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Sleepwear to Guarantee a Good Night’s Sleep

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One of the many trials of the menopause journey is waking up drenched. First you are hot, then as the dampness wicks away your body heat, you become frozen. This can happen several times a night.

Most of you know that I am a sleepwear junkie – I love fabrics that wick away moisture so that I don’t even wake when those HOT moments strike.

Goodnighties has some wonderful gowns and pjs that do just that. The great folks there sent me a gown to try – and it worked like gangbusters. And a bonus? I walked out in it to watch TV before bed (gotta keep up with American Idol) and my husband said, “Hey, that’s cute.” So the anti frump quality is pretty great too.

One of the qualities of the Goodnighties fabric that really interested me is that it has negative ions built into the fiber structure itself. (Negative ions are those wonderful mood elevators and physical wellbeing enhancers found at the bottom of waterfalls and in sitting by the surf.)

Their Ionx fabric has been shown to actually help with healing by increasing blood flow to achy muscles and joints. (Oh yes, yet another symptom of the Pause.) I definitely went to bed achy last night from too much hiking and chiropractic work. I meant to try and notice how it worked but I slept too well. Guess it worked really well. Oh, and I bounced out of bed this am – no aches or pains. Woo hoo.

Check out these cool pajamas and gowns on their website:   goodnighties.com

Don’t miss out on sleep due to night sweats or nocturnal hot flashes. (And they are great for travel, too.)

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A Change Is Gonna Come

Comedy © lynette sheppard

Comedy © lynette sheppard

Lisa Hartman generously allowed me to reprint her fabulous, funny essay about the Big M. It reads like she was at our first Menopause Goddess gathering. Enjoy!

Open Letter to Women
A Change is Gonna Come
by Lisa Hartman

You are not, or were not, prepared. It is likely that your body, without your knowledge or consent, will, or already has begun to, upend your perception of yourself and the universe. It will, or already does, suck.

They prepare you for your driver’s test, your SAT. There is a plethora of relationship and sex advice. How to cook, garden, use your computer, parent. Classes and books, whole sections of libraries and bookstores devoted to unraveling the mysteries of life. Why, then, the dearth of guidance and information when it comes to mid-life – the “change” – that more than half the population will face? Oh, sure, it’s out there – books, articles, even talk shows will address peri/menopause – but the event, rather, the slow unfolding process, is a sneak attack in our youth-obsessed culture. You don’t seek information or educate yourself before the fact, when it could help you. No, you seek it at 3 am, in a panic, and devour it in the hope that something, anything, can save you now. No one will prepare you, and on the eve of your commitment, your mother will say, “Now that you mention it, it was difficult at times. I do remember crying for days on end.” Thanks for the heads up, Ma.

The female body is an amazing piece of work. It has ferried you this far, with its cycles, its ebb and flow. Perhaps it has given you children, the miracle of life, and nourished them. You have nurtured and loved, children or not, and built a life on the foundation of this body. A brilliant machine – I get it. But what is all this noise about “intelligent” design? Really? There is intelligence in these screaming, chaotic hormonal fluctuations? Intelligence in the crippling of my sanity? Sometimes, it seems more like a freshman design project. At a party school.

Here is what will happen:

Your teen daughter will look at you, hand on cocked hip, head in that “Girlfriend?!” tilt. Eye rolling will increase, as will stomping and slamming. You can’t blame her, of course – she is having her own design issues at the moment and you are useless.

Your young adult sons will also look at you, as if you have sprouted a third eye. Then they will leave. You will weep and gnash your teeth, like a madwoman, in spite of the fact that their departure makes your life much easier. All reason has fled.

Your husband will be a rock. He will shop and cook and still love you. You will catch him, however, muttering, rolling his own eyes and blowing air. It will really piss you off.

You will wake in the wee hours, drenched in sweat. You’ll strip, towel off and sleep again. In the morning you’ll recall this and think, “Hmm… must’ve been hot last night.” In February — in the northern latitudes.

There will be nights when you don’t sleep at all and you feel madness creeping in. Or maybe rushing in. You will drink Rescue Remedy and chamomile tea and toddies and you will somehow survive, but you will never forget just how close you were to the abyss. It will temporarily cripple you.

