I was praying for menopause

I was praying for menopause

By Caitlin Grace

Menopause is a word that often stirs fear in a woman’s heart. Fear of aging. Fear of becoming obsolete and invisible. Fear of drying up in all aspects of life. A general and pervasive sense of fear of the unknown in this youth obsessed culture.

The trick is there is no clear time when you can say “I’m menopausal”. I lost count of the times I went to the doctors and listed all my symptoms only them to run tests and say. “You are nowhere near menopause”. Seriously, wtf was that all about? Hormone blood tests are a very blunt instrument for showing when you are moving into that transition phase of life, while saliva tests are far more accurate but you won’t get that at your local GP.

I suffered with heavy bleeding from the moment I had my tubes tied at 30 and anemia was a constant issue. At one stage my GP said, “I don’t know how you even get out of bed in the morning”. To be honest I don’t know how I did it either. By this stage I was in my mid-forties and praying for menopause to just make it all stop already. No such luck.

Eventually I got a Mirena fitted and my periods just stopped. Bliss! My iron levels went back up and I finally realised how much low iron had impacted my life. We have a 300metre driveway and walking down that would leave me feeling exhausted and ready for a nap, not to mention gasping for air. I thought I was just fat and unfit. Nope, low iron means low oxygen so you literally don’t have enough air in your body. After my iron levels returned to normal I could (and still do!) walk it with ease – no naps required.

Somewhere into my eighteen months with the Mirena I was told it had fallen out. I went for a scan and they couldn’t see it anywhere, so they said “Not to worry. It’s just fallen out” I still had no periods and thought that I must have passed through into menopause while I had the Mirena in. Wrong again. In fact the Mirena was still in which I only discovered when I had a week long period and went to get it checked out as bleeding after menopause is a danger sign. It turns out the Mirena was still in there and now they wanted to take it out to see why I had bled.

This is when all my troubles really began.

My doctor told me, again, that I was still nowhere near menopausal and my uterus was in fact , “quite fluffy”. By this stage I was close to fifty and had no other symptoms of menopause just (she laughs) heavy bleeding. Any woman who has experienced heavy bleeding knows how debilitating and limiting it can be. Their solution, oft repeated, was to do a hysterectomy as “You are past child bearing so you don’t need it anymore”. To be clear this was a healthy uterus – no fibroids, no tumours, no cysts, nothing – she just liked to bleed… a lot.

I am stubborn. I am also deeply attached to my body parts and I wasn’t about to discard this powerhouse from my body because she liked to bleed. Instead I went on a journey to find out what I could do to heal myself. Christiane Northrup’s book “The Wisdom of Menopause” was a godsend. She says heavy bleeding is leaking life force energy. She asks the question “Where are you giving away your creativity?” This was a lightbulb moment and I decided to finally finish writing and self-publish my own book “The Goddess Guide to Sex, Love and Life”.

It was around this time (2012) that I started using a yoni egg and I believe this, along with other measures, was instrumental in getting my heavy bleeding under control. I ditched gluten and sugar (mostly) and added in more fermented foods including fermented cod liver oil (yes, it tastes disgusting but totally worth it for the vitamin a, d and k all of which are crucial to help with heavy bleeding).
I believe the yoni egg has meant that my emotional equilibrium has remained stable, I have had minimal hot flushes, no night sweats and minimal insomnia and what I have had has been easily solved with magnesium oil. My periods finally ended late last year and I feel the transition has been relatively smoothly. Menopause is one stage of life that we need to really look at all the ways we can nurture and support our body and I would love it if doctors offered more than just the “Let’s just take it out” approach when it comes to the uterus and heavy bleeding. We have much to learn in about the wisdom of the womb.

About Caitlin

Caitlin Grace is the author of “The Goddess Guide to Sex, Love and Life” a yoni egg coach and a self-love coach. She has been married, divorced and is now married to the love of her life for the past 25 years.

Caitlin’s mission is to help women better understand the importance of their pelvic floor and why it matters. As a yoni egg coach Caitlin helps women understand there is more to the yoni egg practice than maintaining the pelvic floor. It is also a practice in tuning in, becoming more deeply connected to your body and mindful of the way you interact with yourself. Caitlin can be found via her website

This article first appeared in Issue #8 of the Maga Woman Magazine. To read other articles like this one click HERE to subscribe

Courage to Bloom

Courage to Bloom

By Brenda Tsiaousis 

“We cannot become what we need by remaining what we are.” – John C. Maxwell 

We all go through periods off transition. Whether it’s changing a career, starting a new business, becoming an entrepreneur, immigrating to a new country, adjusting to a new life as an empty nester or overcoming trauma.  

