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Yoga for Menopause – Enjoy this guest post by Allannah Law!

Cat yoga

by Allannah Law!

At some point in a women’s life, often in her late forties, she will find herself going through yet another transitional stage. And that stage is menopause – the cessation of her periods. If only it were that simple. Imagine waking up one day, your period is due, yet never arrives – and thinking – ah! I must be in menopause! However, as we well know, menopause can be a hell of a lot more complicated than that – its more like arrrgggghh! Menopause!!!!! Most women enter menopause somewhere between their mid forties and early fifties. However, as Dr Chistiane Northrup describes in her inspirational book – The Wisdom of Menopause – PERImenopause can start as early as 35.

My cousin discovered this to her dismay. She had just turned 39 when she went to her GP with symptoms of increased irritability, insomnia and feeling flushed. She was unduly worried- the symptoms were manageable – but she felt maybe her contraceptive pill was not agreeing with her. Her doctor suggested a hormonal profile, during her checkup, as well as some routine bloodwork. She was horrified when the results came back. Her oestrogen level was well below normal, in fact, she had a count of one (should be about 100By the time she was diagnosed at 39, she had been going through perimenopause for years and was in the stage before menopause!

So how can yoga help? Yoga can help because the purpose of yoga is balance. Postures, breathing techniques, relaxation and meditation are designed to balance your mind and body. Yoga works directly with your nervous system, increasing the parasympathetic response – allowing the body to relax and restore. When your nervous system is stable it stops your hormonal system from over reacting. The cycle of stress is well researched. When we are stressed our sympathetic nervous system (SNS) goes into overdrive, causing the hormonal system to flood our bodies with hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline. This provides our bodies with the energy we need to run or defend ourselves – fight or flight. When these hormones leave our body, we are left fatigued, the body needs to restore itself. When we are constantly stressed, these hormonal levels are routinely high, leaving no time for the body to restore. At any time in a woman’s life, this can cause major physical and mental reactions including lowered immunity, anxiety, depression and even Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. At menopause however, when we need hormonal balance as much as we did at the onset of our period, it can be devastating.

Yoga also works directly on your endocrine system – balancing the body’s hormonal levels, reducing oestrogen excess if needed; or encouraging the body to produce more, depending on the stage you are at. One of the most well researched yoga techniques is Progressive Muscle Relaxation, which has now been proven to reduce stress and anxiety; promote healthy sleep; improve wellbeing and immunity and reduce pain and discomfort in the body.

The best news is that these techniques, once learnt, can be practised at home, or whenever they are needed to bring relief and calm. The key is knowing what to practise and when. Helpful poses include forward bends, gentle inversions and lying postures. Strengthening poses are also useful, as they build bone in your body,and decrease the risk of osteoporosis. There are also pranayama (breathing techniques) created specifically to cool the body and calm the mind. Meditations and visualisations, practised before bed, will bring deep and restful sleep. But a word of caution, not all yoga styles are suited to menopause. And I’ll be writing next post on why not all yogas are equal – ESPECIALLY when it comes to menopause.

Allannah law is a fully qualified Yoga Teacher and Therapist. She specialises in Women’s health with a particular interest in fertility, pregnancy, post pregnancy and menopause. www.yogayin.com

Comments { 3 }

Why We Need Our Sisters

Sisters in the Lake © lynette sheppard

Sisters in the Lake © lynette sheppard

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that the Menopause Goddesses believe that the most important remedy, help, and solution for any part of the Menopause journey is girlfriends. Sisters, other women, help us by laughing with us, crying with us, showing tough love and profound compassion. No one understands you the way your sisters do. For that reason, we advocate starting your own Menopause Goddess Group (or call it Aging Gracefully Group or Second Adulthood Group or what have you.) Sister goddess and fine art photographer Theresa Airey shared this piece with me to pass on to you all. We don’t know who wrote it.

Even if you’ve seen it before, it bears repeating. All the good things do. Enjoy.

A young wife sat on a sofa on a hot humid day, drinking iced tea and visiting with her mother. As they talked about life, about marriage, about the responsibilities of life and the obligations of adulthood, the mother clinked the ice cubes in her glass thoughtfully and turned a clear, sober glance upon her daughter.