You will make appointments and say “yes” to parties and dinners, calm and lovely, but you won’t make it to half of them. 11:00 Friday morning? We don’t know what that looks like yet.

You will weep over everything and nothing. You will feel sad and silly, hopeless and giddy all at once. It will make not a lick of sense.

Your doctor will look at you, a 45-year-old woman with night sweats, insomnia, anxiety and crazy eyes, and say, “No, it can’t be perimenopause if your cycle is still regular.” She will be wrong. You will hate her.

You will see the world, by turns, as a glorious Eden full of unlimited possibility and a dark dead-end hell full of worst-case scenarios. You’ll be right on both counts.

You may find previously mundane tasks, like driving and waiting in checkout lines, maddening and nearly impossible. And you must not venture, too often, into the depths of brightly lit, big-box stores. I am noticing now, when I dare to peek, that these places are filled with young parents, retirees, and men. Where are my sisters?

You will look at the people in your family and wonder, “Who are they? Why are they here? What do they want from me?” Keep this to yourself.

You will want to be alone and you will want to do nothing. Chase it. You will also want to turn the world upside down with the creative storm in your head. Chase that too.

You will reconnect with old friends and you will overshare. It will be a relief and a delight when they do the same.

You will see another doctor who, after an hour wait and a 10-minute visit, will hand you a prescription for an antidepressant. You will hate him.

You will find sex alternately mind-blowing and non-existent, emphasis probably on the latter. This is because your brain vacillates between two messages – “Take me immediately,” or “Touch me and die.” – emphasis probably, unfortunately, on the latter. Your body may scream, “Take me immediately!” when, and if, you ovulate because biology wants you to propagate the species. Clearly, there is no real link between biology and common sense – I have propagated the species four times now and am currently just trying to keep everyone alive, myself included.

Your joints will be like those of a crone. Your hips, thumbs, knees will all complain. You will Google this and read entirely too much.

You will begin reading obituaries, which will remind you of the great sport you had, years ago, ribbing your Grandmother about this same activity. You will feel guilt and remorse.

Your good dog will sense your new vulnerability. She will place a gentle paw on your lap and gaze into your eyes. Your bad dog will crank up the stress with his incessant barking and toxic stench. Note the genders.

You may, for a time, ignore the messages from your body. You will cook, clean, chauffeur, cater large events, stay up too late, and nurture everyone’s happiness. And then you will fall down. Your body will stop asking, suggesting. It will keep you down until you tend it.

You will sniff rose oil and tape dried beans to the acupressure points on your wrists. You will drink foul Chinese concoctions and slather wild yam cream everywhere.

You will, at times, hear the voices around you as a cacophony and you will want everyone to shut up. Don’t tell them.

You will become unhinged. You will suddenly, bizarrely, love all romantic comedies.

You will want to drink. A lot.

Here is what you do:

Read Susun Weed. She’s odd, but she’s right.

Go easy on the caffeine and the alcohol. Drink tea and a glass of wine with dinner, if you must. Leave the espresso and the tequila to the grad students.

Find a fabulous acupuncturist with supplementary degrees in nursing and nutrition who happens to be married to a guy who does cranio-sacral massage. Do everything they tell you.

Eat fish pills. My acupuncturist said so.

Walk. Don’t stop. Everyday. I have recently noticed, now that I am one, the hordes of middle-aged women walking, everywhere. Mostly alone. This isn’t the chatty stroll with friends and strollers of days gone by. This is a purposeful, “walk to save my sanity”. You can see it in the eyes, the set of the jaw. It works, better than anything else.

Have your Vitamin D levels checked, especially if you live north of the 40 degree latitude line. Supplement accordingly, immediately.

Keep a journal of the madness. You’ll see how it tracks with your cycle, somehow, and at least be able to anticipate the worst.

Eat really well. You know how. Just do it.

To those of you on the early side of this ride, those in your 20’s and 30’s, take heed. This train is runaway and headed straight for you. If I knew now what they should have told me then, I would’ve armed myself. If the body is in great shape when this design flaw kicks in, it will be a much easier wave to ride.

