Two new films are out on the Big M and having seen both, here’s the Menopause Goddess take on them.

Managing Menopause Naturally gives in depth information on all aspects of the Change, demystifying without pushing any one alternative. I really like that about it. Experts in the complementary health field, herbalists, nutritionists, MD’s, and midwifes discuss what to expect and all remedies. Despite the title, this film does not rule out hormone replacement therapy. Rightly, it claims that all women are different and that each menopause transition is individual. There are no one -size-fits-all therapies. Best of all, real women approaching and experiencing the Menopause journey are featured discussing their fears and what has worked for them.

This is a must see for pre-menopausal women. In other words, see it while you still have brain function enough to sit still and focus for 80 minutes. And if you are already experiencing brain fog? Well, watch it in manageable pieces – say four 20 minute segments.

The only negative about this film for me was was its lack of humor. That is a personal bias of mine to be sure. I feel that humor and the support of like-afflicted girlfriends is the MAIN thing that will get you through. That said, it really is helpful to have some information to go along with the belly laughs.

My favorite menopausal woman-expert in the film is Tierona Low Dog, MD, AHG. This no nonsense herbalist, midwife, biochemist and mother tells it like it is. I love her. When I grow up, I want to be her. Just sayin’….

Managing Menopause Naturally is available from TrueMind, a documentary film company dedicated to healthy living, environmental wellness and personal development.  List price is $19.98, but you can get it on Amazon for $12.60. Even better, you can watch it for $4.99 on their website:  True Mind.   For those of us who want to watch it in segments, $4.99 gets you access for 48 hours.

The Venuses previewed “Hot Flash Havoc” together at our annual meeting.  This feature is billed as “a film of menopausal proportions” with “Commotions, emotions, and magical potions.” With excitement and in our most comfy jammies, we settled in to watch.

Good news: it was informative – and we especially enjoyed the historical narrative illuminating menopause through the ages. It did a great job of explaining the physiological changes as well. And there was a fair amount of humor.

Bad news: We all felt that there was a hidden agenda to the film: namely that “hormone therapy is necessary to get through menopause and prevent many of the hazards of aging (eg. osteoporosis, heart disease.)

There were experts and real women as there were in Managing Menopause Naturally. Some legitimate points were made about flaws in the Women’s Health Initiative study that scared so many women off and away from HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy.) My holistic MD told me right off the bat that there were flaws in the study. Still, we both feel that long term HRT is likely not risk free or even desirable.

At the very beginning of this film, a disclaimer purports that “no pharmaceutical companies were involved in the production of this motion picture.”  It’s interesting that the filmmakers felt it necessary to clarify that point, lending credence to our feeling that this was a “one right answer” film.
In the end, we would have to say that we would not recommend this film without the caveat that it seemed focused on HRT as the answer for menopause and beyond. And honestly? We just don’t feel that that is true. HRT is an answer. For some women. For some time.  And probably not forever. That said, the film is available on their website: Hot Flash Havoc.  It lists for $24.99 and is available direct on their site for $19.99.  Amazon sells it for the full list price of $24.99. Only the trailers can be viewed on the site.

Those of you who have purchased The Big M or the ebook version Becoming A Menopause Goddess know that in that chronicle of wisdom we’ve gleaned together, we offer our best humor, heart, and help to our sister goddesses. And in 2012, we will begin offering a series of short YouTube videos to augment the book and keep you all up to date on what we learn in our Venus group together. And we will exhort you to start your own group, as always.