“Don’t forget your sisters,” she advised, swirling the tea leaves to the bottom of her glass. “They’ll be more important as you get older. No matter how much you love your husband, no matter how much you love the children you may have, you are still going to need sisters. Remember to go places with them now and then, and do things with them.”

“Remember that ‘sisters’ means ALL the women…your girlfriends, your daughters, and all your other women relatives too. You’ll need other women. Women always do.”

“What a funny piece of advice!” the young woman thought. “Haven’t I just gotten married? Haven’t I just joined the couple-world? I’m now a married woman, for goodness sake! A grownup! Surely my husband and the family we may start will be all I need to make my life worthwhile!”

But she listened to her mother. She kept contact with her sisters and made more women friends each year. As the years tumbled by, one after another, she gradually came to understand that her mother really knew what she was talking about. As time and nature work their changes and their mysteries upon a woman, sisters are the mainstays of her life.

After more than 50 years of living in this world, here is what I’ve learned:

Time passes.

Life happens.

Distance separates.

Children grow up.

Jobs come and go.

Love waxes and wanes.

Men don’t do what they’re supposed to.

Hearts break.

Parents die.

Colleagues forget favors.

Careers end.

BUT………

Sisters are there, no matter how much time and how many miles are between you. A girlfriend is never farther away than needing her can reach.

When you have to walk that lonesome valley and you have to walk it by yourself, the women in your life will be on the valley’s rim, cheering you on, praying for you, pulling for you, intervening  on your behalf, and waiting with open arms at the valley’s end.

Sometimes, they will even break the rules and walk beside you…or come in and carry you out.

Girlfriends, daughters, granddaughters, daughters-in-law, sisters-in-law, Mothers, Grandmothers, aunties, nieces, cousins, and extended family all bless our life!

The world wouldn’t be the same without women, and neither would I. When we began this adventure called womanhood, we had no idea of the incredible joys or sorrows that lay ahead. Nor did we know how much we would need each other.

 

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Creating A Menopause Goddess Group Part 3

Butterflies Together © lynette sheppard

Butterflies Together © lynette sheppard

Here’s the final instructions for starting your own Menopause Goddess group. It’s not hard at all – and if you are worried about leading it or being in charge – just get one friend to co-create with you. That’s what Theresa and I did to start. Now all the goddesses participate. And you KNOW how much can get done when a group of women put their minds to it! So here goes, the final piece. We know you’ll come up with more – and hope you share them here.

5. Set Ground Rules – What Each Woman Agrees To Bring And Keep

None of us is sure that we verbally articulated each of these rules as such.  It seemed that they were just understood.  Looking back, we think it would have been a good idea to clearly state the ground rules as we saw them.  Our “rules” were essentially a set of values that we lived as members of the group

A.    Respect
Mutual respect and unconditional positive regard were a must.  This was pretty easy for us, and likely will not be difficult for any Venus group, but it needs to be understood.

B.    Confidentiality

Personal info that is shared stays with the group only, but the knowledge gleaned can and should be shared generally, especially with other women and our spouses.

C.    Safety

Trust is an absolute necessity for any Venus group.  We agreed to take the outer layers off and bare our souls. No envy, no cliques, no hidden agendas would be tolerated.  (and that included the book, which was secondary, even tertiary.  In fact, I didn’t even want to write a book, but my sisters prevailed upon my better nature after a couple of years.)

D.    Focus

Establish an agenda and focus, but allow the organic movement of the group.  Venus gatherings were not business meetings conducted with Robert’s Rules of Order nor was any agenda carved in stone.  Be focused but not rigid.

E.    Work Ethic
Show up to share and to work, as well as play.  As we said earlier, we’ve heard from so many women that they are members of “women’s groups” that never seem to grow or get anywhere as a result of their propensity to degenerate into bitch sessions. While we’d be lying if we didn’t cop to the fact that we occasionally enjoy a good “whine and wine” get-together every now and then, in our Venus group  we had some serious issues we wanted to tackle and we sure didn’t want to waste time.

Other than these five core values, we had no rules.  However, we did set some intentions in order to get the best from our efforts.

6. Set Intentions

A.    Compassionate Truth Telling

We would ask hard questions of one another with compassion and commitment to reflecting back what we heard to the group. We also would provide a reality check when a Venus was too hard on herself.

B.    Sharing and Examination of Dilemmas

We would hold nothing back.  We would indeed bare our souls.  No question was too weird or trivial to get our full attention.

