Tag Archives | Hot Flashes

THE LIES OF MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN BRAND

We have a special treat for this blog post: amazing Menopause Goddess Juju Hook shares her take on the Middle Aged Woman Brand. Even better, she has written a new book called Hot Flashes, Carpools, and Dirty Martinis. It’s a hilarious, no-holds-barred look at the Pause. Here’s the best news: she is giving away the book to all Menopause Goddess blog readers – all you pay is shipping and handling. And to whet your appetite , the first chapter is enclosed at the end of this post. Link to get your book is also at the end. Enjoy!

THE LIES OF MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN BRAND by Juju Hook
I’ve never once in all my years heard a woman gush, “Oh, my God! I can’t WAIT to be 50!” Have you? It’s such a shame, really. Because midlife is where it’s at. We’re so much better in midlife… at everything.

In fact, I have a theory that if you want something done right—something that’s complicated, that requires multi-tasking, or secrecy, or duct tape—then you call a midlife woman. There’s simply no one else as prepared and qualified as the women in our menopausal posse, is there?

Here’s the thing, though. This all came as an absolute shock to me. That I’d be happy at 50. That I’d love life more than ever. That I’d be thrilled about beginning again in so many ways… that I could finally give myself a chance to be whoever I wanted to be.

Because the whole world told me it was gonna suck.

The world told me I’d be irrelevant. Invisible. Diminished in capacity. Hanging around doing things I felt “meh” about, because my ship had sailed.

And when I walked away from a 25-year-career to write the book I’d always wanted to write, the world fed me more than a handful of lies. The same lies, over and over again. What’s more, when I reached out to other middle-aged women, they were being fed the same sack of lies.

For more than 25 years, I was a brand strategist. And I have never seen a brand more in need of an overhaul than the “middle aged woman” brand. The messaging is off. The unique selling proposition is entirely out of whack.

So I decided to do something about it. To re-brand middle age for women. To tell the truth about how amazing this time should be. To pull the rug out from under the anti-aging industry… the liars, the nay-sayers, and the Chicken Littles. I shined a big fat spotlight on 3 problems and 6 lies that plague us all. That aren’t our fault. And that are easy to overcome, once you see them in the light of day.

In this moment, you have more power and potential than the world wants to give you credit for. But I see you. And I think you’re the bee’s knees.

Join me inside, Hot Flashes, Carpools, and Dirty Martinis: The Quintessential Guide for Turning Midlife into PrimeTime… We’re about to rip some shit up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here’s Chapter 1:

Hot Flashes, Carpools, and Dirty Martinis_Chapter1

Once again, click here to get your free book: Hot Flashes, Carpools, and Dirty Martinis.

 

 

 

 

 

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Writing Menopause – You Must Read This Book!

I love love love fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. I love exceptional writing. I especially love anything that cuts to the heart of what women feel and think. So when Kimberley at Inanna publications sent me the book Writing Menopause, An Anthology of Fiction, Poetry, and Creative Nonfiction, I was anxious to read and review it.

It’s breathtaking. Literally. And hot-flashing, mind melding, heart touching, beautiful. I actually think ALL women would love this book, not just those of us who are approaching, well in, or past menopause.

Each piece was so tender and truthful that I had to stop after reading it to muse on my own feelings, my own journey. This book will join the ‘desert island’ books on my shelf. (Desert island books are those 10 or 20 you would take to a desert island if you were stranded indefinitely and these were the only tomes you could have.)

If I’ve not yet succeeded in convincing you that you NEED to read these vignettes, then let me say that it is the best book on the Big M I’ve read. Including mine.

If you are looking for remedies or learning more of the physiology of the Pause, this book does not offer that. If you are looking for empathy, understanding, and your confused feelings illuminated in words on paper (yes, that’s it, what she said!), then you can’t afford to miss this book. Seriously! I mean it!

I won’t quote from the book, because it wouldn’t do any of the works justice. In lieu of that, I’ll tantalize you with a few titles.