I have spent almost three decades building, birthing, nursing, and nurturing four children –and I’m still not done. I’ve earned my crazy pants and deserve a break, some respect, and some space. Our culture doesn’t know what to do with us. We need a mid-life version of the “Red Tent”, perhaps a year or so of escape, where the women who have made this journey can lend a guiding hand, maybe a lantern – or a drink. I’m told that there are great things on the other side of this bridge. Until then, keep in mind the positives:

Menstruation will eventually stop. Looking forward to that.

Your family may remain a bit wary of you. This can be useful.

You will, hopefully, prepare the young girls and women for the ride. If we don’t, who will?

I hear that there is a calm, present power that comes after menopause. We learn new things about ourselves, and our priorities shift, supposedly. It is a rich, complicated thing, this mid-life journey. Meet it with a smile and drink it up – or just kick its ass.

For more of Lisa’s writing, click here for the essay and she assures me that it will be easy to navigate to more from there.

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Get Fit in One Minute? You Bet!

Sunny Day © lynette sheppard

Sunny Day © lynette sheppard

In this guest post, Kahlee Shaff shows us how to get and stay fit a minute at a time. Her Exerly program is absolutely doable without expensive equipment or gym memberships. At the end of the post, find a free trial code for Menopause Goddess Blog readers. I’m up for it – are you?

Take the One Minute Challenge – Tailored For People 50 Years Plus!



By Kahlee Shaff


Hard to believe that a one minute challenge is considered a challenge at all. However, with simple daily challenges you can significantly improve your fitness level and more importantly, your habits by incorporating one minute challenges along with motivational messages that can help you succeed in becoming fit at 50 years +!

Meet Exerly – A new online and motivation program developed for people 50 years +. Exerly sends you daily one minute challenge exercises demonstrated online that you can watch to help you learn to do the moves correctly.

DailyChallenge_email

Exerly evolved from a conversation about my passions and what I thought to be my God given talents. What I did not know at that moment was that four months later I would take a huge leap of faith by resigning from my position with a wonderful company to launch a new company. This leap of faith along with my gift for teaching, passion to improve the lives of others, knowledge and love for exercise, and desire to motivate people over 50 years led to the development of Exerly. 

Exerly delivers tailored exercise, motivation, and support conveniently to members online. Exercise is inserted into daily life through online Minute Challenges and Classes with Friends. There is no need to pause in one’s busy life, set aside time to exercise and go somewhere or use special equipment or exercise tapes.

An Exerly subscriber Elva Durbin, Philadelphia said, “I like the whole thing even the one minute pushup.” And it can be done from the convenience of your home or while you’re traveling or visiting family members.

Most people see exercise as an additional activity that requires you to take time out of your day to exercise, to pause to go for a walk or to a gym. This makes it more difficult to stick with a routine when you’re away from home or just too busy. Exerly flips conventional thinking enabling you to continue to play and live life while you exercise throughout the day, short one minute exercises that can easily become part of your routine – helping to increase your chances of success!

Each member is assigned a personal motivator to provide daily encouragement to continue.

motivation

The Minute Challenge is a simple exercise challenge that you can do while going about your day. An exercise buddy demonstrates the daily exercise in three ascending levels of difficulty from basic to advanced, keeping in mind the reasons participants give to when they sign-up, including:

Increase heart rate
Increase balance
Build strength
Increase flexibility
Meet doctor’s orders
Receive motivation and support
Convenience

Your exercise buddy exercises with you for the entire minute while continuing to motivate, encourage and reinforce the proper form. The Minute Challenge can be played multiple times through the day.  The Minute Challenge can be replayed over and over until you are confident in the exercise.

DailyChallenge_Exercises
Prices are just $4.99 per week for the Minute Challenges or $14.99 per week for the Classes with Friends – Classes with Friends equips friends to conveniently socialize and exercise together each from their own home or office, on their own schedule, at their exercise level, while creating a little healthy competition and accountability.

To help you reach your fitness goals we’re offering readers of Menopause Goddess Blog Readers a 10-day FREE trial. To sign up, go to http://exerly.com/ and enter this gift code at checkout: MGBEX312
Kahlee is the founder of Exerly a company based in San Clemente, CA.

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The Right Yoga For Menopause

Buddha sparkled

The right yoga for you? Part 2 of a guest blog series by yoga therapist Allannah Law.

