For some women menstruation stops quite neatly. For others it is like tidal waves at irregular intervals before dwindling to nothing.

The average age when the period stops is 52. However the internal shifts may begin well before that and continue beyond that benchmark.

This very individual process depends on both your Ayurvedic constitution and your current condition. How has your body dealt with the challenges of four decades of life?

Menopause is a time when we are naturally more easily out of balance because everything is shifting. This is why surfing is the perfect metaphor. We can shift ourselves to ride it rather than tumbling in the waves.

Riding The Waves Of Change

Change means more Vata dosha so symptoms may show irregularity, more dryness and more emotional instability when Vata gets out of hand. Meanwhile the energy shifting upward can bring fiery Pitta or congested Kapha disturbances into the heart or head.

Being aware of your menopausal beginnings allows you to anticipate your changes and support the process.

Is This Menopause?

Are you in your 40’s and your cycle is a little less predictable? Did you notice that your cycles are closer together or are they further apart? How about unbelievable amounts of cervical mucus when you ovulate? Or perhaps now you’re not ovulating every cycle?

Are you very hormonal pre-menstrually or has it already shifted to post-menstrual emotional swings? Then there are hot flashes, power surges that can vary from a comfortable spreading warmth to a rush of heat and sweat.

The transition can be calmer with the help of Ayurveda.

The right herbs, lifestyle and diet can all bring your body into a happier, stronger place. And don’t wait until things are out of hand. Start sooner rather than later to get into the habits of balance.

Grounding activities and foods

Breathing : Use Full Yogic Breathing and Alternate Nostril Breathing to calm the nervous system and turn off the adrenals.

• Movement: Slow, steady hatha yoga and walking connect you to the Earth and help you maintain awareness through the Change. It also helps with the shift of metabolism that can occur.

• Daily Self Massage: Rhythmic and routine strokes using Vata soothing oils such as Dhanvantaram (from www.trihealthayurveda.com ) or Bala-Brahmi oil (from heather@rootsofwellnessayurveda.com ) will soothe and also gently stimulate Marma points. (Of course, avoid oil massage during the menses.)

• Apana-balancing Marma Points: Energy points below the waist can smooth the Apana prana which rules the cycles, urination, bowel movements, and orgasm.

• Vata-soothing Foods and Eating Habits: These are especially nurturing in the fall and winter Vata seasons.

• Daily Meditation: Clarifying the mind will helping to maintain a balanced outlook through the Change.

• Herbal Helpers: Shatavari , a phytoestrogen in the Ayurvedic pharmacopeia, is helpful for many women to support their blood and their female organs, while gently balancing hormones. Other phytoestrogens may also help.

With these tools you can make a good start at approaching the waves of menopause with balance and grace. If you need more information or guidance, don’t hesitate to consult an Ayurveda Practitioner for a more individualized plan for you.

And have fun surfing!

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