Body

Top five ways to manage menopause naturally

From sleep to supplements we share the best natural methods to promote wellbeing and help get your hormones back in harmony

Struggling with the menopause? You're not alone. Most Kiwi women experience symptoms which can range from hot flushes and sleep problems to weight gain and mood changes. Generally affecting those aged between 45 and 55, menopause can last for up to ten years – a long time to struggle without help! Happily, there are some natural ways to soothe those symptoms.
EAT FOR BALANCE
A balanced, healthy eating plan helps combat weight gain associated with menopause, and can also ease multiple symptoms linked to fluctuating hormone levels.Consider a Mediterranean-style diet rich in fruits, veges and whole grains; research indicates it could lead to a 20% drop in the likelihood of hot flushes, with soybeans considered a particular menopause superfood.
However, don't underestimate dairy; it's an excellent means for topping up depleted calcium levels. Other great sources of this essential mineral are leafy greens and canned salmon and sardines, which have the added advantage of being high in vitamin D.
Keeping a food diary is useful to monitor any symptoms exacerbated by diet. Those flat whites and cocktails with the girls might help with the sanity, but be aware caffeine, alcohol, sugar and spicy dishes can be triggers for hot flushes, night sweats and mood changes.
GET MOVING
Muscle mass naturally reduces during menopause, however this can be neutralised with the help of resistance workouts. Using weights is a good option, as it not only builds bone and muscle strength, it also burns fat and amps up the metabolism.
One of the most effective forms of exercise is yoga, with numerous studies indicating it can lessen the psychological effects of menopause by reducing stress and boosting emotional wellbeing.
When it comes to frequency, the New Zealand Ministry of Health recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity each week, which covers anything from brisk walking to aqua aerobics.
REGULATE SLEEP
Insomnia is one of the more debilitating aspects of menopause, yet The Sleep Foundation suggests as many as 61% of postmenopausal women suffer from it.
Establishing a routine around sleep can help. Go to bed and get up at the same time each day, avoid stimulants, exercise and heavy meals near bedtime, and switch off devices an hour ahead of turning in. Mindful of those night sweats, ensure your bedroom temperature is low, and opt for breathable, cotton nightwear and linen.
Supplements, such as Harmony Menopause Day & Night, can also aid sleep.
TALK IT OUT
Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) has been shown to reduce the impact of vasomotor symptoms – hot flushes and night sweats – as well as improving sleep and general wellbeing.
An approach based on the interaction between thoughts, feelings, behaviour and physical outcomes, CBT works by arming women with coping mechanisms and strategies for management of symptoms. It ranges from analysing a person's inner critic to learning diaphragmatic breathing.
The 'talk it out' approach has given rise to initiatives like Menopause Over Martinis, which encourage sharing of experience and wisdom.
FIND HARMONY IN SUPPLEMENTS
The power of supplements in managing health conditions is widely acknowledged.
When it comes to menopause support, seek out renowned herb rehmannia. According to Harmony, New Zealand's top selling menopause brand in pharmacy, it has been used for hundred of years and has the backing of scientific literature to reduce hot flushes and night sweats.
Other effective ingredients include bupleurum, to relieve irritability and emotional distress, as well as chaste tree, a hormone regulator, and peony – which nourishes liver blood and can help with sweating. Inclusion of Vitamin D and calcium and are also beneficial.
The naturally-formulated Harmony menopause range* contains all these, while being free of black cohosh, which has been associated with liver damage, as well as wheat, gluten, dairy, soy and lactose.
Delivering the total solution for confidence through the body's changes, Harmony has three nourishing and strengthening menopause options. Harmony Menopause aims to rebalance hormones to help relieve mild to moderate perimenopause and menopause symptoms, and can be used as an ongoing tonic for energy and wellbeing. Harmony Menopause Max, New Zealand's number one extra-strength menopause product, features the same herbs but at an increased dosage to address intense symptoms. The country's only specialised around the clock formula, Harmony Menopause Day & Night, includes a night tablet containing rehmannia and ziziphus to ease excessive night sweats, anxiety and insomnia.
To find out more about Harmony products, head to takeharmony.co.nz and check out @harmonywomen on social. All customers who purchase two Harmony products currently receive a free gift.
*Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your healthcare professional.