Menopause is not a disease, but a normal part of life. This is the normal process in the women’s body. For over 5000 years, Ayurveda has acknowledged menopause as a natural transition.
Ayurveda reassures us that menopause can be health-promoting, spiritually-transforming and free of troublesome symptoms.
Experts today are affirming this positive view of menopause, stating that it is not natural to get weak bones, heart disease and rapid aging after menopause. Rather, osteoporosis, heart disease and other chronic health problems develop over a lifetime, resulting largely from poor diet, stress and lack of physical exercise.
Menopause: Balance the Three Doshas
What is recommended for the prevention of major health problems after menopause is a healthy lifestyle. And, according to Ayurveda, healthy living is also the best way to ease symptoms of the menopause transition itself. How balanced, or overall healthy you and your lifestyle are when you reach menopause largely determines how smooth your transition will be.
If your body has imbalances in “Tridoshas”(Vata, Pitta and Kapha) you are more likely to have mood swings, sleep problems and troublesome hot flashes when your hormones start to change.
Whereas if you are have healthy lifestyle habits and are managing your stress effectively, you are likely to breeze through menopause without any major problems.
Health problems at menopause represent imbalances in the body that were already growing in the body and are unmasked by the stress of shifting hormones.
Menopause symptoms are Nature’s wake-up call to let you know you need to start paying more attention to your health. Age forty-five to fifty-five is a critical decade, according to Ayurveda Particularly if you have not been taking care of yourself in your 30’s and 40’s, making lifestyle changes now is critical to ensuring that you age gracefully without the burden of chronic health problems.
What You Can Do Now to Get “In Balance”
While eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise provides the foundation of good health for everyone, each woman’s menopause experience is unique. Symptoms vary from woman to woman. Knowing precisely how your body is out of balance can guide you in selecting the key lifestyle changes you should make to relieve your symptoms. Ayurveda describes that the type of symptoms you have depends upon which bodily principle or dosha is “out of balance” in your mind/body system.
There are three bodily principles: movement and flow (vata or airy), heat and metabolism (pitta or fiery), and bodily substance (kapha or earthy.) And there are three basic types of imbalances relating to each of the three doshas. Easing your menopause transition can be as simple as “reading” your dosha symptoms and taking measures to get your doshas back in balance. The following symptoms and lifestyle prescriptions are indicated for each of the three dosha imbalances:
Prone To Nervousness: anxiety, panic, mood swings, vaginal dryness, loss of skin tone, feeling cold, irregular periods, insomnia, mild or variable hot flashes, constipation, palpitations, bloating and joints aches and pains.
Ayurvedic Tips: Increase warm food and drinks, regular meals, early bedtime, oil massage, meditation, yoga, walking and spices such as fennel and cumin. Decrease caffeine and other stimulants, refined sugar, cold drinks, salads.
Prone to Hot Temper: anger, irritability, feeling hot, hot flashes, night sweats, heavy periods, excessive bleeding, urinary tract infections, skin rashes and acne.
Ayurvedic Tips: Increase cooling foods, water intake, sweet juicy fruits (grapes, pears, plums, mango, melons, apples,) yellow squash, cucumber, organic foods. Go to bed before 10 PM and try to wind down earlier in the evening. Decrease excessive sun and overheating, hot spicy foods, hot drinks and alcohol.
Prone to Weight Gain: sluggishness, lethargy, weight gain for no reason, fluid retention, yeast infections, lazy, depressed, lacking motivation, slow digestion.
Ayurvedic Tips: Increase exercise, fruits, whole grains, legumes, vegetables, spices such as black pepper, turmeric and ginger. Get up early (by 6AM). Decrease meat, cheese, sugar, cold foods and drinks.
Did you know that your ovaries and adrenal glands continue to produce estrogens and “pre-estrogens” after menopause, providing your body with its own hormonal backup system? Ayurveda describes that this hormonal production after menopause will be optimal if your mind and body are “in balance,” providing just the right amount of estrogen to prevent hot flashes and keep your bones, skin, brain, colon and arteries healthy without increasing the risk of breast or uterine cancer.
Balancing your doshas, as discussed above, is the first approach to ensuring optimal hormone production after menopause, but Ayurvedic herbs can also help. Indian asparagus root (shatavari; asparagus racemosus), thick-leaved lavender (chorak; angelica glauca – related to the Chinese female tonic Dong Quai,) licorice root, sandalwood, pearl, red coral, rose and others are used by skilled practitioners in balanced, synergistic combinations to help relieve hot flashes, libido problems, irritability, mood swings and other menopausal symptoms.
It turns out that if you simply eat a varied diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and dried beans.
More serious symptoms, such as frequent hot flashes, continual sleep disturbance, and moderate to severe mood swings, are signs of deeper imbalances that, if left untreated, will persist to set the stage for later disease. For these more troublesome symptoms to manifest, the tissues of your body-your bones, muscles, fat, organs, skin, and blood-must be disturbed in some way. Ayurveda describes that stubborn symptoms are usually due to the buildup of wastes and toxins, referred to as “ama,” in your body’s tissues.
For example, hot flashes that won’t go away despite herbs, diet, exercise, and perhaps even HRT usually represent a problem with ama. Hot flashes result from sudden surges in blood flow as the body tries to clear the channels and dissipate the heat buildup quickly. A similar phenomenon occurs when you have a heater set on high in an overheated room with all the windows and doors closed. To cool down the room, first you must turn down the heater (see Tips for P-Type above) but you also need to throw open the windows and doors (as in removing the ama) so the heat can flow out.
In this case, a traditional Ayurvedic detoxification program referred Rejuvenation Therapy , or “Panchakarma,” may be needed to cleansing the body’s channels and gain relief.
It’s Not Too Late!
The important point to remember at –late nights, fast food, eating on the run, lots of stress, too little exercise–over decades that set in motion chronic disease and aging well before menopause. Your symptoms are simply telling you just how out of balance you are. The good news is that with a few basic lifestyle changes, and the healing power of Ayurveda when needed, underlying imbalances can be resolved, paving the way for a smooth menopause transition and great health in the years to come.
(Ref: source: Internet and Ayurvedic books)