Men… O… Pause. Am I going crazy? Is this my mid-life crisis? I keep feeling… lots of feelings.
From one second to the next I am feeling sweaty, irritable, MOODY, tired, the list goes on.
Menopause is defined as “the period in a woman’s life between 45-50; the ceasing of menstruation.” Thanks, Google. But it is way more than that, and there is no easy way to talk about this monster of a situation.
Natural Menopause Symptom Relief that Really Works
When I was first introduced to Tune Up Fitness® I was at a fitness convention in NYC. I took a class one morning, taught by Jill Miller, called Breathe In, Bliss Out. Little did I know that that one class would set me up for not only a stress-free fitness weekend but some seven years later, I would be implementing those exercises/movement patterns to treat my menopause symptoms.
I felt fine up until 50 years. Then my body did a complete 180. My cycle became irregular, I didn’t know when to expect my period, sometimes I would get it once a month, other times twice a month. It became the control board for my emotions.
I thought I would be ready for this transformation. My whole life I heard, “Well, you’ll feel this and that, maybe even this!” But nothing could truly prepare me for the change.
Everyone’s body is different. I experienced a lack of energy and stamina. I needed a minimum of eight hours of sleep a night. Hot flashes were present daily. Anxiety definitely got worse. My concentration levels changed because my estrogen and progesterone levels were fluctuating. Fatigue became a daily issue and irregular bleeding has been the hardest.
My fitness program also had to be altered because of my energy levels. I knew that I still needed to work out, but my definition of exercise changed.
I had to lessen the intensity of my workouts, and focus more on self-care and recovery so that I could function. I had to be able to balance work and home. The many hats that I was wearing, were literally “wearing” me out. And I was neglecting the most important one, self-care. I needed to take more time for myself.
Self-Care to Support Menopause Symptoms
Women in menopause have to step away from society’s expectations. It is not easy to have so many bodily transitions, and still keep up with work, social life, love life, as well as children.
We are warriors. We do the same things as males, with all of the heavy challenges. So when our bodies are asking for some help–rest, less work, more sleep, etc. We must listen!
I decided that the holistic approach was the way I was going to go. This meant supplements, hydration, smart nutrition decisions, and my life-saver, the Coregeous® Ball.
Practice #1: Sustained Compression – Rest your abdomen on the Coregeous® ball and breathe slowly in and out.
I used the Coregeous® ball for constructive rest, supported bridge, belly breathing, as well as to calm myself down, relax and release cramps.
The anxiety of not knowing when I was going to feel the uncomfortable bloating or the moodiness increased at a rapid rate. So I would take the Coregeous® ball and slowly massage all of my abdominal layers.
Then I would use my breath to guide me to a state of relaxation. Which would, in turn, allow my organs, specifically the female reproductive organs, to relax.
When I first used the Coregeous® ball on my belly it felt like a brick. But with time and patience, it became my saving grace throughout this challenging period.
Addressing Anxiety, Mood and Physical Discomfort with Self-Massage
I am now able to change my mood, anxiety level, and discomfort through my self-massage practice. If I am pressed for time, I will just use Sustained Compression with abdominal breathing technique (see above).
If I am trying to reduce cramping or uncomfortable belly feeling, the Cross-Fiber and the Contract/Relax work wonders on the rectus abdominis (front ab muscles).
Technique #2: Contract/Relax – Place the Coregous® ball under your abdomen and as you inhale, firm your muscles into it. As you exhale, relax the belly.
Technique #3: Cross-Fiber – Rock your body right and left, pushing your abdominal contents side-to-side.
Just 3-5 minutes will not only reset your nervous system, but it will help significantly to reduce the overall belly discomfort and soften the female organs working overtime as well.
My daily mantra, or Sankalpa as we call it in the Yoga Tune Up® world, is “Just Breathe.”
It’s a constant reminder that helps shift me out of fight or flight throughout my journey of “midlifeness”.
Practice #4: Explore and breathe – Move the Coregeous® ball to other parts of your torso and breathe slowly, connecting to your inner life, soothing yourself with your breath and self-massage.
Whether I am using the breath to calm me down or guide me through a series of self-care
strategies, I can instantly go there and know that I will find a way to work through whatever
challenges this life throws my way.
Related Article: How Savasana Saved My Life: Relaxation Techniques to Overcome Pain
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