In the last post, I talked about how yoga can ease the symptoms of both perimenopause and menopause and I mentioned that not all yogas are created equal when it comes to this time in our life. This fact sparked quite a bit of interest and many questions, so I thought I’d explain about the different types of yoga we can practise in the west and exactly who these yogas are beneficial for and why.

When it comes to yoga we are now, in the cities of the Western world, presented with a dizzying array of options. Bikram, hot yoga, Dynamic Flow, Astanga, Anusara, Hatha, Integral, the list goes on and on and well…on. You could be forgiven if you are feeling a bit flummoxed by choice, so here is some background to help you make a considered and informed decision.  The word Yoga means to unite. You can add your own interpretation, but the accepted Western premise is that yoga means to unite body and mind. Thus, the prevalence of Hatha yoga. Hatha means sun – Ha and moon – tha, literally uniting night and day, masculine and feminine, yin and yang.

Hatha yoga is the predominant yoga taught in the West. The Asanas – postures- are there to bring you to a point of balance in the body and mind. That’s why hatha yoga is considered good for disease in the body or anxiety and depression. So hatha yoga includes all of the aforementioned yogas including Bikram etc. However, Hatha Yoga  has come to mean a gentle form of yoga, a yoga with a lot of restorative poses that are held for some time along with meditation and pranayama (yogic breath).

Bikram/Hot yoga is a hot form of yoga, practised in a heated room to simulate the conditions of practising in India. Bikram has a set sequence of postures- which are now patented and you are placed in the class according to your ability. It is categorically not suited for women experiencing symptoms of peri or menopause such as anxiety or hot flashes. This is because both anxiety and hot flushes are aggravated by…heat. Meaning that the practise of Bikram may lead a woman with these conditions into a far worse state. This is a yoga where you need to be mindful of overstretching and blood pressure issues. This type of yoga is also not suitable for fertility issues or pregnancy.

Astanga Yoga  is based on a sequence of postures given to Sri Patabi Jois by his teacher Krishnamacharya. It is dynamic in nature and you flow from one posture to another. It has several levels which you advance through. Bear in mind that these postures were given to Jois in his youth, so Astanga is not appropriate for everyone. Its dynamic nature can mean that if you are a competitive or anxious personality, it can exacerbate your state of mind ( this has been my personal experience). Therefore, this another form of yoga that may be inappropriate for women in peri/menopause. However, if you are a dancer or you suffer from depression, you may get a lot out of this form of yoga.  Dynamic Flow or Vinyasa Yoga are similar to Astanga, in that they flow from pose to pose, but without the same sequence.

Iyengar is again based on a practice given to BKS Iyengar by Krishnamacharya. It was again a practice given to Iyengar as a very young man and will not suit everyone. However, Iyengar yoga uses a lot of props to support the postures and is very focused on technique, making it an excellent yoga for beginners, as well as athletes and those people with injuries and illness. Iyengar teachers are also very well trained and some are very competent at dealing with issues of peri/menopause. Caution is advised here though, as many of the poses are held for a very long length of time and can be aggravating to the mind/body.

Integral, Satchynanda and Shadow Yoga all hail from the Sivananda lineage. These yogas have varying degrees of difficulty but they also have a large focus on meditation, chanting and pranayama   They are all very beautiful practices which will take you to a different level of yoga. They are all excellent yogas for women in this phase of their life – with the exception of shadow yoga- which is a very strong practice. They are great if you are searching for the spiritual context of yoga and also if you suffer from anxiety, as they encourage you to look within.

Viniyoga is a form of yoga developed by Mohan, another student of Krishnamacharya. This yoga is based on the principles of Yoga therapy, which Krishnamacharya moved towards in the later years of his life- believing that yoga should be taught one on one. This is a deeper practice with many repetitions, excellent for those with mental or physical illness or disease and wonderful for those who suffer from high stress. The yoga of Desikachar  Krishnamachrya’s son, is sometimes also called Viniyoga, but this is incorrect , as Desikachar refers to it as Agama yoga. Desikachar studied with his father for over 30 years and is probably best placed to pass on the many wonderful teachers of the great Hatha yoga sage.  Both these yogas were developed by teaching students one on one and are very appropriate for women in peri/menopause as they take into account the woman’s personal state.