Drenched
Icing on the Cake
The Things We Carry
Disassembly
Go. Rock.
The Hot Women
Adjusting the Ashes

Please order it asap – and then tell us how you experienced it. Because it is indeed an experience when these gifted writers share the personal and universal in Menopause. It’s available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. While I love my e-reader, I suggest you get the paperback version, so you can touch as well as read it, a totem for the journey of becoming that all women must travel.

Writing Menopause: An Anthology of Fiction, Poetry, and Creative Nonfiction.  Jane Cawthorne and E.D. Morin, Editors

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Get a Perfect Temperature for Sleeping

In the early days of menopause, sleep temperature alternating between boiling lava to glaciated goosebumps as moisture then evaporated from hot flashes. My husband had always slept warmer than I, needing less blankets. Suddenly, he experienced hot flashes of his own as all the covers were flung on top of him. We like sleeping together but that was an untenable situation. Thankfully, the worst is over.

Still, we sleep at differing temperatures even now. I’m variable night to night – sometimes too warm, others chilled. He is usually fine except when I overheat and burn him like a shrimp on the barbie.

Enter BedJet. This truly amazing innovation lets one of us sleep cool and the other warm. Or vice versa. They sent me one to try and I fell instantly in love with it. So did my husband. Dual temperature control without wires or special pads or mattress toppers! And that’s so important now that I have the perfect mattress – I sure don’t want to change it.

We are able to cool off or warm up nearly instantly. Finally, a blissful night’s sleep for both of us.

Bedjet also has a single zone version for those who just want the same temperature for the whole bed – obviously less expensive.

Check out the video about it:

 

BedJet is quick relief for hot sleepers, night sweats, evening hot flashes, cold feet and cold legs, cold winter sheet shock and memory foam mattresses that trap heat. There’s even a Bluetooth Sleep App for intelligent remote control from your smartphone or tablet. They say that the Bedjet reinvents your bed to become one of the most delightful places in your home. I totally agree. That’s probably why it’s now the #1 customer recommended bed cooling and heating product of any kind on all of Amazon.

Check out their website here:  https://bedjet.com/

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Change of Season

Squirrel Tail Barley © lynette sheppard

Squirrel Tail Barley © lynette sheppard

Greetings dear readers. Summer is nearly over, autumn is on the horizon. It’s time to take stock of things. Changes are part of the season and part of life. Change has come to the blog as well. Ashley has taken a full time holistic health position, which leaves her little time to contribute to Menopause Goddess Blog. We wish her well in her new endeavor and hope to hear from her in the future.

That said, Menopause Goddess Blog has been around for 15 or so years. In that time, we have covered just about every physical, mental, and emotional symptom of the Big M. If you want to know more about any manifestation or remedy, simply put it in the search box and all blog posts relating to it will show up. Really. Examples might be:  anxiety, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, research, natural remedies. heavy bleeding, and so on.

Rather than repeat these topics, I’d like to focus on new research, products, and remedies as they surface. Also, I will post on how we create a vibrant Second Adulthood and grow into the elders we wish to become. Posts will be at least once per month, sometimes more often as needed. As always, we welcome your thoughts, comments, insights, and questions. Women sharing wisdom, that’s what we are all about.

Stay tuned for our next post where I share the latest research on wine as a weight loss aid. No joke.

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Managing Hot Flushes & Night Sweats

Flame On © lynette sheppard

Flame On © lynette sheppard

One of our goddess sisters from across the pond, Lucy Teear, shares this terrific book review with tips for managing hot flashes and night sweats naturally. And do check out Lucy’s blog at Embrace the Change.

Book Review: Managing Hot Flushes & Night Sweats  By Myra Hunter & Melanie Smith

by Lucy Teear

Whoa…. My usual chick lit abandoned for two nights in favour of truly engrossing and informative read about the menopause, not something I ever expected to say! The menopause seems to be such a taboo subject, something to be suffered in silence and ever so slightly embarrassing, but this book provides balanced informative which changed my preconceived negative thoughts and the four week self-help guide shared techniques to help manage symptoms that are uplifting and positive.

The Finding of This Holy Grail….

