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Navigating Menopause: A Holistic Approach from an Osteopath's Perspective

Written by Osteopath Gemma Ahrens

Menopause is a natural phase in a woman's life, marking the end of her reproductive years. While it's a normal transition, it often comes with symptoms that can significantly impact a woman's quality of life. As an osteopath, I believe in taking a holistic approach to the symptoms of menopause, addressing not only the physical symptoms but also the emotional and mental aspects of this transition.

Holistic approach to menopause

Understanding Menopause

Menopause typically occurs in women between the ages of 45 and 55, although it can occur earlier or later. It is defined as the cessation of menstruation for 12 consecutive months, marking the end of a woman's reproductive years. During menopause, hormonal changes, particularly a decrease in oestrogen and progesterone levels, can lead to a wide range of symptoms.

Common Symptoms

1. Hot Flashes: Sudden feelings of heat, often accompanied by sweating and flushing.

2. Night Sweats: Hot flashes that occur during sleep, leading to disrupted sleep patterns.

3. Mood Swings: Fluctuations in hormone levels can contribute to mood changes, irritability, and anxiety.

4. Vaginal Dryness: Decreased oestrogen levels can result in vaginal dryness, itching, and discomfort during intercourse.

5. Fatigue: Many women experience increased fatigue and decreased energy levels during menopause.

6. Joint Pain: Hormonal changes can exacerbate existing joint pain or contribute to the development of new joint discomfort.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms of menopause (or perimenopause), please speak to your Osteopath about them and see what suggestions we might have to help ease the impact of the symptoms on your daily life.

Holistic Management Approach

1. Osteopathic Manual Therapy: Osteopathic manual therapy can help alleviate musculoskeletal symptoms associated with menopause, such as joint pain and muscle tension. Techniques such as soft tissue massage, articulation, joint adjustments and stretching can decrease muscle and joint related pain and improve mobility.

2. Exercise: Regular physical activity is essential for managing menopausal symptoms, including mood swings, fatigue, and joint pain. Exercises that may be beneficial include yoga, tai chi, swimming and strength training as these will help to improve flexibility, strength, and overall well-being. Exercises programmes and recommendations will vary individually and will be tailored to you specifically. Factors taken into account include your specific muscle and joint pains, pre-existing injuries, individual goals and hobbies. 

3. Nutrition: It is important to ensure you are eating a healthy balanced diet to maintain overall health and well-being. Naturopaths and dieticians may also be able to give you advice for certain diets and supplements to support hormonal balance and help manage symptoms such as hot flashes and fatigue.

4. Stress Management: Stress can exacerbate menopausal symptoms, so it's important to incorporate stress-reduction techniques like mindfulness, deep breathing, and relaxation exercises into daily life.

5. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): In some cases, hormone replacement therapy may be recommended to alleviate severe menopausal symptoms. However, it's essential to weigh the risks and benefits of HRT with a healthcare provider, as it may not be suitable for everyone. This is something you can chat to your GP about if conservative options have not been helpful and your symptoms are impacting quality of life. 

Menopause is a natural phase of life that can bring about significant physical and emotional changes. By taking a holistic approach to management, addressing both the physical symptoms and emotional well-being, women can navigate this transition with greater ease and comfort. As an osteopath, I am committed to supporting women through this transformative journey, empowering them to embrace this new chapter of life with vitality and resilience.

Osteopath Gemma Ahrens

Need support?

If you are looking for support in creating a holistic management plan for menopause, then you can book an appointment with Gemma via the below link. Alternatively, give us a call on 0425 876 929 to discuss your needs. You can also learn more about Gemma by clicking here.


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