Restorative yogas, such as yin yoga are ideal for menopausal women. Cooling, relaxing poses are practiced which are conducive to soothing the mind, body and spirit. These yogas are about putting something back, rather than challenging yourself. (Menopause may well be challenging enough!)

So there you have it! there are many worthy yogas I haven’t been able to cover –  Dru Yoga, Oki Do Yoga  yoga of the seasons), Yin yoga, Kundalini etc – but I hope it gives you a brief, basic insight into the sometimes confusing yogic world.  Of course the best form of hatha yoga for a woman at our stage is a yoga developed purely for perimenopause and menopause. One that encourages strength building for healthy bones and blood pressure; one that seeks to balances unruly hormones (such as excessive or diminished oestrogen) and one that encourages the restoration of the body and the quieting of anxious, busy minds. With that in mind I have included a link to a free video of a relaxation technique I swear by, to use when you feel like you aren’t getting enough sleep, you’re exhausted, or you want to crawl out of your skin. Enjoy!

Namaste
Allannah

P.s. There are other forms of yoga besides Hatha, if you interested ask me a question and I will  do my best to fill you in on the other forms.

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A Natural Program for Vaginal Health

Anthurium © lynette sheppard

Anthurium © lynette sheppard

A Woman’s Touch Sexuality Resource Center based in Madison, Wisconsin, offers an alternative approach for sexual health and education. Many of their clients are menopausal and post menopausal women who suffer pain, dryness, and dysfunction. Their non-pharmaceutical program involves internal and external moisturizing combined with massage to recondition the tissues of the vulva and vagina.

To really understand the benefits and how-to’s of the program, download their pdf brochure here. On the one hand, it is fascinating. On the other hand, I had to say “Duh! Of course this makes all the sense in the world.” We often think of lubrication but rarely of reconditioning and renewing our vagina.

Owned and operated by two women; Ellen Barnard, MSSW and Myrtle Wilhite, MD, MS, A Woman’s Touch center is passionate about vaginal health and rejuvenation. They are in the process of making their own massage wands for the program, so women have a safe, affordable tool for rehabilitation. Check out their Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign here.

And this video illuminates the project:

 

Whether or not you use hormone therapy, this program can be a pathway to better vaginal health. Physical intimacy is an integral part of life and we shouldn’t have to forego an active, healthy sex life because of pain or dryness. I am very excited about this program and ready to try it myself. While my vaginal health is pretty good now, massage has never been a component. And as a nurse, hello, I know that increasing circulation to any tissue results in healing and renewal. Who’s with me?

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Taking the Softer Path after the Pause: How to Manage Healthy Weight and Feel Great Naturally Over 40

Butterfly Dream © lynette sheppard

Butterfly Dream © lynette sheppard

This guest post by Lynn Louise Wonders suggests we tap into the wisdom of our own bodies during this transition (and after.) Read it carefully – it’s so good that I wish I’d written it! Enjoy!

By the time we hit the age of menopause, we start to realize that the body seems to have a mind of its own.

We can no longer bake in the sun working for that golden tan without paying the steep price of leathered skin.

Gone are the days of noshing on an entire bag of chips and bouncing to the gym the next day to work it off easy-peasy.

The upside of this slippery slope is that we can begin to realize and REVERE the fact that this body has not only a mind of its own but a wisdom. An intelligence.

With hormones gone awry, metabolism halting with a screech and a growing desire to be deeply connected and respectful of what our bodies are trying to tell us, many of us middle aged women are seeking a holistic weight loss solution.

We don’t want the stimulant diet pills or the plans where we eat only pickles for weeks where we lose a lot of weight only to gain it all back later.

We don’t want to spend hours daily pumping iron and racing on the treadmill (okay, some of us love that! but many of us don’t, right?).

We are seeking a softer path.

A path that is easier on the joints and meanders flexibly within our very full lives.

We have teenagers, careers, community projects, meaningful hobbies, relationships to nurture.

We want to FEEL good in our bodies.

We want our eyes to shine and our skin to be clear with a glow from the inside that comes from leading a healthy, well-balanced life.

There are so many lifestyle changes that can be made in order to observe a holistic plan for wellness and weight loss. It all begins, though, with learning to mind the body. Want to give this a try?