C.    Sharing of Epiphanies Created By Our Synergy

We were committed to sharing all that we realized or learned without censoring or wondering if it was relevant.  Our entire raison d`etre was to share our bits of insight, cobbling together a whole of wisdom that might help all of us.

D.    Sharing of Remedies and Advice

It is our belief that the way in which women truly get their information about remedies and treatments is through the sharing of actual experiences with one another.  We intended to share it all sifting through the gravel for the gold.

E.    Mutual Compassion

Perhaps our most important intention, we would honor each goddess’s thoughts, feelings, ideas, and  stories.  We want most to be understood and heard, not simply ‘fixed’.  Especially since there seems to be no real FIX for menopause and midlife.  We need all the support we can get.

Our Venus group is like therapy with someone who loves you.  We are physician, homeopath, counselor, patient, sister, and best friend to one another.  As is the case with therapy, we contract to do some work:  exploring, accessing, shaping, and growing through our tears and laughter.  But our sisterhood extends beyond therapeutic relationships.  We’ve created a community that allows, no not allows, expects us to thrive. Thrive we have.  Individually and collectively, the Venuses are healthier and happier than we were just ten short years ago.  We’re still menopausal and we are still confronting challenges.  But together we’ve come a long way and we owe much of our progress to the synergy of our goddess group.

We wish you good luck in bringing together your own group of goddesses, though you won’t really need it.  All you need is desire and commitment.  If we can help at all, please let us know.  We can be found anytime on Facebook or here on our Menopause Goddess Blog.

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Menopause in Community: Create Your Own Goddess Group Part II

Plumeria in Paradise © lynette sheppard

Plumeria in Paradise © lynette sheppard

Much of our knowledge about creating a menopause goddess group, we gained in retrospect. Looking backward and marveling at our unfolding over the past five years, we pondered what had made the Venuses so successful. Maybe we were just lucky;” we thought. Or maybe the right women simply came together at the right time through kismet. Is is possible that our Venus group is so special that it can’t be duplicated? We honestly don’t think so.
Time and again, we’ve bonded on the same menopause and midlife issues with women we barely know: on planes, in restrooms, and in grocery store checkout lines. The raw material of women in community is powerful magic indeed. The willingness to open up and share is a part of our essential female makeup. All we need is a structural framework, tight enough for focus and loose enough for the alchemy that results when women come together. With that in mind, we offer a few more thoughts designed to help you create your own Venus group. Remember that these are not rules, simply guidelines.

1. Meet No More Than Once Each Year
Perhaps every six months would also work. We are not sure, since we began our group with annual meetings. However, it seems that it takes us a full year to realize and integrate changes from the insights proffered at each meeting. We didn’t start out knowing this; we initially met once a year because the Venus’s schedules are busy (read crazy). In hindsight, we see how valuable it was to have a full twelve months to embody what we learned at our previous gathering.

2. Meet No Less Than Once Each Year
We feel that we can indeed create and enjoy virtual community via the Internet. After all, we started the Menopause Goddess Blog, not only to expand our community but also to help nurture and connect us when we aren’t physically together. But we don’t think there is any substitute for meeting face to fact with open hearts and arms. Not to be too woo-woo about it, but the energy we create together fuels our transformation into the goddesses we want to become. And it just plain fills us up to bursting to be with one another. We honestly look forward to it all year.

3. Nobody Can Know Everybody
In retrospect, we realized that it was incredibly important that we didn’t all know one another from the start. Every goddess knew some of the women at our initial gathering, yet not one of us knew everyone. Because we had no shared history or patterns as a group, it made it easier to focus on our intentions and what we hoped to accomplish. Too often a group who know one another well can slip and slide into bitch sessions that may be fun but make no forward progress. In addition, we had no preset roles that we enacted within group. For example, Sandy-Venus is the strong peacemaker in her group of close friends at home, and to be vulnerable and open is just not her role. In the Venus group, she is able to allow and even celebrate sharing her deepest feelings and fears.

4.    Begin Before The First Gathering
Again, looking back, we see how important it was to start working before we came together initially.  We sent out the questionnaire in Chapter One to all our potential attendees, as well as to some women who were interested in the questions for themselves once they heard about what we’d planned.  (These women were satellite Venuses and contributed their thoughts and feelings in the spirit of helping us all.)