I discovered Myra Hunter and her wonderful book in October whilst attending a “Managing menopausal symptoms following breast cancer treatments” (bit of a mouthful) held by “Breast Cancer Care” support – a fabulous support network that saved my sanity whilst going through chemo.

Having had breast cancer the possibility of HRT is ruled out for me, so resigned to the fact I’d have to go cold turkey and the impact of chemo can make the symptoms more severe than a natural menopause… Explains the hell of the last 3yrs, major hot flushes up to 10 – 15  times plus a day at its peak, then the flooding where my period would last weeks and be so super heavy I’d be jacked up on tampons and pads giving me a cowboy stance!! All in all leaving me feel drained and incredibly miserable. Happy to report I’m in a much more manageable place but still attended like the majority of the women in the room full of hope of discovering a new medical breakthrough, a pill, a drug that would magically alleviate the suffering of the night sweats and hot flushes (now at about 2 a day), but what we covered and discovered was far more powerful and enlightening, resonating with me….

Including:

What is the menopause
Symptoms
Pharmacological approaches to alleviating symptoms
Non-pharmacological approaches (natural remedies etc.)
Cognitive behavioural approaches
Self-help strategies

All the above is covered in detail in a readable and engaging format in the book.

So, we didn’t get the pills and drugs but instead  CBT.

So what is “Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)”:

CBT is a therapy that helps manage problems by enabling you to recognise and ultimately change the way you think and behave in connection with the problem. Combining a cognitive approach with a behavioural approach, CBT encourages you to notice how your thoughts and actions influence one another.

It was clear that most of the women in the room felt the menopause was a taboo topic, something viewed negatively by society and therefore a source of great embarrassment… This is where CBT kicks in, as how we think will ultimately have an effect on how we experience the symptoms – makes sense right?

The below slide highlights the negative thought cycle:
hot flush cycle

My personal experience with hot flushes are they tend to arrive at the most inconvenient times, an example being a business meeting I had with five guys in a very small room, knowing it was going to be a challenging negotiation I was pretty pumped up and as soon as we started, it started… heat building, sending my pulse racing, panic rising along with the heat “My god they’ll notice” was all I could think, just intensifying the whole darn experience! In reality I’m sure it looked like a normal stress related response to the situation, and had I read this book then my perception would be just that and I’d have handled differently, controlled my breathing and had a very different internal dialogue.

Although a complete rookie yogi, I’m a newbie fan of mediation/mindfulness and often use it to help with the stresses of work (Construction industry is a hive of stress), and hadn’t thought to apply it to menopausal symptoms but having read the book I now see the correlation between the reduction in my flushes and the reduction in stress since practising meditation daily. At the seminar Myra guided us through a paced breathing exercise and calm spread through the room, even the most skeptical looked more relaxed and chilled out!

Right, lets take a look at this book….

Managing-hot-flushes21

Firstly the authors credentials:

Myra Hunter (the speaker above) is professor of clinical health psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. She’s worked in the area of women’s health for over thirty years and her research on menopause has established her as an international expert in the field…. Knows her stuff for sure.

Melanie Smith is a clinical psychologist who has specialised in helping people to manage physical health conditions through the use of cognitive behavioural therapy. She is currently working with the Manchester and Salford Pain Centre.

The format:

The book covers in more depth what we touched on in the “Breast Cancer Seminar” and is divided into two sections:

Information about the menopause, hot flushes and CBT explained
CBT Self-Help Guide

There’s also download link which provides an audio recording guiding you through a relaxation and breathing exercise, which I love  listening to first thing in the morning to set me up for the day, as feel amazingly refreshed and positive after – Also great just before going to bed if you need to let go of the days fuzz buzzing around the mind!

Although both academics this book is clearly written by women for women, the first section shares current knowledge based on really accessible and easy to understand research data, along with the latest information on why we experience hot flushes and night sweats – It’s not all about the hormones! It looks at how different cultures experience the menopause which is fascinating, and makes you consider if society was less judgmental about the ageing process then maybe as women we wouldn’t judge ourselves so harshly and feel the embarrassment quite so deeply!

