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"A change in life"

Menopause is the final menstrual period of a woman's life. It's also known as the 'change of life', as it represents the end of a woman's ability to reproduce. Menopause occurs when the production of hormones by the ovaries begins to slow down. As this change occurs, the hormone levels in a woman's body will tend to fluctuate, which will most likely have an effect on the woman's menstrual cycle. Eventually, hormone production levels fall to a point where menstruation stops altogether this point is the menopause.

Menopause, like the menstrual cycle that precedes it, is often viewed negatively due to the struggles that many women go through during these years. However there is another way of looking at this important time in a woman's life. The "Change of Life", as Menopause is often called, happens when a woman stops menstruating. The change occurs gradually and the body goes through strong hormonal and physiological shifts which can cause symptoms ranging from uncomfortable to downright maddening. Most women experience menopause between the ages of about 4852 but some go through it years earlier or later, as well. How long the menopause cycle takes varies greatly too, from woman to woman but it can last as long as three years.

Hot flashes are probably the most common menopause symptom. A hot flash causes sensations of heat (sometimes, quite intense heat) in the face and upper body. In addition to hot flashes, other symptoms may include fatigue, disorientation (inability to think clearly), depression, trouble sleeping, crying for no reason, and having trouble remembering things.

From a spiritual perspective, menopause is a special time of coming into the wisdom of the Grandmother or Crone. Just as menstruation is honoured by indigenous people, so is the ending of the menstrual cycle. These two points in a woman's life are ripe with spiritual potential and, if approached with respect, can teach a woman much of the natural cycles of life. She is bound by the cycle of the Moon and can learn to walk in a strong, solid way through proper tuning in at these important times in her life.


Menopause normally affects women between the ages of 45 and 55, with the average age falling around 50 years old. In some instances, medical intervention for other conditions can cause early-onset of menopause, such as radiation treatment for cancer. Menopause is a natural part of life, and it cannot be avoided. However, management of the symptoms can play an integral part in ensuring that menopausal symptoms do not impact as heavily on a woman's life.

Regular exercise, between 30-45 minutes per day, most days of the week, can help to reduce or relieve many of the symptoms of menopause. A healthy diet and herbal supplements recommended by your natural health practitioner can also alleviate many of the symptoms.

Common symptoms of menopause include:

  • Hot flashes & night sweats

  • Insomnia & restless sleep

  • Fatigue

  • Mood swings & irritability

  • Fuzzy thinking & forgetfulness

  • Vaginal dryness

  • Loss of sexual desire

  • Anxiety

  • Cravings for sweets, alcohol or carbohydrates

  • Feeling depressed or overwhelmed

  • Weight gain

  • Digestive issues

  • Urinary dysfunction

  • Hair loss/dry skin

  • Stiffness/joint pain

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