We thought that the questionnaire might serve as a focusing tool and general icebreaker when we did come together.  Little did we suspect that it would serve as much more. The process of looking at our attitudes and feelings, past and present, fostered a level of self-awareness that propelled our Meeting One forward.  Our questions and answers also helped inform our group as a whole.  Personal information gleaned was as new to each individual goddess as it was to our sisters.  Yet universal themes emerged and we knew we were on the right track.  Feel free to use all or part of our questionnaire.  Download the pdf here: Questionnaire for Goddess Group.

That’s a big enough chunk for now. Stay tuned for Part III of Creating A Menopause Goddess Group. (Material adapted from our book Becoming a Menopause Goddess.)

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Don’t Go Through Menopause Alone: Create Your Own Goddess Group

Hibiscus family © lynette sheppard

Hibiscus family © lynette sheppard

With all the wonderful remedies and helps we have found to help us on the Menopause journey, the singular most important one is girlfriends. A group of like-minded, like-afflicted women can share humor, heart, and help with one another. I can’t imagine dealing with the Big M without the goddesses.

On a whim, Theresa-Venus and I asked a group of women to attend a long weekend to discuss Menopause and ultimately the Second Act of our lives. It turned out to be one of the most important things we have ever done. Over 10 years later, and the Venuses still meet annually. We come from all over the country, so once a year is all we can manage with our busy lives. And we share and cover so much that it lasts us an entire year.

If you don’t have girlfriends who are going through the same changes as you are, we urge you to start your own Menopause Goddess Group. And so you don’t have to re-invent the wheel, here is how you do it!

In answer to those who have written wanting to know how to begin their own menopause goddess group, we offer this little nuts-and-bolts guide based on our experience with the Venuses.

Getting The Right Mix
Theresa-Venus and I started by asking one another “Are there any others out there like us, who are wondering just what the @#&* is going on with this crazy time of life?” We subsequently invited women we knew (in turn having them ask one or two of their friends) to join us for a weekend slumber party with a focus.

First, and foremost, we didn’t try to overcontrol the makeup of the group. Whether blessed or naive, we simply trusted that the right women would come together for our first gathering. Naturally, we did avoid asking women who routinely seem to suck the oxygen out of any room they occupy. Thankfully we know few of them. (Although it seems like everyone knows at least one!)

Begin Before The First Gathering
Again, looking back, we see how important it was to start working before we came together initially. We devised and sent out a questionnaire to all our potential attendees, as well as to some women who were interested in the questions for themselves once they heard about what we’d planned. (These women were satellite Venuses and contributed their thoughts and feelings in the spirit of helping us all.) The questionnaire was to be completed and returned prior to our first meeting. It was also meant to weed out anyone who wasn’t serious about working on these issues and questions together. Interestingly enough, no one opted out and most spent a great deal of time and soul searching in their answering.

Theresa-Venus and I also thought that our questionnaire might serve as a focusing tool and general icebreaker when we did come together. Little did we suspect that it would serve as much more. The process of looking at our attitudes and feelings, past and present, fostered a level of self-awareness that propelled Meeting One forward. Our questions and answers also helped inform our group as a whole. Personal information gleaned was as new to each individual goddess as it was to our sisters. Yet universal themes emerged and we knew we were on the right track. For a pdf copy of our questionnaire click the following link:  questionnaire_for_blog.  (Pdf files require Adobe Acrobat Reader. You can download Adobe Acrobat Reader for free – click here.)

Enough for today, goddesses. Stay tuned for part Two in the next blog post. If you have burning questions about starting your own Venus group, comment or write us by clicking on Contact Us on the left side of the homepage.

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Menopause Mailbag: Hot Flashes, Anxiety, Insomnia, and More

High Country Reflection © lynette sheppard

This month’s menopause mailbag deals with hot flashes, anxiety, insomnia, and so much more. Please take a moment to offer your advice and support in the comments section for our menopause goddess sisters.

Menopause Goddess sister L. writes from the U.K.:

Hot Flashes
Okay here’s a strange one and I’d love to know if anyone else has had this happen. A couple of weeks before my birthday this year, the hot flashes started and they were intense. Every couple of hours, every time I drank coffee, 4.00 am every night. So I stopped the coffee, started wearing layers and slept with just a sheet to stay cool.