It covers the principles of CBT, the theory behind how it works and the relationship cycle between: Thought – Feelings – Behavior – Physical reactions and how this cycle impacts on menopause symptoms.

I found it a compelling read and I’m usually more of a fiction gal! Even reading aloud parts with much excitement to Teear (my husband for those who haven’t read my intro)… not sure how much he took in but feigned sufficient interest!

The second part of the book sets out an interactive four-week programme using CBT, exercises and worksheets designed to enable women to develop strategies for managing symptoms. This approach is based on the authors’ research and has been shown to be effective in recent clinical research trials.

The main components of the self guide include:

Being informed about menopause symptoms;
Understanding what can help you cope with your symptoms
Learning steps to use relaxation and paced breathing
Taking steps to reduce general levels of stress
Identifying and modifying triggers of hot flushes
Dealing with negative thoughts and behavioural reactions
Practicing relaxations and breathing at the onset of a flush
Dealing with hot flushes in social situations
managing night sweats and sleep

We’re now embarking on the four week self-help guide, Diane (who’s also reading the book) and I are doing this part together so we can compare notes and we’d like to invite fellow suffers to join in, feeding back your experiences and reviews – If you fancy giving it a go you can buy the book on: https://www.routledge.com/products/9780415625159.

Available also in the US at Amazon: click here.

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Menopausal Superheros

going through the change_

What if Menopause came with an extra symptom? Say something like superpowers? Now that’s a symptom we might be able to work with. Alas, with great power often comes great responsibility. (Right, as if menopausal women need any more responsibilities.) Still, superpowers could come in handy. Very handy.

Samantha Bryant’s new novel, Going Through The Change,  is a delightful tale of science gone awry. Four women develop unique superpowers using alternative creams or teas created by a menopausal mad scientist. Even the creator of the products enjoys some interesting benefits.

Helen becomes fireproof, just when she learns she can create fire (how’s that for flashing!) Jessica is lighter than air and can fly. Patricia develops a very thick skin, complete with scales. Linda actually turns into a man. And Dr. Liu is younger each day.

Part women’s literature, part comic book, and part scifi, this book is sure to be a fun-filled beach read for all menopausal women. Check it out on Amazon or your favorite retailer.

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Ladycare: Innovative Treatment for Menopause Symptoms

 

Back in early 2011, I wrote about an innovative device called

Star Burst © lynette sheppard

Star Burst © lynette sheppard

Ladycare. (Click here to read that post.) It treats menopause symptoms with no side effects. It basically is a magnet that you wear attached to your underwear.

I used it and it really decreased my hot flashes. Now four years later, more studies have been conducted and it seems that it has been of significant help for many women.

Dr. Nyjon, an integrative medicine physician in the UK,  prescribes it for his menopausal patients. Although medicinal uses for magnets have been around for decades, he postulates that it works by balancing the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system (which can be horribly out of balance during perimenopause and menopause.) As a nurse, this satisfies my scientific curiosity, although anything that works is fine by me even when I don’t know the mechanism of action.

Because this site is dedicated to women sharing wisdom with one another, I want to share this personal video. I really resonated with singer Belinda Carlisle’s personal story of menopause hell and how Ladycare helped her. Yep, women are speaking up loud and clear. We share what works for us and hope it helps our sisters. Of course, not every remedy works for every woman, but we appreciate knowing our options.

For more information, visit the Menopause Marketplace, Natural Remedies section or visit Ladycare’s website: ladycareusa.com

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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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Oh Man, Oh Man, This Menopause!

Daisies © lynette sheppard

Daisies © lynette sheppard

When I read Anne Bardsley’s guest post, I laughed so hard I peed. Which happens much less often since I started doing my Kegels. What I’m saying is that she takes a hilarious look at Menopause and aging – I can’t wait to read her new book. Thankfully, it’s available now so I won’t have to wait long. I’m sure you’ll agree. Oh, and go to the bathroom before you read any further. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Oh Man, Oh Man, This Menopause!

In my thirties, I never thought about aging. I took for granted that I’d be youthful, toned, and moist my entire life. Before I officially entered menopause, I thought the most I had to look forward to was vaginal dryness. That’s enough to cheer up any gal! Little did I know, the other symptoms would be life-altering, to say the least.

