Menopause, a natural phase in a woman's life, marks the cessation of menstruation. The ovaries, a crucial part of a woman's reproductive system, house eggs and produce estrogen and progesterone, regulating the menstrual cycle and egg release. However, as menopause approaches, the ovaries gradually cease the monthly egg release, resulting in the end of menstruation. This article explores the methods and approaches utilized in Ayurvedic treatment for menopause.
Typically occurring between the ages of 40 and 58, menopause varies for each woman. Some might undergo menopause earlier than expected due to medical conditions or surgeries like the removal of ovaries. This transition can bring a spectrum of physical and emotional changes due to fluctuating hormone levels. Common symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, vaginal dryness, and sleep disturbances. While menopause is a natural part of aging, its symptoms can impact daily life for some individuals. Seeking guidance from healthcare providers helps manage symptoms and navigate this significant life stage.
During the transition to menopause, known as premenopause, a woman might encounter a variety of symptoms that herald this transformative phase:
Changes in the menstrual cycle, such as irregularity or periods becoming lighter or heavier, are common indicators of approaching menopause.
A decrease in estrogen levels can cause vaginal tissues to become drier and thinner, leading to discomfort or pain during intercourse.
Hot Flashes and Chills:
Sudden sensations of heat in the upper body, often followed by chills, can be disruptive, causing sweating and flushing of the face and neck.
Similar to hot flashes, night sweats are intense episodes of perspiration that occur during sleep, affecting the quality of rest.
Changes in hormone levels can contribute to sleep problems, including insomnia or waking frequently during the night.
Many women experience weight gain during menopause due to hormonal fluctuations and a slower metabolism.
Thinning Hair and Dry Skin:
Reductions in estrogen levels can lead to changes in hair texture, resulting in thinning or dryness. Skin might also become drier and less elastic.
Menopause experiences vary widely among women. Some may notice alterations in their menstrual cycle, while others may not experience any significant changes until menstruation ceases. This transition period can be physically and emotionally challenging due to hormonal imbalances.
In Ayurvedic treatment for menopause, it represents the shift into the "vata stage of life." Ayurvedic wisdom emphasizes the need to balance the vata dosha, as it becomes predominant during this phase and in post-menopause. Ancient Vedic traditions associated this life stage with wisdom and spiritual connection, recognizing a woman's deeper connection to her inner self and the spirit. Ayurvedic practices and yoga teachings often focus on embracing this transition as a time of profound transformation and empowerment, aiming to harmonize the mind, body, and spirit during this phase of life.
Making dietary adjustments plays a pivotal role in navigating the menopausal phase smoothly. Embracing a balanced and nourishing diet becomes vital for women undergoing menopause. Incorporating ample fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats into meals bolsters overall health and well-being. Conversely, steering clear of spicy, fried, and processed foods can aid in averting the aggravation of menopausal symptoms.
Another beneficial avenue to address menopausal symptoms is through Panchakarma, a comprehensive detoxification process that expels toxins from the body. Here are the various treatments encompassed in Panchakarma and their associated benefits in managing menopause:
Snehapana (Medicated Ghee Intake):
This involves oral administration of medicated ghee, which plays a vital role in lubricating and nurturing bodily tissues. It supports the body during the menopausal transition by fostering nourishment and balance.
Virechana (Medicated Purgation):
Particularly effective in calming aggravated pitta dosha and blood tissues, Virechana aids in cleansing and purifying the body, thus contributing to a reduction in menopausal symptoms.
Vasti (Medicated Enemas):
Vasti therapy helps pacify the aggravated vata dosha and apana vata, which commonly become imbalanced during menopause. It aids in rectifying disorders related to these vital energies, offering relief from associated discomforts.
Nasya (Medicated Nasal Oil Application):
Utilizing medicated nasal oil helps alleviate symptoms related to the mind and head. This therapy offers soothing relief to common menopausal concerns that impact mental well-being.
Shirodhara (Herbal Oil Head Pouring):
This therapeutic procedure involves a continuous stream of herbal oil poured onto the forehead, aiding in calming the nervous system and balancing neurotransmitters. It can significantly contribute to managing stress and promoting mental equilibrium during menopause.
Adopting these Ayurvedic practices, particularly Panchakarma therapies, can be beneficial in mitigating menopausal symptoms by fostering holistic detoxification and restoring harmony to the body's natural equilibrium.
Q1. How to reduce hot flushes?
▪︎ Practise a cooling pranayama-Practising nadi shodhana pranayama for up to 15 minutes daily to decrease your level of stress and calm your nervous system
▪︎ Sheetali pranayama (cooling breath)is extremely cooling and can be used during hot flushes.
Adjust the diet- Reduce caffeine and spicy food items and eat pitta pitta-balancing diet.
▪︎ Maintain healthy weight
Q2. Causes of menopause?
Menopause is a natural female body process observed after a certain age. There are certain factors that may make this condition more bothersome, complicated, and intolerable as such:
Excessive alcohol and smoking
Q3. How do meditation and yoga support this stage of life for women?
In Ayurvedic treatment for menopause, it emphasizes the importance of mental and emotional well-being during menopause. Practicing yoga and meditation can reduce stress, improve sleep, and enhance overall quality of life during this phase. Breathing exercises and mindful practices can also be beneficial.