Points covered in this episode
This week on the Anxiety Slayer Podcast we‘re responding to a question from our Private Facebook Group:
“Hi just wondering if you could do a podcast on peri-menopause/menopause and how this hormonal imbalance can cause anxiety or reignite anxiety. So many women go through this including me for many years and I wondered how to cope with it especially through the eyes of Ayurvedic medicine. “
Please note: It is important to talk to your healthcare provider about any symptoms you are experiencing and to work with them to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses your individual needs.
Ayurveda and Menopause
Ayurveda doesn’t see menopause as a disorder or something requiring treatment, it views this stage of life as a transition that can be supported naturally. If we are experiencing strong symptoms, that’s a sign of imbalance that can be helped with herbs, diet and lifestyle changes.
When we enter menopause we’re transitioning into the vata stage of life. The good things about this stage of life are the increased ability for wisdom, insight, reflection and contemplation. It’s the wise woman stage of life. In Vedic culture these years are highlighted as the time for deeper spiritual practices and contemplation.
The challenge that comes with increased vata at this stage is it can increase anxiety and cause erratic changes in the body.
This is where we need to take extra care of ourselves to support our nervous system. And this is why daily calming and moving practices are so important.
Eating a balanced and nutritious diet
A healthy diet rich in fruits like raspberries and blueberries, vegetables like sweet potatoes and leafy greens, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats can help balance hormones naturally. It’s important to avoid processed foods, hydrogenated oils, sugary drinks, and alcohol, which can negatively affect hormonal balance.
Caffeine can disrupt hormonal balance and increase anxiety. Reducing or eliminating caffeine from your diet can help improve symptoms.
If digestion is sluggish try taking a teaspoon of grated ginger with a squeeze of fresh lime and a pinch of salt a few minutes before meals.
Sipping Ayurvedic digestive tea throughout the day is also helpful, known as CCF tea, this tea is made of equal parts cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and fennel seeds steeped in hot water.
Abhyanga – Oil massage
The practice of self-massage with warm oil is the best remedy for dryness and one of the most effective ways of calming vata and the nervous system.
Oil massage is also very effective for helping with uncomfortable joints. Especially if followed by a warm bath with magnesium salts.
Regular exercise and stress relief
Exercise is an effective way to reduce anxiety and depression associated with perimenopause and menopause. Exercise helps to balance hormones, reduce stress levels, and improve overall well-being.
Walking and yoga are especially recommend by Ayurveda for supporting the mind and supporting healthy bone density during menopause.
Stress can negatively affect hormonal balance. Practicing stress reduction techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga and Chi Gong can help reduce stress levels and balance hormones.
Yoga Nidra is a meditative practice that is very supportive for calming the nervous system.
Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is essential for balancing hormones and reducing anxiety and depression. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
Ayurveda teaches that beyond age 50 is the vata stage of life, that means we might be more likely to experience wakeful spells, hot flashes or insomnia.
Having support by your bed to help you feel as relaxed as possible throughout the night helps. We recommend comfortable headphones and guided relaxations, Night Time Rescue Remedy, and lavender oil.
Get our guided relaxations for sleep on our Patreon
Breathing practice for hot flashes
The Cooling Breath, called sheetali pranayama in Ayurveda, is a simple breathing practice that cools the body, mind, and emotions.
Here’s how to practice the cooling breath >>
Connect with others
Stay connected with family and friends, and consider joining a support group for women going through perimenopause and menopause.
Qigong, Shiatsu and Acupuncture
These supportive services have been shown to be an effective complementary therapy for reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression associated with hormonal imbalances.
We recommend Daisy Lee’s Beginner Qigong for Women – Radiant Lotus Qigong available on DVD via Amazon and an app in the Apple store.
Recommended Resources from our Libraries
Menopausal Years – The Wise Woman Way by Susun Weed
Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life by Dr. Claudia Welch
Beginner Qigong DVDs for Women by Daisy Lee
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