-Roll|
We are huge believers in the power of massage to ease many of the symptoms above; oils like Grapeseed, Sweet Almond and Jojoba are perfect carriers for Essential Oils or can also be used alone. High-slip carrier oils like these allow and encourage the movement of hands over the skin without pulling it. Self-massage is such a simple technique to help slow you down, regulate breath and be aware of your body – you can do it at home, at your desk, or even on the bus if it’s a quick rub of the temples! Self-massage can also help you feel empowered and more in control of your symptoms. A simple, quick shoulder or head massage can be super-stimulating. A massage from someone close such a partner can be a wonderful experience – the power of touch can be bonding, comforting, and grounding, it can also feel like you have shared and released mental and physical tension. However you approach and experience this period of your life, we hope we can provide some support and comfort during this time – don’t forget to keep an eye on our Social Media pages as well as we often highlight tips and ideas to support women during these hormonal changes.