Natural and Holistic Approaches to Women’s Health and Menopause
As the years go by, many women find that the signs of aging become more visible and difficult to ignore. In our 20s or even in our 30s we could go on with minimal sleep and exercise, eating whatever we want. But the unhealthy habits we used to have when we were younger begin to catch up with us as the years pile on and we can no longer escape the reality of getting older.
It may seem that time is against us, but these biological changes are normal and happen to everyone. There’s no excuse, however, for not doing our part in staying healthy. Alternative medicine continues to help many women all over the world to relieve their ailments and maintain overall well-being. Contrary to popular belief, Healthy Women asserts that naturopathy is a legitimate healing method older than conventional medicine itself. Naturopathic physicians also undergo licensure to practice their specific modality. Be it physical therapy, acupuncture, or homeopathy, the difference in a naturopathic approach compared to modern medicine is that it is non-invasive and focuses on holistic healing.
One of the common stages of aging where women begin to seek alternative medicine is during perimenopause or menopause. Menopause is an inevitable process, but the symptoms may still come unexpectedly and produce discomfort. This stage, when a woman stops menstruating, marks the end of the reproductive period. It usually happens around the mid-40s or mid-50s. The symptoms of perimenopause or menopause include irregularities in the menstrual cycle, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood swing and issues with concentration.
In a study, by Taking Charge of Your Health & Wellbeing they found that 89% of 850 women surveyed claimed that alternative healing methods were effective in relieving their ailments, some of those being related to menopause. Acupuncture is among the treatments that can help with bodily aches and pains and even mood swings. Alternatively, massage is an effective stress-reliever, which may also improve the ability to focus on tasks. Naturopathy does not claim that it can make all the symptoms of menopause magically disappear, however, the difference is that it doesn’t treat menopause like an illness the way pharmaceutical companies do; it uses an integrative approach to improve quality of life, helping women go through this important transition period more comfortably.
Alternative remedies also assist aging women in maintaining their ability to exercise. Younger people may be able to get away without working out, but physical fitness is necessary as we get older. Former Olympian Dame Kelly Holmes wrote in an article that an 18-mile run in recent years rendered her unable to walk for five days. The former middle-distance runner is now 48 and experiences hip, lower back and calf pain just like everybody else. She is a fan of physiotherapy and acupuncture for releasing muscular tension as well as stress and has also dabbled in Reiki. Dame Holmes made headlines in 2004 by winning two gold medals in Athens and became Britain’s first double gold medallist since 1920. While she remains fit in her late 40s, her peak condition is now in the past. However, alternative remedies help her to maintain an impressive fitness level and can also help others regain their vigor.
Losing your physical fitness, menopause or aging can be a scary time for women but it does not have to unbearable. If you’re interested in holistic approaches to help you through this time, Pillars of Wellness previously listed different naturopathic treatments. The bottom line is that it uses all-natural healing methods that focus on achieving overall wellness.
Written by Aliana Keith
Exclusive for pillarsofwellness.ca