No-one tells you what to expect as you transition from one point in life to another. There is no hand book with 10 steps to… insert whatever it is you are currently working through. There isn’t a one size fits all “what works for me will work for you” methodology to transition gracefully through change and there are definitely no two experiences that are the same.  

Nothing could have prepared me for the incredible loss of identity I encountered after immigrating from South Africa to Australia or the confidence crisis I found myself in a few years after starting my business, nor the amount of courage it would take to peel back the layers of years of conditioning as I worked through the questions of;  

Who was I now? More importantly… What do I even want?  

It had been years since I had even reflected on what I truly wanted, not only for myself but also to contribute to the world.  

It takes courage to be totally honest with yourself, to unravel the layers of who you are and to connect with the truest version of yourself. Every woman has a story. A story worth sharing with those who come after us.  

There are parts of our stories that we find easy to tell and parts that are not so easy to share. Freedom lies beyond the hard bits we’re so afraid to share.  

What I have learned during my faith based entrepreneurial journey is that whenever transition and reinvention are involved, it takes courage, commitment and allowing the process to unfold to reveal a new more beautiful you as you step into a brand new and often unknown season. 

One of the myths I would like to bust is the concept of courage being overtly over the top, loud, extra brave… the kind of bungee jumping courageous or kite surfing brave.  

I don’t deny the fact that it takes loud courage to do all of these things but let’s consider the quiet kind of courage for a moment. The courage that whispers quietly to your soul.  

The small voice that say’s – “you’ve got this” “you can”, “just one small step”, “keep going.”  

The quiet prompting to pick up the phone, to call someone who hurt you and to say sorry, the inner prickle of doing something that may result in rejection but doing it anyway.  

For a person to fully embrace who they are becoming, I have found the courage to bloom is often preceded by the courage to surrender. 

All that no longer serves, any pre-conceived ideas of who we are meant to be, the hurts, past failures and any unhealthy beliefs we may be holding on to that could derail us from; becoming the very best version of ourselves, starting a new business, traveling to foreign countries or speaking on stages. 

There are four steps that I believe aid us in having the courage to bloom.  

These are;   

Clarity  ~ around your vision, what you really want for your life and for those around you. We often know exactly what it is that we do not want but not as much what we do want. Now is the perfect opportunity to dream out loud, to scribble your way through a note pad noting all the things you dreamt of doing but haven’t yet, whatever the reason.  

An activity I love to do with my clients who run their own businesses or those who are actively stepping into a new season is to write out their vision for each area of their life. Many are surprised to find that they struggle initially but as they allow themselves to dream the easier it becomes.  Writing down your vision provides a springboard from which to launch from.  

Confidence ~ In yourself, your capabilities, your strengths, and your experiences. These often form part of your story and hold the lessons or gifts you can share with others. Confidence is derived from knowing and aligning with our core values, acknowledging our fears and reframing our beliefs if necessary.  

Two thirds of businesses today are started by woman, with 85% of all purchasing decision made by them. These are incredible statistics which are set to grow as more woman realise the benefits of starting and growing their businesses from home while caring for family and loved ones. 

As amazing as these statistics are, the biggest challenge still facing many woman, even those in corporate positions is the lack of confidence.  

Certainty ~ Who are you deep down, at the centre of your being? Being certain of who you are at your core is key to confidence and courage. This was the one question I certainly mulled over when I felt like I had lost my identity after moving to Australia. Certainty is not the same as confidence. We can be outwardly confident and inwardly uncertain. If you’re an entrepreneur certainty spills over to knowing who work with, your business model, distribution channels and what you offer.  

Commitment ~ Commit to yourself fully. Commit to your goals. Set yourself a goal and focus on achieving it. There will be days when you may feel tempted to give up. When this happens consider the phrase “courage over comfort” You are so worth it.  

Take a deep breathe and listen to the quiet voice of courage nudging you to take action. It is in taking action that fear will dissipate and courage will rise.  

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. Nelson Mandela 

As women we have so much to give; a wealth of experience, hearts open wide to support and encourage others, start new businesses, step in to new careers, create secondary income streams, travel the world, share a message that will transform lives, make an impact and leave a legacy for those who follow behind us.  

Once you allow yourself to surrender to what is, you will make way for courage to bloom. You will finally be able to show up in your business with warmth, authenticity and certainty. It’s from this place that your life and business will thrive. 

