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Menopause: The hidden emotional effects

Updated: Aug 23, 2023



woman looking out to sea, the hidden emotional effects of menopause


They say hindsight is a wondrous thing, and I can look back now and track every emotional stage I've hit over the last 10 years and tie them in with symptoms and see how my perimenopause progressed. This is a good thing because I use it to help others, women like you who are coming along behind me and wondering whether you're going crazy, or losing the plot, or is there any end in sight? To answer in order: NO to the first two and a big fat YES to the last! I can say this even as this year I'm embroiled in more emotional changes that I didn't foresee and I've never read about, but oh boy, they keep on coming! I'm dealing with them and they pass, and so I feel it's time to write this blog, from a perspective of now being in the Peri arena for 10 years and counting; my blog this month menopause: the hidden emotional effects.



Menopause: The hidden emotional effects


When you're in your 40s, and you're still keeping pace with your 30 year old self, and not expecting change anytime soon it does come as a shock when you just don't feel you're coping as well as you once did; with no discernible reason why. I think my very first symptom was my eyes welling up at just about anything. I'd be in the board room and could see my bosses looking at me as my eyes got glassy; and the most annoying thing? There was no reason for it, we'd be talking stats and projects!! You find yourself clenching your bum and blinking rapidly to drive the tears back down, it was frustrating, and I think THAT was my first sign; but of course I didn't know. I don't think I'd said the word menopause once out loud in my life, and I was 42 at the time.


Jump forward 3 or so years and I'd left that job for good, forfilling my dream of being a self-employed shiatsu practitioner, so it didn't matter if I cried every single morning at something soppy on the tele. However when I burst into tears that I was happy with the shiatsu video my photographer did I realised this wasn't me!


Anxiety, at this point was there every day of my life; and this actually annoyed me! I'd been an anxious person all my life but knocked it on the head when studying chinese medicine. When it returned and it started bringing me down I was angry about it; something had to change. I didn't get feelings of paranoia, but for some this is a very real and frightening place to be and you can't see a way out of it; it just feels like you've had a personality change and you don't know why?


Then there are the times when you could rip someones head off, just because they're breathing! I know a lot of women who are married get to this phase. I feel Iucky I wasn't married at this time otherwise it could have been a different story :) But I hear this story a lot and I'm pleased to say I've saved marriages over the years and there are some very grateful hubbies out there!


If you're in a career then you can be crippled with self doubt and imposter syndrome, both leading to a lack of confidence, which can be debilitating in your work. The loss of self worth as a person can affect both your home and work life, and you wonder where it's come from, you're just not the woman you were 3 or so years ago. This is a definite sign you're deeply in a perimenopausal state, with stress hormones overtaking and altering the way you think and feel. Some days you can feel good, then others not so, it's a rollercoaster and that's exhausting.


Low moods are prolonged, you're not quite sure when they started, and now you're just enduring life; without joy. Events you should be excited about you're just managing to get through. The stress of preparation for a day out or a holiday almost negating any enjoyment that you should get from the experience; I had that stage too.


Crying, rage, low moods, loss of self are being documented more and more as specific stages that women can experience and later in the blog I'll explain how to resolve them with natural solutions. That's how I've done it, using my knowledge from the principles of Chinese medicine and it's what I do for my clients. It's all body chemistry at the end of the day and if you rebalance this, hormones calm down; sanity and clarity return and you start to feel like you again.



rage, anger, irritability, volatile emotions in menopause



The complex emotional state of menopause


Then there are the emotions that surface that are more perculiar and complex, and this is where I'm at presently and have been for around 18 months, this feels like it's happening more around the time of the true menopause, as your periods begin to be erractic. It's the appearance of old stuff, emotions you can't explain but feel, triggers from the past, sensitivity like you may have never experienced before and avoiding situations because you don't feel robust enough. One of my clients said the other week in her experience, she's fragile, and I think that word suits this emotional state. I'm lucky that the learnings of chinese medicine stand me in good stead for this phase I'm passing through. In Chinese medicine the bodymind is one, psychology combined with the physical, so to resolve complex emotions and how you're feeling I step in with physical solutions as that is what your mind and body need; good things added back in!


In traditional chinese medicine it states that a woman has 3 stages in life to emotionally adjust and rebalance - puberty, giving birth and menopause. It sees passing through menopause as a transition to wisdom. These 3 stages are where you're meant to let go of any baggage you're holding on to, to move forwards with some enlightenment. Well, who's going to manage that in puberty? And you're too busy and too knackered when you've just given birth, so that leaves menopause to truly find out who you are, deal with the old stuff and let go to emerge post menopause with a new found wisdom and peace for the next stage of your life.




How can I tell my emotions have gone haywire?



When you receive a shiatsu treatment, your meridians (the energetic pathways of your body) are read and assessed to create the treatment for that day. Mine were constant for 10 or so years, then they went loopy, and it all started with the day Meatloaf died.