Here we are almost 2 months later and they’ve all but stopped. One or two a week, nothing at night now. Still not drinking coffee though. I’d been told they’d go on for years … can they start and stop like this? Anyone else had this happen?

OK ladies, any suggestions? Have you all had this happen to you?

MPG: I, Lynette, got hot flashes from drinking hot beverages – cold coffee was not a problem. And even that got better.

And R. shares her hot flash remedy / discovery:

Just a heads up: I quit eating all sugar (including fruit juice and fruit) and ALL hot flashes stopped.
If I really want sugar (read fruit or chocolate) , I eat a bunch of vegetables before hand and they slow down the ingestion of sugar so I still don’t get hot flashes. Pass it on, it may help others!

MPG: Thanks, R. Definitely worth a try. And remember, goddesses, to keep a hot flash journal with what you did immediately before to find out what your own specific hot flash triggers are. Every women is unique.

M. writes requesting help:

I am soon to be 48 and 12 months into hormone hell, as I affectionately call it. I have considered myself to be strong, fun loving and positive. My perimenopause bomb hit from out of nowhere. mainly insomnia and anxiety. Totally foreign! I am on my second ND, started bioidentical progesterone 2 months ago. reasearch and ttes/labs assured me this is perimenopause. What is most difficult are the periods of insomnia and anxiety. I Would love to share with other women, help getting through these normal, common, horrible symptoms!

MPG: Readers, please help. And M., you might want to set up your own goddess group. It literally saved all of us Venuses. Click on the links below for the How To Guide blog entries.

Creating A Menopause Goddess Group: A How To Guide Pt. I

Creating A Menopause  Goddess Group: A How To Guide Pt. II

And S. writes to share her hair loss experience (which is way more common than we are ever led to believe!):

You are the answer to my prayers. My hair started falling out and I have noticeable scalp showing through. I believe it is from the HRT. I wasn’t sure how to stop, but after finding you, I have decided to cut pill in half and gradually stop taking bio-identical hormones. I have minimal wrinkles and I am concerned that skin will suffer…..bald or wrinkled….what a choice!

MPG: LOL, what a choice indeed. I remember wanting to take out stock in a hat company so at least I could cover my head. Sheesh, it’s a good thing we don’t lose our sense of humor!

Hot Flash Prevention – Avoiding the ?Triggers? | Menopause Goddess Blog dot com

All I Know About Stopping HRT So Far | Menopause Goddess Blog dot com

Holla for replacing Hormones | Kerri Zane

(Insert Pathetic Sigh Here)

Choose The Right Menopause Remedy Part II | Menopause Goddess Blog dot com

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Celebrate The Dance of Menopause

Dance of the Flowers © lynette sheppard

Menopause can be a difficult transition sometimes. It can also be a freeing, amazing time for growth and celebration. There’s plenty of info on symptoms, remedies, and coping methods. Not so much on the wonders of this passage. How can we highlight the great part of Menopause? Two inspiring women are hoping to do just that by starting hot flash mobs.

I seriously love the flash mob craze, where people seemingly spontaneously burst into a choreographed dance in a public venue. My all time favorite is Patrick Makuakane’s hula troupe dancing in the aisles on a Hawaiian airlines flight. Though I dance hula, I never saw myself in such a circumstance. Until now.

In celebration of Menopause, Dr. Eve Agee and Jeanette DePatie are organizing “hot flash mobs” this September, which not so coincidentally is National Menopause awareness month. I’ll let them tell you more about it:

The Hot Flash Mob Movement

The Hot Flash Mob is a worldwide, synchronized dance movement being kicked off in the month of September to honor National Menopause Awareness Month. Hot Flash Mobs are happening in New York, LA, San Francisco, Arkansas and the UK and are forming all over the place.

The Hot Flash Mob movement celebrates the grace, beauty and strength of peri-menopausal and menopausal women as well as the power that women derive from helping and supporting one another. Choreographed to a super-fun, hot Latin beat, the Hot Flash Mob is danced around the world by men and women of all ages, shapes, backgrounds, sizes and abilities.

Frustrated by the negative and fear-mongering approach to peri-menopause and menopause often observed in today’s society medical anthropologist Dr. Eve Agee and certified fitness trainer Jeanette DePatie (A.K.A. The Fat Chick) created the Hot Flash Mobs as a way for women to come together and find ways to make the menopausal transition easier as well as connect to this rich time in women’s lives.

