Hello, I'm Andrea Marsh. I've been a qualified Shiatsu Practitioner and Chinese Medicine Therapist for over 15 years and I now a menopause specialist clinic in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.
In 2017, at the age of 46, I was shocked to find out I was in perimenopause. It explained a lot of things that were happening to me and how these were affecting my life and my mind. I decided to examine how menopausal symptoms initially appear and how the transition should be experienced in a healthy woman. I discovered that Chinese Medicine mapped it out very well and that it lined up perfectly to the decline of progesterone and oestrogen. So many women don't think to associate symptoms such as fatigue and achy joints (to name only a few) with the start of their menopause and therefore suffer unnecessarily.
I use the theory of Chinese Medicine every day in my shiatsu practice, my online consultations and all my supportive books and programmes as it's now a natural and effective solution to helping women understand and alleviate unwanted symptoms.
I've had a relationship with energetic therapies since my early 20s, I went to a Cranial Osteopath with lifelogn back, pelvis and neck problems. He wondered how I could walk. He told me the trauma in my body went all the way back to birth!
Zoom forward 25 plus years. I've now been a Shiatsu Practitioner since 2005 and understand how powerful it can be with health-related issues. But at that time, I never thought about the Menopause. But that's just it, isn't it? No-one really thinks or knows about the Menopause and there aren't really many people out there that can help you either. You're left struggling with bizarre and sometimes debilitating symptoms and no one to talk to. You might pop into a Facebook group and have a supportive moan with some other women in a similar position. But that doesn't help solve your symptoms, it’s probably a welcome pressure release when things get really tough.
So at 46 and 12 days old, I had never given the Menopause a fleeting thought I'm sorry to say, especially if you're reading this and suffering from symptoms at a younger age. Though I'll say now, I've helped women as young as 40, so please know there are solutions regardless of your age.
"I helpwomen as young as 30, so please know there are solutions!"
I went to a networking event and the speaker, Lauren Chiren (Women of a Certain Stage) was going to talk about the Menopause. I happened to talk to her before she started and I said, “I'm going to sail through the Menopause.” She said, “good for you” and then I heard her talk....
She had really suffered and had to give up a high-powered job in banking as the anxiety she experienced had been debilitating. I felt awful that I had been so flippant prior to her talk.
I left that day, still not thinking I was Menopausal, but she had told us to look at a website called 34 Symptoms.com, so out of curiosity I did. To my horror I ticked 25 boxes!
Over the next several months I ended up thinking… “maybe this is why I'd got so fed up in my old career and left, I felt exhausted all the time, got more and more anxious and burst into tears in Bulgaria, calling my mum to come and collect me (it was 5am UK time!)”
This wasn't the behaviour of a 42-year-old Computer Consultant, but at the time I just put it down to stress.
"...all around me women were appearing with symptoms,
I'd suddenly opened up a new world"
In late 2017, all around me women were appearing with symptoms. I didn't think you could have these symptoms so young, I genuinely thought it was something that happened 'in your 60s', so I was shocked to think I was now bordering on the Menopause and that the average age in the UK for entering the menopause is 51!
No one around me had ever said the 'M' word, and now here it was, everywhere; it just really shows that women don't talk about it until they know they are in a very safe environment to mention it.
I'm a curious person by nature, a researcher, and a problem solver. I decided to try and solve the problems of the menopausal symptoms. I thought, there are so many conflicting symptoms here, there must be a pattern. Chinese Medicine teaches you that there is always a pattern, you just have to find it.
The other issue was, I had no heat symptoms. Here I was heavily Peri, maybe even bordering on the main change and I didn't have heat symptoms. Was there such a thing as a cold menopause?
Then I realised symptoms are grouped, the perimenopause is cold based, and women can have symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, overwhelm, low moods, anxiety without a hot flush in sight. This made sense, because I read that women were being told by their GPs they weren't menopausal because they didn't have hot flushes. They were being told, and this made me extremely angry, that they were probably depressed. They were offered unnecessary anti-depressants. This was when I realised I needed to be more vocal.
"women were being told they were probably depressed
and being offered unnecessary anti-depressants."
Eighteen months on, a few menopause seminars under my belt, and success stories from the first ladies that I'd taken through my 'Menopause - Back to Health' treatment plan, and I realised I could really help a lot of women.
THAT WAS OVER 4 YEARS AGO
So, now my story is about you, and how I can help you. I help women with online consultations in natural treatments for menopause symptoms. Covid played a big part in me offering my virtual service. You can resolve your symptoms successfully by understanding what is going on, and why your body needs certain supplements to get you back on track for your health; there are so many natural remedies and treatments to resolve your symptoms successfully.
I still do face to face treatments for those that are local to Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, but I support women globally. If you're local and would like to know more about shiatsu, click here to go to my sister website shiatsu bodyworks.
The first step to alleviating your symptoms is to take back control and give yourself permission to do what is necessary to live a happy life again.
"Do you know the years of the menopausal change are more
hormonally disruptive than being pregnant?"
I close my Menopause talks by talking about your Mindset. Do you know the years of change are more hormonally disruptive than being pregnant? If you've had children, then you'll know how many changes you made to take care of yourself during this time. Now, you need to treat yourself as compassionately, and this means rest, sleep, and find the right resources to support and guide you through your transition.
I'm passionate about helping you have the very best time through this exciting time of your life, as you move towards a healthier and happier future.
Actress Kim Cattrall said,
"I see menopause as the start of the next fabulous phase of life as a woman. Now is a time to "tune in" to our bodies and embrace this new chapter. If anything, I feel more myself and love my body more now, at 58 years old, than ever before.”
It can start today for you, with a clarity call with me.