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An alternative treatment for menopause, to be most effective, will work to restore balance in your body. While we don't know for sure, it seems that many of the discomforts of menopause are due to shifting hormones, and our body's inability to deal with that more easily.
Some think it's because our adrenal glands, which take over the job of making hormones once the ovaries quit, are already malfunctioning by the time we hit midlife.
Some think it's because of the way our culture views aging (avoid it if you can), and the way menopause is framed as a disease of estrogen deficiency.
Some think it's due to years of poor nutrition, so that you may think you're healthy, but no one really is, so you only look healthy in comparison to other sick people.
Your thyroid may be malfunctioning (it's epidemic in women, especially older women), which will intensify your menopausal transition.
Some say its due to estrogen dominance, because our environment is filled with xenoestrogens from all the chemicals produced today.
It could be poor gut health, which is now associated with many autoimmune diseases, arthritis, cardiovascular disease and much more. Or food sensitivities, which you may not know you have but can produce symptoms similar to menopause symptoms.
It could be that all of these issues affect menopause and cause you to have more symptoms, and/or more intense symptoms.
If you have intense symptoms or multiple symptoms, the best alternative treatment for menopause is through addressing your body as a system. Diet and exercise are two approaches that can give you health you never thought possible.
The idea here is that improving your overall health will improve your menopause symptoms. While this may not sound very appealing, especially if you are used to popping a pill for whatever ails you, there is nothing more appealing than the feeling you get when you have improved your health.
During my struggle with autoimmune thyroid disease, I have tried many approaches and am consistently amazed when I try one that works really well.
It feels really good to be healthy! You will have more energy, your mood will improve, and along with that your whole outlook on life will improve.
Below you will find some different approaches for what might ail you, along with references to books and other pages on this site that can help.
Another way to address imbalance, especially hormone imbalance, is through the use of herbs. There are several herbs that work for this purpose.
Some of these herbs work best if you have high estrogen levels, others work better with high progesterone levels, and others work to balance your levels, whatever they are. I have recently been using maca root (I am postmenopausal), and it is reducing my hot flashes significantly.
Click on any of the herbs below for more information about what each one does and how to use it as an alternative treatment for menopause.
One strategy I have used that is not mentioned in my other pages is based on The Diet Cure, by Julia Ross. This book is about how body chemistry imbalances can create all kinds of problems, from mood swings and other mood issues to food cravings and addictions.
She discusses low thyroid and menopausal hormone imbalance as well. I highly recommend the book. If you have never experienced the power of food and/or supplements to change the way you feel, you will be pleasantly surprised.
Dr. Richard Shames takes an approach that works to balance your thyroid, adrenals and reproductive hormones all at once in his book, Feeling Fat, Fuzzy or Frazzled?
Dr. Shames says that you fall into either a thyroid type, an adrenal type or a reproductive gland type, and that different foods and supplements will work better for different types. Feeling fat refers to thyroid issues, fuzzy refers to estrogen/progesterone/testosterone imbalance, and frazzled is the feeling that goes along with adrenal burnout.
Discover Your Menopause Type is another book aimed at balancing your system. It is written by Joseph Collins, a naturopathic doctor. It has self-tests that will tell which of your reproductive hormones are out of balance and then makes recommendations for nutrition, herbs, glandulars and other supplements based on which hormones are out of balance.
The Bach Flower Essences are the most well-known. It is not known how these plants help, but Christine Wildwood (1992) says, “The true healing plants, he [Bach] believed, address disharmony within the mental and spiritual aspects of our being. They transmute negative emotions such as fear, melancholy, and hatred into courage, joy, and love; and in this manner, they correct the cause of our ills.”
There is no doubt that emotions affect health. Kaminski (1998), states, “By the 1980's, a completely new division of medical research was established, called psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), which documents the mind's ability, acting primarily through the nervous system, to alter the physiology of the human immune system.
For an idea about how to use flower essences, listen to this 45-minute show hosted by herbalist Karyn Sanders, in which she interviews Jane Bell, a flower essence creator, about some of the essences that help with deep relaxation, restoration, and changing your nervous system for better health Interview with Jane Bell: flower essences
Kaminski, P. (1998). Flowers that heal, how to use flower essences. Dublin, Ireland: Newleaf.
Wildwood, C. (1992). Flower remedies, natural healing with flower essences. Rockport, MA: Element, Inc.