Web links  

Website : www.BrendaTsiaousis.com  

Facebook Page : www.facebook.com/brendatsiaousis 

BIO :  

Brenda Tsiaousis

Business success mentor, courage Igniter and confidante, Brenda supports passionate, impact driven women over 40 to have the confidence and courage to market their business and create a unique brand by combining a success mindset with timeless strategy fuelled by faith.  

She is passionate about supporting women, addressing crucial missing components in life and business that often stop them from shining bright, sharing their message and living more aligned lives. Brenda is #1 best selling author of Courage To Bloom.  

This article first appeared in Issue #6 of the Maga Woman Magazine. To read more articles like this click HERE to subscribe.

Self Love….is it another buzz word?

Self Love….is it another buzz word?

Written by Keri Norley 

SELF LOVE… Is it another “BUZZ” word?  Is it a load of rubbish?  Do you reach the holy grail?  I mean for real… is it all it’s cracked up to be?   

This concept of self-love is everywhere these days.  And lots of people are preaching it.  The question is… do they believe it to truly be possible?  Do you believe it?  Have you ever experienced it? 

So what is it?  Self- love?  

It is not love driven by ego.   

It is awareness of self.  It is love for all parts of self… the beautiful and the ugly.  It’s awareness that you are capable of the worst and also the best… and still loving you.  It’s loving your body, no matter the size.  It’s looking after and nurturing all levels of yourself… mind, body and spirit… 

In my opinion… self-love is not a “buzz” word… but it can be… if you take it for it’s superficial experience.  Saying you love yourself doesn’t make it the end of the journey.  Generally speaking… it’s only the beginning. For many of you reading this, even doing that will bring tears to your eyes… if you look yourself in the eyes, in your soul and say it and truly mean it…  

So what are 5 crucial pieces that are an absolute must in order to fall in love with yourself… deeper and deeper in love?  

  1. Be willing to spend time with yourself. 
  2. Have people around you to hold you to a higher standard.  Fire the rest.
  3. Look at your mindset, the stories you are telling yourself, the stories that others told you and you believed… are they true?  What do you want to think instead and STICK WITH IT.
  4. Be courageous.  Have the deep conversations with people when it scares you.  Be willing to go ALL IN to living an aligned life.  Don’t go halfway.
  5. Forgiveness.  Forgive yourself first.  Forgive others who you feel have hurt you.  Realise… your responsibility in the situation.  Forgive yourself again.

 REPEAT.   

And when you do these things… when you start to love time with yourself.  When you are saying kind things to yourself… when you have the courage to go all in.  When you stop worrying and truly surrender… when you forgive… when you do all this and more…  

Something happens within.   

A peace begins to take over.  A peace that was not there before.   

Your energy shifts.  It goes somewhere you didn’t know existed.  Somewhere you couldn’t go while you were beating yourself up, shaming yourself, loathing on you… thinking you were completely incompetent and inadequate… feeling unworthy and not good enough… in that place… you couldn’t, you wouldn’t allow yourself to vibrate at the level of love.  You couldn’t receive it.   

This feeling.  The feeling of vibing high, joy, boundless love and freedom and abundance… it’s beyond words.  It’s to be felt.  And you will experience it different to me… but I can promise you… The feeling of infinite love and source energy streaming through, in the times when you allow it to… it’s worth every challenging part of the journey to get there.  

So now… you get to decide… are you ready to completely and fully let go?  To totally surrender to that which is guiding you…  

If not… that’s all good.  We are all somewhere on the path… and knowing your truth around it is the first step.  Do you want to love yourself?  Do you want to go deeper into this path?  If so… what are you willing to do to take the next step? 

And… if you are already on this path… and you are falling deeper and deeper in love with you.. congratulations… it’s a never ending, lifetime journey that will take the wildest twists and turns and it’s this path that will bring you to your deepest alignment to your soul’s purpose.  And it’s this path that will have you healing yourself, those around you and the planet.   

I invite you… to be willing to go further, deeper… on your path of love.  It will change your life… every aspect of it.   

Keri Norley

Written by Keri Norley, “The Manifesting Queen” and creator of Business Manifestors Club and the Manifesting Mindset Bootcamp loves to help you create an epic life on your terms.  She is passionate about ALL things manifesting and helping you live your life in complete alignment so that things show up with ease.  She loves helping you to work through your mindset and uncover the blocks that are holding you back from being the person who gets to live your dreams.  She loves helping you follow the signs to walk on your own path… to follow your heart and your soul’s purpose and alignment and to ultimately manifest all your deepest desires.   