Sit where you are. Look up from your computer or device and gaze around you. Try to just notice. Pay close attention to the objects and sounds in and around the room you’re in without labeling anything. Without analyzing. Without judging anything as good, bad, pretty, ugly. Just notice it.

Now, close your eyes. Feel the seat underneath you, the floor under your feet. Allow your body to sink into the support there.

Notice sounds in and around the room. Don’t react. Just notice.
Begin to notice your breath. Notice how it comes in and out of the body on its own accord. Feel the sensation.

When you practice this non-judgmental noticing with a healthy dose of deep reverence for the wisdom your body is eager to share with you, you will begin to hear guiding messages from your body.

If you eat something… say… a big hunk of bread… and you notice 10 minutes later your belly is really bloated… there might be some information to notice there.

If you notice your lips are cracked and dry no matter how much moisturizer you put on them… there is likely a message there to uncover.

Many times we need a health practitioner to help us figure out what messages our body is sending us. Sometimes we need supplementation of particular vitamins or minerals.  And sometimes if we listen, pay close enough attention without giving way to frustration with the messages (a.k.a. symptoms) we might just feel our way to a new direction.

If our bodies feel stiff and tight from sitting all day, some stretching and moving is in order. But how often do we continue to sit and sit and sit because we have a work deadline or we just ignore the body’s signals?

Same thing with releasing excess weight for women over 40.

If we are carrying excess weight the body has some information for us. In order to release that excess weight we have to tune in to what the body needs first and foremost.

Holistic weight loss for women over 40 begins with a profound choice to slow down, tune in, breathe deeply and mind your body. Listen…. really listen. Look for the softer path…
Along my own personal  journey and in my coaching programs with women over 40, I see that when we are at the great pause in life, our bodies and perhaps even our spirits are calling us to do this differently. With mindfulness we are able to make different choices.

Here are 7 ways you can create a softer path after the pause to support healthy weight release:

Begin a daily practice of mindfulness as described above. Sit for 10 minutes each day. Leave the eyes open for the first minute and then close the eyes.  Observe, notice sensations, sounds, smells without judging or evaluating. Bring this mindfulness practice into daily life – grocery shopping, driving, meal preparation and especially at meal time.

Seek out the dark leafy greens, fiber-rich fruits and veggies as central to your meals.

Step away from sugar, wine and white flour.

Get a dose of Omega 3 at each meal to ease inflammation in the body (wild caught salmon, walnuts, flax-seed)

Create a healthy sleep regimen – 8 hours of slumber in a cool, cotton nightie and a dark cool room each night. Remove all electronics from the bedroom.

Take a brisk walk 20 minutes every day. Make this a standing date with yourself. Look up at the tree tops, swing your arms, smile as you savor your aliveness.

Learn to relax and respond rather than react. Number 1 and 2 are a start for cultivating this practice. Add in purposeful relaxation time. Massage, hot baths, guided meditations, a restorative yoga class.

You are in the most incredible stage of life. Listen to your body’s wisdom. Relax into your true self.

Lynn Louise Wonders is a licensed professional counselor and a holistic mind+body coach, helping women over 40 redesign their lives.  She offers a wide array of holistic services, programs and products through her online marketplace www.wonderswellness.com and live in-person at her brick-n-mortar location Wonders Wellness Center located in metro Atlanta, GA.
Check out Lynn’s Facebook pages: Wonders Wellness and Wonders Yoga and Counseling
Her Twitter handle is @lynnwonders

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Beat the Summer Heat with this Survival Kit

Mele in the Grass © lynette sheppard

Mele in the Grass © lynette sheppard

The dog days of August are upon us, which is a double whammy for an already thermically challenged Menopause Goddess. Time to head for water – a pool, riverbank, or beach. Or even your back yard. And to help you cope with the summer heat wave, we are offering a giveaway to one lucky goddess.

Estroven, a well-known company in helping women manage hot flashes and more through the menopause transition, has sent us their “Beat the Heat” survival kit, designed to keep you cool while you enjoy summertime. It includes a beach towel, a water bottle (got to stay hydrated), sunscreen, (wrinkle prevention), a two month supply of Estroven weight management (which also helps with hot flashes – sort of a 2 for 1 supplement, woo hoo), an ice sphere which is a cute little plastic thingy that you can freeze water and fruit in and add to any beverage for extra cooling and flavor, and a booklet of nutrition tips from Estroven’s expert, LeAnne Skinner.