Peri-menopause and menopause certainly can be difficult transitions for women, but they don’t have to be.  In many traditional cultures, women do not have all the symptoms and problems that are so typical in the West. In many of these societies, menopause is anticipated as a time of deep wisdom and renewed creativity in a woman’s life and is regarded as a time for women to get together to support and share with one other.

The Hot Flash Mob Movement was created as a way for women around the world to get together, shake our collective groove things, support one another, and show the world that menopause doesn’t have to be an ending, but rather can serve as a beginning to a new time of joy, insight and creativity.

Please sign up at www.thehotflashmob.com to watch the video to learn the easy and fun Menopause Mambo, receive updates about Hot Flash Mobs near you or to start your own and join us in announcing to the world, “I’m menopausal (or peri-menopausal), and baby, I’m Hot!.”

So ladies, get your dancing shoes on (tennis shoes will do fine) and get hot to steppin’. Be sure to have your hot flash mob captured on video and send a link to Eve and Jeanette. Our annual Goddess gathering takes place at the end of September, so we are soon going to be learning our steps. (I watched the Menopause Mambo instructional video – it is easy. Whew.) And here it is:

Related Stories:

September is Menopause Awareness Month: More Than Physical| Menopause Goddess Blog dot com

Flash Mobs

Can We Prevent Menopause? Should We? | Menopause Goddess Blog dot com

Contest: The Best Hot Flash Wins | Menopause Goddess Blog dot com

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Menopause The Magical.

Hey Menopause Goddesses – Sister Goddess Karen Clothier has brought together a number of beautiful elder women just up our alley. Check out the Menopause The Magical telesummit with wise woman speakers each day at 11 am PDT and 5pm PDT. It’s rethinking the conversation on Menopause – just as we all have been doing. And it’s free! It starts 9/12 (yes I know that was yesterday, but I am a Menopause Goddess after all) and continues until 9/23. Luckily, the content is accessible 48 hours after each talk.
Let me know what you think. In the meantime, I’ll be working on our annual goddess meeting, so will miss some of the speakers, initially. Sigh.

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Menopause: Going Through A Dry Spell

Dry River Bed © lynette sheppard

Menopause means moist in all the wrong places. You’re dripping on the outside while your skin and tender membranes are desiccating as if they were exposed to a harsh Southwestern sun, 24/7.

We have feedback on our outer skin. We see it crack and peel, feel it itch or flake. And we pour on lotions. By the tubful. All that money we save on monthly feminine supplies? It’s nothing compared to what we have to budget now just to keep a semblance of moisture.

Inside we are dry too. Our natural vaginal moisture disappears. For some of us, it is noticeable in painful sexual intimacy. We buy and use lubricants to regain a healthy sex life. And thankfully, there are many products now mimic natural lubrication (see the Menopause Marketplace for some of our favorites.)

When vaginal dryness doesn’t cause painful intercourse, however, it can still cause health problems. Vaginal atrophy and thinning of the lining may manifest along with dryness. One of our own Venuses was having problems with drainage and recurrent infections. Turns out that sexual intimacy was resulting in microtears in the lining that were then becoming infected. Even though she couldn’t feel that. Using lubrication and taking estrogen intravaginally has alleviated the symptoms.

One of our faithful readers and satellite Venuses wrote me with a brilliant solution of her own. She was having urinary and bladder issues (again, which can be part of this whole post menopausal syndrome). She did not want to avail herself of HRT and was trying to find a more natural alternative.

Evening primrose oil has been used by some women for a variety of Menopause symptoms. This goddess had taken the capsules at one time for general relief of hot flashes and the like, but had to discontinue them because of nosebleeds. (Evening primrose oil can be a blood thinner. Remember, just because it is “natural” doesn’t mean “no side effects.”.)

She wondered about inserting the capsules as a vaginal suppository, where there would be a local effect (relief of dryness) without the systemic effects (blood thinning). Google turned up little information, so she tried it on her own.

And… it worked! No more dryness, relief of urinary symptoms, and reduction of hot flashes. “It’s not perfect,” she tells us. “There is a bit of leaking, so you need some light protection, but all in all, I think it’s fantastic, and I thought you might like to pass it on to others.” I think I’ll give it a try as well.