You can get some fun free trainings that are honestly deep and incredible content in this no FLUFF zone… Click HERE

This article first appeared in Issue #5 of the Maga Woman Magazine. To read more articles like this subscribe HERE

The Woman Who Refused to Take No for an Answer

The Woman who refused to take no for an answer

Written by Jo Duff (transcript of interview with Julie Randall)

Author Julie Randall faced aggressive terminal cancer in the face, and although she may have been frightened, she chose to stare down the big C and say “Not yet”.  

Just four days after her fiftieth birthday celebrations, Julie Randall suffered a very sudden and severe seizure at work. Out of the blue, she went from a fit, healthy, fun-loving wife and mother, to not knowing what had happened. Or why.  Julie was rushed to hospital where it was discovered she had a malignant brain tumour. Diagnosed with Stage 4 Metastatic Advanced Melanoma, she was told to get her affairs in order because she didn’t have long to live. 

Her world fell apart, but not for long. There wasn’t time, and she made a promise to her daughters that she would live. Julie then embarked on a crusade to find a treatment that would work and became Patient 71. 

Julie Randall is an open book when it comes to her story, sharing it with the public to give hope, inspiration, and some much-needed laughs to women who are fighting the same battle.  

When you were going through treatment and had down days, what were the things you did to pull yourself out of the darkness? Or did you just push through each day? 

Some days were push and some days were pull.  On the down days, I would sit for a while, give myself a stern talking to and move forward. I kept fit and healthy and stuck to a strict diet.  I worked hard to train my mind to focus on living. I made a mood board about my future and stared at it every day believing I would be in that future for a long time to come. I certainly wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows every day, but having these tools helped me overcome the dark days quicker. 

Do you feel that cancer robbed you temporarily of feeling like a woman? Do you have any self-care tips to women who may be going through treatment? 

Yes, I did. If it isn’t bad enough that you are given a death sentence, you then lose your looks and your femininity as well. It’s cruel beyond measure, but as they say ‘It is what it is!’ So, you just have to get through it the best way you can.  

Exercise is incredibly important. You need those endorphins running through your veins! Yoga and meditation were also vital to my wellbeing. You may think sitting still with a clear mind is impossible when you are going through something as traumatic as a cancer diagnosis, but, just sit, close your eyes and breathe deeply for 10 minutes imagining your cells in perfect harmony. Don’t fight against your own body. Keep reminding yourself that your hair will grow back in time. Mine is now longer than my husband’s, which was one of my goals! 

You are proof to every Australian woman over 40 that whatever is thrown at you, no matter how bad, it can get better and it can turn around.  What are the common themes and stories you hear from other Australian women?  

I’ve heard from all kinds of women who are in the dealing not just cancer, but divorce, financial hardship and family pressures such as caring for a relative or child. I believe that great women always turn pain into power. There is always a lesson to be learned through suffering, and I’ve witnessed so many women help each other walk that journey and come out the other side. 

Do you ever feel conflicted when you think about becoming such a positive inspiration to people and making a difference by sharing your personal story, considering you had to go through hell and back and share such a tough time in your life?   

Great question. Yes, I absolutely do. I had to think long and hard about sharing my story publicly. It wasn’t just my emotions that needed to be considered. I had to think about those of my husband and children who had been on the ride to hell and back with me. But, there was a nagging voice in my head that said it was my responsibility, almost my civic duty, to share my story and offer hope and inspiration to those who needed it. When I sat the family down and explained that to them, they were very supportive and really proud of me for taking that path. 

They are three amazing humans. 

How will you keep making a difference in 2018? 

My motto is LAUGH, LIVE & GIVE so I will be doing plenty of that this year. I will also be investing time in mentoring those who need support to stay on track with their goals, whatever they may be. I also hope to connect with Maga readers and women facing a similar battle too! 

Julie Randall and daughters

Watch Julie’s 60 Minutes Interview HERE

Patient 71 is available in Kindle and paperback from Amazon.com.au 

Interview conducted and written by Jo-Ann Duff 


This article first appeared in the Maga Woman Magazine. You can read more articles like this by subscribing HERE

Dance Yourself Awake

Dance Yourself Awake

Written by Natalie Southgate

Do you remember a time when you completely let loose on the dance floor? Maybe it was at a night-club, or at a party, or even when you were just cranking up the stereo in your own lounge-room. You closed your eyes and let the rhythms and beats ripple through you. Remember the joy, the bliss, and the freedom of that feeling?

