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Embracing the Change – Naturally!
The menopause, also known as the climacteric, is usually a naturally occurring process demonstrated by the permanent cessation of the menstrual period and typically occurs between the ages of 41 – 55, with the average age of women reaching the menopause being 51 in the UK. There are in fact 3 stages of menopause and stage one, what most women call “Menopause”, is actually Perimenopause which means “around the end of menstruation”. After Perimenopause is stage two, “Menopause” which technically refers to a specific event and that is the last period followed by the final stage, Postmenopause which is the third and final stage and means “after the end of menstruation”. (There is also “Premenopause” which means “before menopause” and this is often referred to as stage four, but at this time regular and normal periods occur, and hormone levels are generally steady).
What causes menopause?
The menopause is a natural part of the aging process where the reproductive or sex hormone oestrogen declines, periods stop, and a woman can no longer become pregnant naturally. However, a medical or surgically induced menopause can occur at any time after certain types of gynaecological surgery, or as a result of undergoing chemotherapy or some treatments for breast cancer, for example. Whether it is a natural, gradual or sudden decline in the production of oestrogen some unpleasant menopausal symptoms may occur as a result.
Highlighting the two most common symptoms: Why do we have hot flushes and night sweats?
With the natural onset of the menopause the levels of oestrogen become unpredictable and eventually begin to steadily and permanently decline. These changes affect the hypothalamus which is not only responsible for producing many essential hormones for the body it is also responsible for the regulation of body temperature. As a result, when the brain detects a drop in oestrogen levels it affects the hypothalamus and often prompts a series of physiological reactions, and when the hypothalamus detects too much heat it deploys the body’s cooling system which we then experience as sweating!
If we have what is known as a medical or surgically induced menopause which sometimes occurs due to surgery or through the use of chemotherapy treatment as described above, then the oestrogen levels change and decrease very rapidly inducing the sudden onset of menopause and this can be quite a traumatic event and extremely stressful experience for the recipient.
Please note: If you are experiencing similar symptoms, please consult your registered Medical General Practitioner, GP, in the first instance so any medical or underlying health condition may be ruled out.
What are the symptoms of menopause?
Although there can be many other symptoms, listed below are the most common ones often associated with menopause:
Hot Flushes (Hot Flashes)
Sleeping Difficulties / Insomnia
Loss of Concentration
Forgetfulness - especially when going through the transition stage known as perimenopause
Tension & Stress
Low Mood / Mood Changes / Irritability
Hypnotherapy to Treat Symptoms of Menopause - Research & Supported Clinical Evidence
Baylor University in Texas carried out research on the use of hypnosis to help alleviate symptoms of menopause in 2012. The studies have shown that people experiencing menopause symptoms such as night sweats and hot flushes (hot flashes), decreased by 80% after participants underwent several hypnosis sessions, compared to 15% of those in a control group where no hypnosis was carried out. Research findings also mirrored results of an earlier Baylor study using hypnosis to reduce hot flushes in breast cancer survivors. To read more about the findings of this research click here: