One of the wonderful things about being a part of the Women to Women clinic for over thirty years is that I have seen so many women heal their bodies and their lives. Thousands of women overcome by disruptive symptoms such as joint pain, night sweats, digestive concerns, anxiety, depression, mood swings, or hot flashes, have gone on to restore hormonal balance and to feel like themselves again.
It’s incredible to see the physical transformation first-hand and watch them leave the clinic feeling good, often for the first-time in years. But more and more, I am seeing women thrive by realizing the benefits of menopause. These women are transformed by menopause in a number of ways: emotional healing, the emergence of a new understanding of who they are and what they want, expression of dormant creativity, and even total reinvention. It’s time we truly honor this magical and meaningful time part of our lives. Let’s look at the beauty and benefits of menopause.
The Benefits of Menopause
I can’t tell you how inspiring it is to see women heal emotionally and physically and go on to create incredible amazing lives after menopause. So often we speak about menopause negatively, focusing on symptoms and discomfort and the physical challenges it brings. But there are many benefits of menopause that haven’t been fully explored or appreciated. Menopause brings a wonderful opportunity to get to know our bodies, and ourselves, in a much deeper way and to use the information we gain to chart a new course for the second half of our lives. How exciting is that?
Like all big opportunities, however, it’s not completely effortless: the mid-life transition of menopause brings with it some challenges and requires a little time and effort on our parts. But the payoff is so worth it! If you’re feeling down or discouraged about the state of your body and/or your life, I want to reassure you that there is hope. You can get your symptoms under control. You can feel good again. You can turn your life around and create a new future by using this time to explore emotions and dreams you may have put on hold or buried away and forgotten long ago.
Healing Through Good Nutrition
Before we can look at the emotional aspects, however, we need to deal with the physical ones. If you are not feeling well or not feeling like yourself, you won’t have the ability, the space, or the emotional stamina to look deeply within yourself. Over the past three decades at my clinic, I have seen the power of nutrition and lifestyle choices first-hand. Now, more than ever, food is medicine or poison depending upon how you use it.
It’s always important that we make the best possible choices for nourishing and supporting our bodies and lives; during menopause, it’s especially so. That’s why I encourage my patients to eat whole foods, organic when possible, and not packaged or processed foods. I also suggest that my patients try to cook at home as much as possible since restaurant food is often as bad — or even worse — than packaged and even fast foods.
Balance is key: aim for meals with healthy proteins, fats, and fiber. That means grass-fed beef, organic free-range chicken, wild-caught salmon, bison, and whole and complete plant-based proteins like quinoa. We also need to consume healthy fats in the form of olive oil, avocados, grass-fed butter, and nuts along with lots of (organic when possible) fruits and vegetables.
Supporting Your Body with Supplements
I’ve shared with you before, however, that even adopting this healthy eating plan, it is very hard to get all of the nutrients we require from today’s food supply, especially during a time of transition and hormonal imbalance such as menopause. That’s why even if you eat well – but especially if you do not – I believe every woman needs high-quality bio-absorbable nutritional supplementation like I offer in my multivitamin and omega-3 support products.
Most of my patients find that the right high-quality supplementation, along with some simple dietary changes- such as cooking more and eating out less and making sure meals are balanced with protein, fat and fiber – brings significant and fast symptom relief. If your hormones are out of balance, additional plant-based support to help speed relief and restore that balance is provided in my PMS and hormonal balance support programs. Quite frankly, I find the results to be amazing!
If you’ve read my previous articles on probiotics, you know that I also recommend a probiotic support product to all of my patients. If you have digestive concerns of any kind, this is definitely a must. But as we’ve seen from recent studies, the gut flora balance our bodies rely on for wellness can so easily be disrupted by antibiotics, stress, lack of sleep and poor food choices. That’s why it’s important to ensure that your second brain, your digestive system, is in balance.
Lifestyle Shifts for Healing
If you can make small dietary changes and then add in some basic lifestyle shifts, such as:
- Getting more sleep (start with 15 more minutes a night, then work up to 30 or 60 more minutes over time)
- Discovering ways to reduce and relieve stress (it may be physical such as yoga or tai chi or it may be more spiritual such as journaling, meditation or a hobby; I like using both)
- Adding in more physical movement in our day (take a walk at lunch, take the stairs or simply make sure you stand up every hour). Look to find exercise you truly enjoy doing (I’ve begun ballroom dancing and I love it! Many women I know have taken up training for a run or cycling charity event, started hiking again, or tried Zumba or boxing classes at the gym). You’ll be well on your way to feeling good again.
The Emotional Side of Menopause
I often see that, as women begin to feel better physically, their emotions they have previously buried may come to the surface during menopause. Feelings or issues from your childhood that you never fully addressed may emerge. While that may surprise you, it is a gift and a call from your body to explore them, feel them, release them and heal them so that you can experience greater physical and emotional health going forward.
Much like a physical symptom showing up that invites us to look upstream to see what actually caused it, (and it may be something very different than what it initially appears to be), an emotional memory or experience is your body’s way of shining a light and asking you to delve deeper to explore the root cause so that you can release the symptom or its expression.
Exploring New Horizons
For other women, menopause may be more of an opportunity to finally take some time for themselves: their career may be more stable, kids may be older, perhaps they are on their own or their relationship affords them more “me time” at this stage; it is a chance to ask questions about who and where they are now… and where they would like to go.
Is there enough joy and sweetness in my life?
What can I imagine myself to be?
What could I do with the second half of my life?
Who am I now? What do I want? How could I get there?
There are no right or wrong answers, and unlike the pressure of an imminent graduation or wedding there is no time constraint forcing an immediate decision or action. So finally, sometimes for the first time in a woman’s life, she can explore these questions openly, playfully, spiritually, enthusiastically and individually, focusing on herself, and see what comes up. It may be a little scary but mostly it is fun to imagine a variety of future possibilities, to take time to sit with what comes up and see how it really feels, and to focus on what lights us up and ignites us with passion.
I have seen so many women take the time to explore these questions and emerge from menopause clear and excited about where they would like to go — and then go off and create it. I admire and am inspired by these women reinventing themselves and their lives and using menopause as a time of transformation, healing and growth.
Final Thoughts on the Benefits of Menopause
I invite you to consider menopause as more than just annoying symptoms and start to consider the true benefits of menopause. Look at menopause as a wake up call to your physical body and to your spirit to look deeper and see what is really going on; what lies within that is calling for you to discover it; and to explore the possibilities for the second — and quite possibly best half — of your life.
Stop suffering now! Hot flashes, night sweats, forgetfulness and brain fog can disappear! Order Marcelle Pick’s Menopause Support Program today!
To take our hormonal balance symptom quiz, click here.