Yes you heard me! The larger than life rock n roller who ate bats and sang out of tune with intensity! Hearing the news one Friday morning; it just hit me! By the time I got to my shiatsu a week later, I was just feeling really sad about Meat (as his friends called him). She picked up that I had heart shock and that was the only thing we could attribute it too; it had shocked me.


I'm lucky that I have my Shiatsu treatment monthly plus my natural support aids to help me, this is why I've written the section below to help you too. Anything that happens in your day to day life is there to be a lesson learned; listen to what your mind, body and emotions are telling you. But what if Iyou don't have my support structure and don't know where to begin? What if so many things now become a trigger, or you find yourself in a perpetual state of sadness or rage; how do you exist well or escape from it?



Shiatsu for menopause | Cotswold Menopause


For menopause emotions you need a physical intervention


Any day that I wake and feel I have imposter syndrome, I don't let myself dwell on it, I pop my vitamins and minerals, the herbals that I need, take my specific Bach flower remedies blend and walk the dog. I change the air to change the mood. I'll go into this with more suggestions in the next section.


Firstly, it's good to understand why you need physical change to help with the emotions you're feeling. You need to get out of your head as to remain in a state of questioning why, with no answer forthcoming, or with your thoughts going round and round but getting nowhere doesn't do you any good; in fact it can make your symptoms worse.


Even coaches now say that as part of a session that you have to create a physiological change in the client. This means just talking doesn't cut it! It's taken a while for western culture, so hung up on psychology and counselling to understand that the physical body holds A LOT of your emotions and that to relieve them you have to access them physically through the body; in whatever form this takes and works for you.


It was Dr Peter Levine's work on releasing trauma, specifically PTSD that started the conversation in the US about working physically to release emotional blockages, this was around 40 years ago. However, Chinese medicine has known and been doing this for around 5000 years! Acupressure, the forerunner of acupuncture is a very sympathetic way of listening too and aiding emotional change physiologically, and Shiatsu specifically the Zen Shiatsu that I do is about linking the body's ailments with the underlying embedded emotions to bring about relief. Other cultures too, from reflexology to yoga know that these forms of touch therapy or self exercise are key to affecting emotional change within you.


You'll see now that any menopause coach will take you through a beneficial breathing exercise quite near the start of the session, so that you calm down (aiding stress relief) which helps you to listen more attentively to what you're being told. This is the key, take time out, and it literally only needs to be a couple of minutes, to calm and reset the mind, as well as refresh the air in your body. Let's look at how you can start to combat the emotions you're feeling and stop overwhelm.



What you can do ease your menopause emotions naturally


I mentioned earlier that a lot of the symptoms whether physical or emotional are linked to your body chemistry being out of kilter. This is predominantly the stress-related symptoms as your body is holding a lot of physical stress even if your mind doesn't think so. You may think I handle stress well or it's just life isn't it? Even if your brain is saying this; if you have symptoms you have stress in your body and we need to release that as well as stop even more stress being created.


Here are my main go to support aids to relieve emotional imbalances:



Supplements


Stress requires nutrition to ease it by reducing your cortisol levels. You'll feel your more physical symptoms dissipate and you'll become more emotionally robust too. There isn't enough nutrition in food nowadays so good plant-based vitamins and minerals are the first step to taking back control of you. Every successful mindset coach has a morning routine of supplements and superfood smoothies to keep them on top emotional form. Everytime I feel myself dip it's because I've been lazy taking my supps so I get back into the good habit of taking the vits and I feel the difference very quickly. There are also some go-to herbals for anxiety and if you feel rage and irritability. It's all in my supplement guide; details at the end.



Breathing techniques


Most of us are a bit rubbish at breathing, which is utterly incredible when you think we have to do it every minute of everyday of our lives! However, emotions like sadness, grief, worry, even anger or overexcitement can restrict your breathing, and the longer you're in this state, the more your breathing is restricted. I see this a lot in my clients during a treatment. Below is a handy breathing technique, one of many developed by Dr Andrew Weil an integrative medicine doctor in the States who knows the power of bringing together different modalities for health i.e. not just western medical but therapies from mind, body and spirit.



478 breathing exercise for calming overwhelm in menopause



Overwhelm happens easily at this time of life, mine is usually when at the PC trying to get on top of social media, a blog calms me but instagram, that just riles me! One of my clients said: it's like having 20 tabs open along the top and not knowing which one to do first; this is overwhelm.


It doesn't take more than a minute or two to interject, and calm overwhelm. Push away from your desk, go to the loo, step outside, and breathe. Have your go-to technique to hand, this calms the messiness that's going on in your head, reenergises your blood, grounds you and puts you back on a calmer footing. Ultimately this has switched you from fight or flight back into a healing state; and you need more of this in your life.