As we get older, as well as not stepping out on the dance floor as much (or ever!), we may also find that we’re not stepping fully into our own lives. It’s easy to find ourselves sleepwalking through life. It can feel like we’re just going through the motions of getting through the day. It’s easy to feel tired, jaded, and uninspired. The days and weeks, and even years, roll on by and yet we may only be semi-conscious of the choices we are making and the lives we are creating.

Many of us are playing lots of roles in our lives (wife, mother, friend, daughter, carer, breadwinner etc) and have put the needs of others ahead of our own for so long that we’ve literally lost touch with who we really are. And yet … from somewhere deep within, there may be a voice that is beginning to cry out: “Is there more to life? Who am I really? What am I here for?”

It feels to me that this deep soul-stirring seems to intensify at mid-life. That inner voice crying inside seems to get louder, and the external triggers that force us to grow get bigger. Some people call this having a mid-life crisis, but I really believe that it is a calling home to our true, authentic self. Our soul wants to dance again!

Twenty years ago, my various studies and passions (one of which was letting loose on the dance floor) led me to create Chakradance, a dynamic moving meditation practice. Since then I have shared it with thousands of women who have had that inner yearning to live their lives more deeply, authentically, and with more creativity, passion and purpose.

In Chakradance, we dance to specific music that has been composed to resonate with each of the seven chakras. As you dance your chakras you will begin to notice changes in your body and in your life. You might find yourself releasing tension you’ve been holding onto for years, and gaining energy for the things that you want to do in your life. Your dance may re-ignite your passion. You may find you have more insights into how to handle difficult situations in your life. You might find more connection in your relationships. You may just feel a lot more relaxed and free, and wake up each morning looking forward to the day ahead. Chakradance helps us to free up our natural energy flows and helps us feel more vibrant, more passionate, more alive.

Here is a quick overview of each dance

Base chakra

This dance connects us to our primal, instinctual energy. It helps us to reclaim the wild, animal-like part of us and deepens our connection to the earth. We may find ourselves emphasizing movements of our legs and feet in this tribal, raw, and primitive dance.

Sacral chakra

Dancing the sacral chakra deepens our connection with the sacred feminine. Like water, our feelings and sensuality flow in this chakra. Fluid, sensual movements of our hips and belly can heighten our sense of pleasure and passion.

Solar plexus chakra

As we dance the solar plexus chakra we express our innate masculine energy. This fiery energy fuels our dance, helping us to feel confident and strong. We may find ourselves doing dynamic martial-arts type movements as we rediscover our own warrior power.

Heart chakra

We use our breath to expand our chest and lift up into the airy dance of the heart chakra. This soft and gentle dance opens us up to love, kindness and compassion – for others, but also for ourselves. This dance, which may call us to whirl and soar, can help us open ourselves up to the lightness and joy within us.

Throat chakra

The throat chakra helps us to express our authentic truth. This dance is a mantra dance, where we weave together our voice and movements. The vibrations of the sounds we create pulse through our bodies, intensifying our self-expression and creativity. We become moving sound.

Third eye chakra

As we surrender into a trance-dance, we may find ourselves making hypnotic and repetitive movements. We may also open ourselves up to visions, insights and higher guidance. This dance heightens our perceptions and helps us see the bigger picture.

Crown chakra

The dance of the crown chakra feels like a dancing prayer. We may find ourselves raising our arms toward the sky to receive the universal love, grace and wisdom. This is the dance of our soul.

When Chakradance is used as a regular practice, it transforms your life. It wakes you from your slumber and re-ignites all that exists within you. Is your soul calling you back to the dancefloor?

Natalie Southgate creator of Chakradance

Chakradance is offered in live classes all over the world. There are over 400 fully trained and accredited Chakradance Facilitators now, running classes in over 40 countries. Click here to see if there’s a facilitator running classes near you.

This article first appeared in the Maga Woman Magazine, a lifestyle magazine for women over 45. Click HERE to subscribe and to get access to more great articles.

Mindset of Ageing

Mindset of Ageing

By Lynda Dyer

Why does a simple attitude adjustment suspend Ageing?

Why do some people become well centenarians while others die young?

Does Age affect our wellness or wellness affect our age?

All great questions and ones I wanted to explore to truly understand the ageing process.

Let me share with you some of my findings that I wrote about in my International Best Selling Book ‘Age is an Attitude’ in 2017.

