Updated: Nov 20
Did you know that the decline in Oestrogen causes vasomotor symptoms such as hot flushes, heart palpitations, anxiety and 'nightwakes' - those anxious dreams that wake us suddenly from sleep and can leave a lingering feeling of dread in the morning.
Low oestrogen also affects our heart health, which is one of the reasons that doctors believe the risk of cardiovascular disease dramatically increases for women in post menopause. In fact, there is some research that links vasomotor symptoms such as heart flushes with a higher risk of CVD.
And have you ever experienced Anhedonia - the medical term for a flat low mood that hovers over you day after day like a grey cloud? It can feel as if our heart has become heavy with the weight of our emotions and our body becomes lethargic. Is this ringing true for some of you?
Heart health & healing:
Taking Hormone Replacement Therapy can reduce the vasomotor symptoms, healthy balanced foods, such as Mediterranean diet [including green leaf vegetables, herbs, nuts and seeds (phytoestrogens), oily fish (protein and Omega oils), olive oil, etc], and doctors advise aerobic exercise 3x a week to help keep your heart healthy.
However, there is so much more:
In traditional Chinese medicine, the menopause is viewed as a time of awakening.
On a practical level it may be an alarm call to wake up now and make any necessary changes to rebalance our life and lifestyle, so that we can thrive in the next stage of life feeling healthy and happy. If not now - when? In TCM this is called our Second Spring - a time of remerging and rebirth - a second flowering of creativity or passion for new projects that fulfil our potential.
After 13 years of teaching women in the menopause I can say from experience that menopause can also be a soulful awakening to ourselves, our creativity, our potential and - most importantly - an opportunity to heal our relationship with ourselves. Now is the time to treat ourselves with kindness, self compassion, absolute acceptance as we embrace our whole being with a big hug. Try it - befriending yourself and your body and emotions can feel liberating :)
And with this lightness of heart can come a lift of our low mood and lethargy, a renewed sense of passion, purpose to follow your heart's passion.
Wishing you kindness and self compassion,
Menopause Yoga for heart health:
I developed a specialist yoga practice that is tailored to the stages of the menopause and specific symptoms. Yoga can not replace the hormones that are lost in the menopause transition, but it can reduce stress, release emotions, stretch and strengthen and build bone density, balance, muscle, heart and mental health.
Join Petra's weekly Menopause Yoga classes to learn her simple toolkit of techniques that you can practice any time.
Petra Coveney & Jo Darling will be leading a workshop on the Wisdom of Heart Energy in menopause on November 30th at 6pm-8.30pm. Book here