Contributed by Samantha B.

“The Change” is an inevitable part of life. For decades, menopause was clouded in shameful secrecy. Now, we are able to speak about it openly, but it is still clouded in mystery. How do you know if you are in menopause? If you haven’t had your period for 12 months (excluding causes due to disease, stress, pregnancy) you may consider yourself in menopause. The process starts 8-10 years before you hit menopause, known as perimenopause.

In The Wisdom of Menopause, (Amazon affiliate link) updated and revised in 2006, Dr. Christianne Northrup dispels some popular misconceptions and explains why the second half of your life is designed to provide you with more pleasure, prosperity, and fulfillment than you have ever dreamed possible! According to Dr. Northrup, “the change” is not simply a collection of physical problems or hormonal swings that need to be “fixed,” but rather a mind-body revolution that brings the greatest opportunity for growth and happiness since adolescence.

Here are some ideas to help you take charge during this time of your life:

  • Many of the changes you experience in menopause can be reduced through diet, exercise and stress reduction. Whether you do some form of cardio such as walking 30 minutes a day or yoga, choose what you enjoy so you are more likely to stick to it.
  • Another important step is to embrace the change instead of fighting it. You are not less attractive or not as valuable because of menopause. You are still the same amazing person you were before.
  • Dress in layers, wear breathable fabrics and keep alcohol and caffeine to a minimum to better handle hot flashes.
  • Acupuncture is another favorite treatment for menopause. Start off with weekly sessions for two to six weeks until you can figure out what works for you.
  • Increase your take of calcium. As the body produces less estrogen, making it harder to absorb calcium. The added calcium can also help prevent osteoporosis, the loss of bone density which can occur.

This is one phase in your life, not the end of it. So, get ready, welcome it and enjoy this next stage of your life.

What are your experiences with menopause/perimenopause?