“Cultural Beliefs effect our immune system and thus our health and ageing process”, says Dr Mario Martinez who is a clinical neuropsychologist and developed the Bio cognitive Science Institute in 1998. He wrote the ‘Mind Body Code’ by studying over 400 centenarians. From his research he believes that longevity is learned and not inherited. This study puts a whole new slant on the ‘Nature/Nurture’ controversy and I think it has great credibility.

His bio cognitive science is based on research that demonstrates how thoughts and their biological expression co-emerge within a cultural history. I find this fascinating as I believe our thoughts are so powerful. I have been teaching this for many years.

You have to ask yourself why can some people live well past 100 without seeing a doctor? Why can some people live well past 100 when both their parents died young? Why can some people reverse incurable diseases, like I did, while others hold onto childhood diseases despite years of treatment and therapy?

Dr Mario Martinez, on the 180 Nutrition Show with Guy Lawrence and Stu Cook talks about “The Secret of Living Beyond 100 years old”. He gave some great examples for us to get this concept of the cultural thinking influencing our health and thus our ageing process. This is the example.

“Let’s say your culture has a propensity in the immune system issue like Lupus or Cancer. Research has shown that that culture generally teaches you to be subservient with authority”. How many of you have felt subservient with authority growing up? I know I did. I had a big issue with ‘people in charge’. I think many of us have felt this at some time.

Dr Mario Martinez then says “Some of the characteristics for Cancer and Immune Disorders are:

  • Unassertiveness
  • Inability to set limits
  • Fear of the world and not being liked enough
  • Inability to reduce fear which causes a low immunity and a low ability to produce the natural killer (NK) cells that can kill the pre cancer cells.

He goes on to say that “The family quite often fosters the illness teaching us helplessness and subservience”. So we teach ourselves to get sick and remain sick. We should never blame ourselves because we don’t do this consciously. If you can learn to get sick you can learn to trigger the causes of health you inherited.

I believe this because I did it. I felt subservient around authority. I created an auto immune disease.

I know from my teachings that we have a Mind and Body Connection. What Dr Mario Martinez has added is that this Mind Body Connection is influenced by our culture. So our perception of who we are and why we do what we do is cultural. In fact we are influenced by cultural beliefs from the day we are born. I believe Bob Proctor would call this ‘Programming’. In each culture our beliefs are different. We are influenced by what we share or fear even at the pre-birth stage.

As an NLP Coach and Trainer I know this from many processes that we can do with people to take them back to a time where they felt that fear or shame for example. The actual meaning of the words is different in each culture. For example, Dr Mario Martinez says that “Shame and Honour may mean different things in different cultures”. He goes on to say that “Shaming causes inflammation of the immune system by reducing imunoglukans”. Were you ever told that you did not do well at school or sport? This is one way of shaming. Each culture can shame in different ways. Some cultures shame the whole group. For example some older people feel not treated well as a group. Women in some cultures are shamed to keep them feeling subservient.

The problem with shaming, or any other negative word is that our subconscious mind is symbolic so it refers to words as symbols. “These symbols can create a bio cognitive set of responses that can influence our immune system. Therefore illnesses and ageing are learnt and the causes of health are inherited” says Dr Mario Martinez.

He goes on to say that “We are basically born healthy. There are very few chromosomal errors. In the process, however of dealing with the world, we learn to respond in a dysfunctional way. We have a pre-disposition in our DNA to overcome illnesses, through our resilience, that allows us to get well. We become ill from factors we have learnt. We have a tremendous ability to be well and overcome many illnesses and challenges”. I know this from practical experience.

So if .001% is inherited illnesses, why we age must have a lot less to do with our genetics and a lot more to do with our environment or culture. Dr Mario Martinez says “We don’t inherit illness. We actually inherit a propensity for illness. What we do learn is how to be hyper alarmed.” So we live in a constant stress state without realising it.

So let’s have a look at an example of why he says this. “Let’s say you are raised by abusive parents, where you are constantly mistreated. That is not just psychological damage. That creates problems with the immune system and endocrine system and nerves. These systems are learning to get sick and so they secrete chemicals, stress and cortisol steroids, into our immune and endocrine system which lose their ability to assist us. So all our systems, nerve, immune, endocrine, and cognitive are learning stress. The medical system then offers us a tablet for that which enforcers the illness belief.

We don’t inherit illnesses. We inherit the propensity for the expression of genes based on our environment, culture and beliefs”.