And of course, you’ll need reading material, so I will throw in an autographed copy of “The Big M”, the chronicle of our Menopause Goddess group adventures, guaranteed to make you laugh out loud. (And there are lots of helpful tips for surviving, even thriving during menopause and beyond.)

OK, so the contest. All you have to do is “like” Estroven (click here) and Menopause Goddess Blog (click here) on Facebook. Once you have “liked” both pages, send your mailing address and email to me at lynette@9points.com. We will draw a lucky winner from the contestants in one week – on Monday, August 11. (BTW, I only need your address, etc. to facilitate getting you your prize, should you win. I won’t use it for any other purpose.)

Oh, and if you have already “liked” Menopause Goddess Blog FB page in the past? Then just “like” Lusome’s FB page and send me your info. You don’t get left out just because you are an early adopter or loyal follower.

Note: The Estroven supplement contains soy isoflavones and black cohosh. If you are allergic to soy (like me, sigh), then you may not take the supplement. OK, stay cool and start liking!

PS. Congratulations to Peg Daley, who won the Lusome sleepwear giveaway!

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Older Ladies Rock!

Donnalou Stevens

Donnalou Stevens

Donnalou Stevens is a true Menopause Goddess. Her hilarious midlife song Older Ladies has gone viral. Watch it and you’ll see why. This may just be our new anthem as we journey our Second Adulthood. Enjoy. And you can find more on her website at donnaloustevens.com

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Menopause Supplements and Licorice

Candy Dish © lynette sheppard

Candy Dish © lynette sheppard

This informative guest post comes to us from our friends at menopausesupplement.com. Licorice may just relieve our hot flashes – just think, we might be cool without hormones or the latest trend of prescribing antidepressant drugs. (Talk about using an elephant gun to kill a fly – antidepressants purely for hot flashes? Really?) Read on for enlightening info including how licorice has effects similar to SSRI antidepressant drugs – without the big dog side effects.

Menopause Supplements and Licorice

When faced with menopause symptoms, many women turn to menopause supplements because of the health risks associated with hormone replacement therapy. The most common herbal remedy for menopause is black cohosh. While some women have experienced success with black cohosh, many have been left disappointed and forced to take more drastic action for their menopause symptoms. What many women do not know is that licorice is a viable alternative and research is continually showing what a great menopause supplement it can be.

A recent study conducted with 90 women showed that licorice root is effective in reducing the frequency and severity of hot flashes. In fact, licorice showed approximately a 90% reduction of severe hot flashes while the placebo only showed less than a 10% difference. After 8 weeks the test group stopped taking licorice which resulted in hot flashes going back to their original levels, confirming that licorice is effective.

No one knows for sure why licorice is effective for hot flashes but it may be a combination of two interesting properties of licorice. First of all, licorice has similar properties to a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).  A SSRI influences a neurotransmitter called serotonin which is thought to have a role in affecting body heat and thereby reducing hot flashes. Additionally SSRIs are generally used for their role in elevating mood and may be beneficial for women going through mild or moderate menopause mood symptoms*.

Another reason licorice may be so good at alleviating menopause symptoms is that it is a phytoestrogen which means that it mimics the effects of estrogen in the body.  Menopause symptoms are closely connected to diminishing estradiol (a type of estrogen). It was previously known that that glabridin, a molecule in licorice, functions like estradiol.  In one of the pioneering studies on glabridin, glabridin was proven to be a phytoestrogen that actually binds to estrogen receptors in the body. According to the study, “The stimulatory effects of 2.5–25 μg/animal glabridin were similar to those of 5 mg/animal estradiol.” So it makes sense that a natural substance that shares the same structure as estradiol, and is confirmed to operate similar to estradiol in the body, will have beneficial effects with respect to relieving menopause symptoms.

Overall, licorice-based supplements have been clinically studied and found to greatly reduce common menopause symptoms by naturally replace the bodily substances that are diminished during menopause.

While it may be tempting to attack the candy aisle at the grocery store, you should know that licorice candy is not really licorice and furthermore taking licorice for an extended period of time can be bad for your health. There is a menopause supplement based on a licorice extract called MenoSupp that is specially formulated for safe daily consumption. You can learn more about licorice and MenoSupp at: www.menopausesupplement.com.