Another reader shared that she started drinking dong quai tea and lubrication was simply no longer a problem. Another potential remedy to try.

This is what we are all about. Women sharing wisdom – what works and what doesn’t. Our thought processes, experimentations, successes, and failures. Let us know what works for you. And doesn’t. We’ll gather around our virtual kitchen table here and help one another through the worst and best of the Big M. The best journeys are shared.

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Hot Flash Story Contest Winner

I’m sending a huge shout out to all the Menopause Goddesses who shared their hot flash stories and  memories for this contest. There were so many belly laughs that it was hard to narrow them down to one winner. And as you all know, I believe we all win when we share our wisdom and humor with one another. We may be hot and dripping, but at least we know we are not alone. And there is serious power in that!

Here is a sampling of my favorite entries – our overall winner is at the end. Read on and empathize.

Tori Venus shares:
“My husband and I were going out to dinner with a couple we didn’t know very well. As we were driving to the restaurant, the windows steamed up, got all foggy, and our host was fiddling with the defroster, turning fans up all the way to no avail.
“What’s wrong with my car? I’m going to have to take it in to the dealership.”
He just couldn’t figure it out.
Finally, my husband piped up, “Just open the windows. My wife is having a flash.” It’s all true. Every word. I swear it.”

Jill Pic submitted this wonderful poem:

The heat-
growing in my belly and it spreads.
Wet skin.
Wet hair (I keep it boy short now, miss my ponytail) and sweat trickles between my breasts. I ease out of my pajamas and moan,
stretching, desire for something to bank my
burning fire consumes me
although I am already consumed.
To write it so sounds sensual, sexual,
stuff of fantasy.
It is in hot fact an F-ing hot flash.
I am young at 47 and quite vibrant,
alive and happy in my skin,
passing on the secret woman-knowledge
every day at work
to new mothers.
What I need is someone cool
to pass on the
secret woman-knowledge
to an initiate crone.

Our own Theresa Venus writes,  “Oh – so many memories regarding those power surges however following is one of my favorites.
I was in a very important real estate meeting, trying to negotiate some tense issues between a contractor, cabinet builder and a “high-energy” buyer – all men. As the REALTOR (and only female in the room,) I was having to keep egos in line, keep issues on point and at the same time, leave each one of the participants in a “win-win” situation. Very calm on the outside but certainly a stressful situation. Never-the-less, out of the blue, ta-da! Starting with that deep down warning glow, the heat spread faster than the Angora wildfire throughout every molecule of my body. It was intense and before I knew it, try as I might, I couldn’t make out what was being said. I saw their lips move and then I saw a look of bewilderment on their faces. Soon – all eyes were on me. Finally, what sounded like Darth Vadar, a voice said, “are you alright?”
Guess what intelligent words spouted from my lips?

“I MUST TAKE OFF MY CLOTHES!”

Needless to say, those men grabbed their clipboards and ran like hell.

The transaction ended smoothly.”

First runner up Liz Jorgensen shared a flashback from her teens.

“I don’t remember much about my high school Spanish class. But the one thing I remember like it was yesterday is when Senora got a hot flash. All of a sudden she was jumpy, she was pacing and she was fanning herself. Finally, after raising her arms to the ceiling and getting no relief, she opened the window and let in the sub-zero Wisconsin air. But that still didn’t cool her off. Next thing we know, Senora is out the window all the way to her waist. She stayed there for a few minutes, then re-entered the classroom as if nothing happened. We were so spooked, we just got back to work, as if nothing happened, too.”

And our winner is Edwinna Margheim with this hilarious recounting:

“I used to work in the Admission office at our local community college. We had been working hard and going through the arduous task of implementing new software and had one of the guys from IT over giving us a hand. As I was sitting at my desk entering grades, I leaned back and groaned “Oh my God… power surge!” as I began to have a hot flash! The IT guy jumped out of his chair and ran over to me saying “Where? Did you lose the data? What’s going on?!” I wasn’t sure I would ever stop laughing.”

Neither were we.

$120 worth of At Last Naturals hormonal support products is awarded to Edwinna. And I personally will be very cautious about using the term  “power surge” in the future, you can be sure of that.

Stay cool, dear goddesses. And hey, just because the official contest is over doesn’t mean we shouldn’t share our humorous, humiliating, enlightening experiences. Keep ‘em coming. We can use all the smiles we can get.

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