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Menopause

As menopause approaches, a woman’s hormones can have a powerful effect on her health and well-being. All women find menopause to be a personal experience and not just a medical condition. If you are fortunate, you may not notice any changes at all. Most women, however, experience some symptoms ranging from mild to severe, with some that disrupt their lives extensively. These might be the embarrassment of hot flushes or sleep interrupted by night sweats, sometimes so bad the sheets need to be changed several times a night. In addition, depression, mood swings, tiredness and headaches are also possible symptoms.

You certainly don’t want colleagues at work to notice or know what you are going through because you don’t want them to think of you as ‘old’. It isn’t just the hot flushes either; you feel dried up, past-it, forgetful, you can’t sleep, your self-confidence has plummeted and ultimately you just don’t feel like ‘you’ anymore. “It’s the most horrible time of my life. It comes at the same time as all the other horrid stuff, parents’ deaths, children leaving home. A perfect storm of yukness!”

Hypnotherapy can relieve menopausal symptoms In my therapy practice, I use hypnotherapy to teach women how to regain control over their bodies, reduce the hot flushes, tackle insomnia, relax and reduce stress and anxiety. The first thing that I explain is the breathing technique. Why breathing? Because it can be very effective at switching off the anxious feelings we get when stress begins to build. In menopausal women, it is also a very valuable way of switching off the stress response that makes an impending hot flush worse and can even stop it in its tracks. Breathing in deeply and then breathing out for twice as long as you breathed in is the key to turning off the stress response. I get my clients to imagine slowly drawing a square in the air. Take a deep breath in while you draw the first side of the square, hold the breath while you draw the second side, and then breathe out gently while you draw the third and fourth sides. Do this for a few breaths. This “square breathing” technique is simple, yet very effective. Give it a try!

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