1. Lida Menatia, Khosheh Khaleghinezhadb, Mitra Tadayonic & Amir Siahpooshd. (2013). “Evaluation of Contextual and Demographic Factors on Licorice Effecting on Reducing Hot Flashes in Postmenopause women.” Health Care for Women International, 00:1-13 (2013).

2.  Ofir R., Tamir S., Khatib S., Vaya J., Inhibition of Serotonin Re-uptake by Licorice Constituents. Journal of Molecular Neuroscience. 2003 Apr 20 .(2):135-140

3. Snait Tamir, Mark Eizenberg, Dalia Somjen, Sarit Izrael, Jacob Vaya. “Estrogen-like activity of glabrene and other constituents isolated from licorice root.” Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 78 (2001) 291-298.

 

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Top Home Remedies To Cure Bacterial Vaginosis

Abstraction V © lynette sheppard

Abstraction V © lynette sheppard

Vaginitis, vaginal atrophy, vaginosis. These can afflict us during and after Menopause. Guest blogger Joydeep Majumder shares some simple, effective home remedies for vaginosis. Remember these conditions can mimic one another and/or occur together. For this reason, it is helpful to consult a health care professional to determine the state of your vaginal health.

Top Home Remedies To Cure Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis causes strong itchiness, swelling, and bleeding in the vagina. It starts inflammation when bacteria count increases in the vagina. There are a number of home remedies for treating this condition.

Bacterial vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis

  • Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is a very effective remedy for vaginosis. A cup of apple cider vinegar in the bathtub to soak the vagina will help to kill the bacteria and toxins.
  • Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil contains strong antifungal property, which helps in killing harmful fungi. Rinse your vagina in 2-3 tbsp tea tree oil in water. It also removes unpleasant vaginal odor.
  • Garlic: Garlic also possesses strong antifungal and antibacterial agents that kill bacteria. A few slices of fresh garlic ground in paste needs to be applied to your vagina. Rinse it off with water later.
  • Fenugreek: Soak fenugreek in a glass of water in the night and then drink the water in the morning. Drink the water on an empty stomach. This solution balances the hormones efficiently and regulates menstrual cycles.
  • Tea bag: A wet tea bag reduces itchiness in the vagina. Freeze it for several minutes and then put into the vagina for 10 minutes.
  • Yogurt: Yogurt helps to balance normal vaginal pH level. Soak a tampon in the solution, which includes yogurt and water. Pass the tampon through the vagina for 3-5 minutes and rinse it later. Because of the presence of lactobacillus acidophilus, yogurt helps in proper restoration of equilibrium in a woman’s vagina.
  • Citrus Fruits: Citrus fruit is a great source of vitamin C that fights against vaginal infection and fights against vaginal odor.
  • Diet concerns: Avoid high fat foods including butter, milk, chocolate and the like.
  • Vitamin E content: Get enough Vitamin E through fruits like avocado, broccoli, kiwi, and other fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid certain products: Avoid fermented items, chocolate, soy sauce, vinegar, cheese and the like.
  • Douche: Douche, specifically boric acid type of douche helps in the acidification of overall pH of the vagina. Those sensitive to Boric Acid should refrain from using it. Potassium iodide-rich douches are effective in terms of lowering the overall pH or you can use vinegar with less concentration. Some experts believe that one should refrain from douching, but do consult someone before doing this practice.
  • Warm water bath acts as a powerful home remedy for the disease. It helps soothe the vaginal tissues.The warm temperature of the water also helps in eradicating weak organisms present in the vagina. It is important to set the right temperature of the water to avoid any skin injury.
  • Practice of Safe Sex: In addition to the above, safe sex is a must. Use protective means to avoid getting organisms. Vaginal condoms are necessary in this regard. This will also help reduce the possibility of transmission to your partner.

It is important to consult experts to determine the possible complexity of using any of the solutions for bacterial vaginosis. The best solution should be used for eradicating bacterial vaginosis. Abstinence is essential for better healing of this disease.

Author Bio:

This article is written by Joydeep Majumder. Bacterial Vaginosis has been affecting lots of women these days due to different factors. These bacterial vaginosis remedies can help you cure the disease painlessly and effectively.

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