National Menopause Awareness Month – How Massage Therapy Can Help

happy-womanSeptember is National Menopause Awareness Month. This is especially relevant with National Women’s Health and Fitness Day on September 25, 2013. Unfortunately, menopause is an inevitable stage in every woman’s life. It is estimated that 4,000 women start menopause every day, with 75 percent of women having menopause by the age 52. Menopause is caused by the cessation of menstruation and oocytes (women’s eggs cells). As women age, the ovaries stop creating estrogen and these low hormone levels cause most of the discomfort associated with menopause. It can be brought on earlier due to chemotherapy and other medical interventions, such as a hysterectomy.

Symptoms of Menopause

Symptoms of menopause include: irregular periods, hot flashes, flushes and night sweats, heart palpitations, decreased libido, weight gain, mood swings, bone-density loss, elevated cholesterol levels, gastrointestinal distress, insomnia, and fatigue. The severity of these menopausal symptoms varies from woman to woman, but almost 75 percent of women experience at least some of the symptoms. Hot flashes, sudden feelings of intense heat and increased perspiration, are the most common sign of menopause. Another common symptom of menopause is osteoporosis. Osteoporosis, i.e. bone-thinning, occurs naturally in men and women over 40; however, it is more aggressive post- menopause. Skeletal bones thin out and become brittle. The bones of the spine, wrists, and hips are the most susceptible.

Menopause is an unavoidable fact of life, but one of the most pleasurable and effective ways to treat many of the discomforts of menopause is massage therapy. A full body treatment can help balance a woman’s hormones, encourage the elimination of excess fluid, elevate her mood and make her feel more accepting about the inevitable changes in her body, mind and life.

There are many easy lifestyle changes that you can discuss with your doctor to help alleviate some of the pains associated with menopause. One solution to help with menopausal pain is scheduling a massage.

How Massage Therapy Helps Menopause

Massage therapy offers a myriad of benefits to those experiencing any stage of menopause. Symptoms of menopause can be enhanced by anxiety and fatigue and can cause additional pain the back, neck, and shoulders.

Primarily, massage therapy and bodywork allows your body to ultimately relax, thus relieving anxiety and stress. Massage and bodywork relieves headaches and tension, increases range of motion, eases postural restrictions, and helps women reconnect with their bodies.  It also boosts flexibility by stimulating the natural lubricants between connective tissue. This will help alleviate back, neck, and shoulder pain I mentioned above.

Hormonal imbalances play a huge part in menopause. One of the most effective methods in balancing stress hormones is reflexology. Reflexology has been known to help balance hormones because it focuses on the adrenal, pituitary, and thyroid glands. This results in less pain and lower blood pressure caused by menopause.

If you feel that you might be experiencing menopausal symptoms, contact your doctor. Then help your body by relaxing in a massage. Trust me; your body will be grateful.

photo credit: moodboardphotography via photopin cc

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