Ellen Langer, a Professor in Social Psychology from Harvard University did a study on working women in a hotel. The study was to demonstrate ‘How Context Affects your Ageing Process’. So she split the group of hotel workers into two groups;

  1. Group 1 were all told that what they do in the hotel must be hard work and I’m sure you must get tired at the end of the day”. In NLP we call this an ‘embedded command to the mind’ because it is so suggestive.
  2. Group 2 were told “Do you know that the work you do is similar to aerobics, bending and stretching, like going to a gym and you must be burning lots of calories”. So these workers also had embedded commands of a whole different nature given to them. They were given attributes that the work they were doing attributed to their fitness and had aerobic consequences.

So they then looked at both groups 6 weeks later:

  1. Group 1 got worse
  2. Group 2 allowed the attributions of aerobic exercising while working to change their mindset and attitude about their work and they made significant changes. They dropped their cholesterol, weight and blood pressure significantly, just from thinking about their work differently. They allowed the attributions to change their attitude about their work and they had a significant mind body change.

I actually did this exercise with my son. He was working in a ‘Boost Juice’ bar and he was not happy with the amount of work he had to do for the amount of pay. So I said to him “why don’t you go into your work tomorrow and pretend you own the business and work as if it is your business”. To do that he would have to change his mindset and attitude about his work and his role in the job.

Well the outcome not only surprised the people at his work, it also surprised him and me. He was told “you can’t change that quickly”. His comment was “yes you can because I just did”. He was then asked to become the assistant manager in four days. He not only did this at this casual job, he did it at his next job in a music store with the same results. He now knew that he was in control of his outcomes every day and that his attitude was very much connected to his aptitude.

In NLP, we believe that Attitude is very much attributed to Aptitude. The effort you put into anything in your life will be governed by your attitude, thoughts and beliefs around that task. Attitude is the way we decide to do our behaviour from the way our beliefs and values are.  So our behaviour is a great indicator of our mindset and attitude. If we want to make change we may like to check our willingness to change our mindset and thus our attitude first.

So Can The Power of Thought Stop You Aging?

“Professor Ellen Langer carried out another experiment in 1979 to find if changing thought patterns could slow ageing” according to the BBC News. The full story of this experiment was hidden until 2010 so it’s just being realised now.

Here is the link to the full story http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/8498233.stm

The most important point here is that thoughts can actually change the chemistry in the brain. We can make the choice to grow older in a healthy happy way or not. To become a well centenarian is a choice.

So let’s look at what Dr Mario Martinez found as the common denominators for longevity according to his research on over 400 centenarians.

  • They all intuitively express the causes of their wellness
  • They were all assertive, celebrated life and others
  • They had what has been called righteous anger which is good for letting off steam
  • They all set their own limits. They were happy to help others but only to a point.
  • They ate mostly vegetarian or Mediterranean diets until they were ¾ full
  • They don’t manipulate. They acknowledge that both they and you were worthy. This is healthy for the immune system. If we don’t feel worthy and acknowledge it then how can we project ourselves. Our culture quite often teaches us to be humble and helpless.
  • They exercised regularly by walking, riding bikes and dancing
  • They had a purpose every day. Whatever they did (even if it was to mind the great grand- kids) they did it with the best attitude.

The important point here is that cultural anthropology and neuroscience back this information up. So if ‘SHAME’ is the underlying reason behind your immune system not allowing you to have the longevity that you want then you can STOP and DECIDE to find times in your life when you felt HONOUR because honour is the healer for shame. Honour becomes an anti-inflammatory component. So what may be a great exercise for you to do is to write about all the times you felt honoured in your life. You may be surprised at how far you can go back. By focusing on your worth, and a mindset of your purpose, your body feels well and you age well.

Lynda

Lynda Dyer Msc, Mind Power Global

Certified NLP Trainer & Master Trainer of Matrix Therapies

International Best Selling Author of 8 books Including ‘Make it Happen Now’, ‘Good Grief Book’, ‘Healing your Immune System’ and ‘Create Confident Kids’.

You can connect with Lynda at http://mindpowerglobal.com.au/

Read more articles like this one in the Maga Woman Magazine, the magazine created for women over 45. You can grab your free copy HERE

Never Let Them See You Sweat

Never let them see you sweat

Written by Glyn Conlon

I see the big picture, organise the details, meet the deadlines, and never let it seem as if I need support.

