What is Menopause?
Menopause is a transitional period in a woman’s body, following the absence of any menstrual period for at least 12 months. This time of change may last a few months to several years. This is a natural process where the female body tries to adapt to decreasing amounts of estrogen. Symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, fatigue, mood swings, memory loss, vaginal dryness, headaches, joint pain and weight gain may affect each woman to varying degrees.
What are the stages of Menopause?
Perimenopause is the time when hormone levels start to decrease and menstrual periods may become irregular and eventually stop. Some of the common symptoms during this stage include:
- Mood swings
- Hot flashes & Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Irregular periods
- Loss of libido
These symptoms commonly persist through to the second phase known as Menopause. After one year without a menstrual period, a woman has officially entered into Menopause.
The third phase is referred to as post-menopause. In this phase, women acclimate to the hormonal changes and the symptoms typically subside although some women still continue to experience the symptoms but usually to a lesser degree.
Did you know massage can empower women during this transitional time?
Every woman experiences this change in life differently. It is important for woman to practice self-care. Many women aptly turn to massage to ease some common complaints. Massage offers many benefits that address common symptoms of menopause such as:
- Increases their ability to relax
- Reduces the perception of stress
- Improves sleep patterns
- Decreases headaches and joint pain
- Increases blood and lymph flow
- Connects them with their body
- Improves their overall body image
What types of massage are most beneficial?
Depending on the symptoms a woman is experiencing and the phase of menopause she may be in, there are different types of massage and bodywork that may prove more beneficial.
- Full body relaxation massage can help to alleviate stress and increase overall relaxation.
- Deep tissue massage addresses aches and pains such as joint pain or headaches.
- Aromatherapy plus massage has been proven to reduce stress during the stages of menopause. In fact, aromatherapy and abdominal massage demonstrated a reduction in belly fat and an improved sense of body image for post-menopausal women.
- Reflexology techniques have been shown to help increase blood circulation and reduce perceived stress and fatigue.
- Chinese medicinal massage and meridian massage have been shown to ease menopausal symptoms.
Massage therapists offer a calming, natural, and drug-free way to ease common symptoms of menopause.
No matter what phase a woman is in, massage therapy can be physiologically and even psychologically beneficial during menopause.
What can you do?
Take care of yourself and be kind to yourself especially during transitional times in your life such as menopause. Seek out a professional massage therapist who understands the difficulties associated with menopause. Find the type of massage that addresses the issues you are experiencing. And, schedule regular massages to help you to nourish, heal, and regain a sense of balance and body-mind connection.