Qi Gong / Yoga


These are both eastern energetic exercises they work to nourish you emotionally and physically. You may like to go to group classes but have a go-to exercise at home as well. 10 minutes of yoga regularly, or if you just want to stand on the spot in the clothes you're wearing then Qi Gong will be your go-to. I give this to virtually every one of my clients as they all need it at some point during the week. Just 3 minutes of Qi Gong can lift your mood, completely change your frame of mind and re-energise you, it's a great one to do if you struggle to just breathe or meditate.



Hugs


This is a biggie and not to be overlooked! I came to this via my Shiatsu training. Shiatsu is one gigantic hug, it works all the tender emotional meridians, the same ones that get a therapeutic squeeze when you have a really good hug. When you meet a friend for a cuppa, do you have a great hug to kick it off and one again at the end? That's therapy! I don't get to see my best friend Em much but she's always given the best hugs :) Recently, new clients have asked if they can give me a hug at the end of their first treatment, they may have come in stressed or in a low/frantic mood but when they leave they feel the physical change, it's a wondrous thing to be hugged for doing a good job. Many single people don't get the option to hug, so some self shiatsu gently pressing the points on the heart/ heart protector meridians can turn feelings around very quickly. This is an option I offer, just message me. However even hugging a tree is very therapeutic, you massage the hug meridians whilst feeling the power of nature.




Hugging a tree is therapeutic if you don't have someone to hug


Change the air / Nature bathe


When you're in a room/ office and feeling emotionally charged, the best thing you can do is go out and get fresh air. Anything from sticking your head out the window, to ducking out in the rain, to a day spent by the sea or in the forest. Nature truly recharges you. You're in a more densely packed electromagnetic world now and this really stuffs your energies up before you even say the M word. You probably have 2 gadgets near you right now, plus the wifi flooding the house and the mobile masts within range .Get away from them to truly ground and re-energise your system and feel more refreshed and revitalised when you return.



Essential oils


These uplift your mood within seconds! The powerful scent molecules travel up your nose to your limbic system creating a mood change and this in turn affects the endocrine system creating a hormonal change. I designed my Blossom cream exactly in this way, not only to cool you down quickly but also to calm you. Citrus scents are the most uplifting, classic lavender is calming, geranium is destressing and clary sage is the one for rebalancing hormones. My favourite combination to spritz on a hot summers day is peppermint and rose, and in cooler times warming spices and vanilla. Every single essential oil you know or have tried will have a therapeutic effect on you, so get sniffing!



Bach flower remedies


A powerful way to rebalance the root cause of your emotional turmoil! You've heard of Rescue Remedy? Well that's just a blend of 5, there are 38 which makes the options of blending a formula that's just right for what you're experiencing limitless. I do this for my clients with amazing results. I'm finding that just being on them daily makes me reach less for comfort foods, this is having a positive result on my waist and my blood pressure too! Would you like a Bach flower blend for your symptoms? Read more >



Purchase Go Getter Starter Package and get 15% off a Bach flowers consult - Just contact me after purchase to book; see below.




Bach flower remedies are a powerful emotional support with menopause

Creating rituals and tiny interventions


This is like having your daily SOS kit! It can be your supplements, essential oils to sniff , Bach flowers to calm you, a crystal bracelet giving you good vibrations, through to your daily exercise (mind and body!). Doing something physical and attaching a positive vibe to it really helps calm yor mind; which in turn destresses you and has a myriad of health benefits. You regain calmness and clarity, and can continue without overwhelm.



Ready to resolve your menopause symptoms naturally?


Resolving the symptoms that are making your life miserable shouldn't be difficult and I to help you make changes easily. I help my clients see the first changes in as little as 2 weeks, then go on to cement those changes in coming weeksc then continue to thrive and be symptom free, which improves your health and you get happier too! Does that sound good?


Going it alone?


Many women just need some guidance and a few tweaks here and there, a lot of women I talk to are on the right path and just need some reassurance they're heading in the right direction to ultimate symptom relief. For you I've put together a special Go Getter starter package for you to get the answers and advice you need so that you can get going on making those all important changes!


Go Getter Starter package contains: Understanding Your Menopause, Eating for Perimenopause and Beyond , plus Savvy supplements plus Master Your Anxiety Naturally video set and guide and you're good to go - I've popped them all in one place for you with a great deal - click here!



Need help and accountability?


I'm here to help you with a consultation and action plan specifically for you. Give me just over an hour of your time and I'll create the steps you need to really see changes quickly and permanently. If you want to take the pain out of your brain, let me help you, I'm really good at it - book a free chat with me here. or click here to return to main site.



Contact Andrea


Andrea is a shiatsu and chinese medicine practitioner who uses the principles of chinese medicine in a completely practical way to help you resolve your symptoms naturally and effectively. If you live locally you can book in for wonderfully relaxing Shiatsu for Menopause, otherwise Andrea does online indepth consultations where you'll leave with an actionable plan to follow.







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