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Welcome to our post “What are the benefits of Yoga for Menopausal Women?”
Let’s first answer some questions about the Menopause, then move on to why Yoga is beneficial to Menopausal Women!
What exactly is the Menopause?
Menopause is a normal, natural condition that all women go through as they age. The term “Menopause” can describe any number of changes that a women goes through either just before or after she stops menstruating, marking the end of her reproductive period. Usually from 45-50 years of
What Causes the Menopause?
Women are born with a number of eggs which are released every month upon puberty. This is called Menstruation. The eggs are stored in the Ovaries, which also control estrogen and progesterone, these control menstruation & ovulation. Menopause happens when the ovaries no longer release an egg every month and menstruation stops.It’s a normal part of aging when it happens after 40.
Can Menopause happen before 40?
Menopause before 40 is called premature menopause and can happen for a number of reasons, such as-
- Ovary damage
What symptoms are there during the Menopause?
Most women approaching menopause will have “hot flashes” which is a sudden spread of warmth throughout the body, often with blushing or sweating. The severity can range from mild to severe. There are quite a few symptoms as you can see-
- Irregular or skipped periods
- Mood swings
- Racing heart
- Joint & muscle aches & pains
- Changes in sex drive
- Bladder control problems
- Vaginal dryness
- Weight gain
Not all women get all of the symptoms
Is there a cure for the Menopause
Menopausal women can get HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) but this has proved controversial in the past, with HRT being linked to breast cancer & strokes. As always with these medicinal treatments, there seems to be pros and cons and I think it remiss to give an opinion. Needless to say, you need to sit down with your Doctor/partner and discuss the best way forward for you if you are suffering with the Menopause
So, does Yoga Help with the Menopause?
Absolutely, we already know that Menopause related symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue and Insomnia negatively impact the quality of millions of women. Some Yoga reviews have stated that individual symptoms of Menopause aren’t much relieved by Yoga, but a recent study has found that stress reduction therapies, including yoga, may be an alternative to hormone replacement treatment.
Their review is the first to look at the effect of such therapies on multiple problems ranging from hot flushes to low mood, rather than individual problems.
Yoga significantly cut hot flushes and improved concentration, sleep and pain levels.
Professor Nancy Woods and colleagues at the University of Washington, Seattle, examined a range of non-drug studies, including herbal medicine, Chinese medicine, yoga, exercise and relaxation.
The researchers found that relaxation therapies and yoga showed the most promise.
‘Selected mind-body therapies may provide useful treatment for menopausal symptoms, although properly controlled studies are still required to confirm these benefits,’ the professor said.
‘In particular, yoga showed significant treatment effects for hot flushes and cognitive symptoms.
‘Yoga showed significant treatment effects for hot flushes and cognitive symptoms’
– Professor Nancy Woods from the University of Washington
‘In certain groups yoga also showed benefits for sleep, mood, and pain symptoms.’
She added that many women did not want to use hormone replacement therapy but were poorly advised about the science behind non-drug alternatives.
The review was published in the menopause journal Climacteric.
Its editor Nick Panay said: ‘We know these menopause symptoms are real, but their effect may be exaggerated if a woman is anxious or stressed.’
So there you have it from the experts mouth! We knew all along that Yoga does help Menopausal women, but it’s nice to hear so from the experts.
Here some reasons we think Yoga improves the symptoms of Menopausal women.
It Lowers Stress
Yoga is all about controlled breathing, which in turn reduces anxiety and removes negative thoughts from the mind, creating a peaceful state of mind. This in turn reduces anger and make you calmer. It also lowers your blood pressure which is great for your heart and your overall health. Overall, much less stress all from a bit of breathing & stretching!
Hot Flashes are Decreased
Studies show that Yoga can reduce the severity of hot flashes. Some Asanas that can help are the Seated Half-Bound Pose & The Reclined Lotus Pose. These movements should be slow and weight-bearing, paying particular attention to the beat of your heart and deep controlled breathing, to make you calm and stable.
Night Sweats are Reduced
By practicing Yoga you will inevitably reduce your Blood Pressure which creates more oxygenated blood into your circulation. Studies have shown that reduced blood pressure can reduce the severity of night sweats.
Savana is an ideal pose by allowing you to relax and bring your entire focus to your breath, thereby reducing stress and ultimately, your blood pressure and night sweats.
Painful Joints are Reduced
Yoga has been proven to help people suffering from problems associated with painful joints, such as arthritis. Not all Menopausal women will have arthritis, but one of the problems with the Menopause is that Oestrogen is reduced leading to brittle bones and painful joints in women as they age. Yoga can definitely help with this, not in preventing the deterioration of the bones & joints, but also by improvement in managing and accepting the subsequent pain.
It’s a Natural Remedy
While HRT is a great help to many women, if you decide not to go down that route, you will find yourself rather limited to treating the symptoms of Menopause. You could try Aromatherapy (which I am a great believer in) but why not try Yoga also. Yoga can ease the symptoms without the suffering. Even if it doesn’t much affect the symptoms of Menopause, it will help your mind find a calmer place both emotionally and physically. So there is absolutely nothing to lose by trying out Yoga today!
Physical Pain is Reduced
We’ve already discussed joint pain, but other aches and pains are also reduced by Yoga, such as back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, muscular pain, migraines and chronic pain in general. All can be reduced with regular, gentle yoga practice.
Thank you for your visit to “What are the benefits of Yoga for Menopausal Women?”
I truly believe that Menopausal symptoms can be relieved by practicing Yoga. No matter what the severity, you will find some reduction in your symptoms. What is there to lose by trying it out? Nothing, apart from a few dollars to buy some kit and pay for your session. Please try it. Do it today!
You may wish to view our post “What are the health benefits of yoga for women?”