My mother never complained about menopause. She also had a child on Halloween and went back to work ten days later. We hadn’t even eaten all of our Halloween candy! I come from strong and crazy stock. I’m not one of those women who suffer in silence. I’ve been known to yell “Hot Flash!” the very moment I start to swelter. This could be at work, church, or grocery shopping. I have fanned myself with gossip magazines, church bulletins, and ads for the Big Blue pill. If it’s nearby, I will confiscate it and turn it into a fan.

The memory loss has been the most debilitating for me. I now carry a notebook in my bra to write things down. It works well unless I have a hot flash. Then I end up with a bunch of smeared papers and blue ink on my breasts.

I have no memory of a single important fact. I can, however, tell you that peanut butter is on sale, and I know the names of my dogs. Last week my husband walked in and I told him he looked vaguely familiar. He offered to re-introduce himself to me. I told him I didn’t like fresh men. He said, “Oh yes, you do!” But I couldn’t remember. He did have a nice smile though.

Passwords are also a nightmare. I have to get very basic, yet creative.
My bank account is now: “Where’s my damn money?”
My pin number for my debit card is 5678 because it sounds like a dance routine. I even do a little disco when I punch in 5678. If you snap your fingers it has a real nice beat to it.
I use code for my doctors, too!
My physician’s office is: “Eat More. Be Happy.”
The gynecologist: “Get out of there NOW.”

Sleeping is a challenge. I sleep under a ceiling fan with the A/C cranked extremely low. At precisely 2 a.m. my husband rolls over yelling, “For the love! You’re burning my skin again.” Big sissy.

At precisely 2:30 a.m. I go into a deep chill freeze. I have condensation all over this poor body of mine. With all the shivering, you’d think I’d shake off a few pounds. That has yet to happen, but I am ever hopeful.

This brings me to my biggest malady. Where did this belly come from? I never had a belly. I had hip bones that stuck out like fish bones. Now it looks like I swallowed a fishing boat.

I’ve tried being nice to it, “Good morning, Big Belly. I love you.”  I do some effleurage and stroke it calmly. It knows I’m lying. It seems I have a big intelligent belly with a high emotional IQ. She weeps until I feed her cinnamon buns. Poor Belly!

I’m convinced there will be a new miracle treatment for women in this stage soon. I suggest it be in the form of a chocolate martini with some gingko sprinkled on top, a splash of fiber, and a mild sedative. I want to keep my emotionally intelligent belly sedated for as long as possible.

Happy Hot Flashes!

anne2

Anne Bardsley is a humor writer, blogger, and author of How I Earned My Wrinkles: Musings on Marriage, Motherhood, and Menopause. Over the years, her work has appeared in several publications. More would be available if she was not so busy pondering ways to firm her thighs. This uses a huge amount of her already limited brain cells. She barely survived raising five kids. They were all worth the labor pains in the long run and have given her wonderful grandchildren. Anne currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida with her husband of thirty-five years and two spoiled cockapoos.

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Giveaway: Cooling Sleepwear Can Be Yours

Daisy Chain © lynette sheppard

Daisy Chain © lynette sheppard

Earlier this month, we had a guest post about the innovative “cool” new sleepwear from Lusome. I got to try it – and it’s an absolute winner in my book. With a feeling of soft brushed cotton along with its wicking ability, we can be dry and cool all night long. Which is heaven, as those of us who have been hot, wet, then cold in rapid succession can attest.

Anne sleepwear © Lusome

Anne sleepwear © Lusome

The Lusome folks want to give away one of their lovely cool gowns or jammies to a lucky Menopause Goddess. And because we goddesses don’t have a lot of time or energy thanks to this transition, we will make it super easy.

Just “Like” Lusome’s Facebook page (click here) and then “Like” Menopause Goddess Blog Facebook page (click here.) 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 4. (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.)

Check out the Lusome website for all the beautiful styles and start thinking about the one you want! I chose the Anne gown – and I love it.

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.

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