I had never asked for appreciation or acknowledgement, I wore the lone leader cap, both with family and my career. I’ve got this as my badge of honour, that is, until I noticed that perhaps I wasn’t appreciated anymore. When did this happen to me?

When did I become unnoticed, unappreciated, undervalued and undone. And when did it start to matter?

Is this the big M?

Yep, I was on top of it all the time…except when a task veered beyond my toolkit of expertise. But that rarely happens. Right?

I’m here to admit it happens more and more of late. What I’m talking about is self-doubt that comes with Menopause. Those changes in my body and in my mind that I am trying to pretend don’t exist.

I now find myself saying “I am not prepared to drop this because of the principle of it”. That niggling sense that I am going in a different direction to the rest of my family and they are looking at me weirdly.

Pre the big M, sometimes the task is too foreign, the time too short, the energy too finite to pull it off. And then I’m stuck acting like a Lone Leader, trying to operate without the necessary support. Then I get hit with the sick stick and “have” to stop.

This pattern is on incessant repeat in women’s’ lives and possibly men’s lives, although I’m not as sure because in my experience, men are not talking about a whole lot of stuff. They suffer with anxiety and depression just like women though.

I have reflected on the reasons a Lone Leader prefers to operate solo, even when overwhelmed and here they are:

You could be accused of being high maintenance. You could raise eyebrows and whispers in the powder room like “how did she land this job”? Or at playgroup “what is she thinking, I’m a mum; I would have handled it SO differently”.

Will they think you’re a pest?

Will they have more important people to support and no one will answer at all!
This imagined consequence of rejection is enough to keep you from raising your hand; unless, that is, it’s to help clean up.

Or are these reasons in our own heads?

Are we perpetuating our own futures?

Is what my kids say to me actually true? “Mum you need to talk to someone and get help with your feelings…”

Holy shit! What about some acceptance or recognition of the things I have achieved! The self-development hours I’ve put in. I want someone to see me with fresh eyes, see me for the growth and the investment in myself over many years.

Until recently I had forgotten the basic simple human trait – Others want to help.

When you can ask someone to help you, they are instantly flattered. Beyond the initial ego-boost, your potential helper experiences a sense of validity and purpose. It’s almost like you’re doing them a favour.

According to recent research, heterosexual marriage is an unequal institution. Women on average do more of the unpaid and undervalued work of households, they work more each day, and they are more aware of this inequality than their husbands/partners. They are more likely to sacrifice their individual leisure and career goals in the relationship and for their relationship.

I have two daughters 30 and 27 years and a partner . A year ago started I noticed I was feeling blue a lot more. I caught the symptoms a lot later than some of my friends. I wanted more fairness and equality and HELL YEAH I wanted more understanding, team work and to be heard.

Then I asked, if society undervalues most of my work, perhaps I do too. Time to start doing what I ask my clients to do……Journal.

I notice my children who come from the “pampered” generation. They know more about everyday things, especially technology and are able to do things quicker. Often looking at each other as if they have finished the book and I am way back at the forward.

Please let’s stop talking about what’s gone wrong, what’s going wrong or who’s wrong — let’s plant trees together and save the future, I say.

Maybe, just maybe women are subordinating themselves! Are we undervaluing ourselves in our relationships, our careers and with our children? Are we enabling the struggle of menopause?

Then I utter those famous words …ahem cough cough – “Coach!, Coach thy self”!

My life takes on a warm glow when I keep a journal. This type of journal is special and is based on the work of Marshall Rosenberg Ph.D

The way I journal is to has two components to it, firstly to hear my feelings and to know that when my needs are not being met, this stirs feelings I don’t like and I can then make an action request; a powerful component to listen to any pain that surfaces and discover the beautiful needs that lie underneath any hurt and misunderstandings. I then look at specific action requests to meet that need; a very powerful part of moving forward for future peace of mind and connection with your partner, family or workplace colleagues.

Then lastly, just before sleep; simple gratitude. A quick 3 minutes of indulgence is enough to lift my mood and bring forward opportunities.

My Mum who is 87,is an ornery character of late, her badge of lone leader is, never asked for support and never will. She is so proud of that mantra.

I have discovered that by giving her a journal she eventually tells me that she needs to know someone cares and is listening and that helps her think she can go on. The anxiety seems to take her from behind and with a flurry of texts to me she is once again complaining about everything that has ever made her sad in her life and everything that is not fair and how everyone there is unkind to her. Post journalling she seems to be embracing peace of mind.

This is possibly her own beliefs catching up to her and being played out on the big screen before her eyes each day. These beliefs have always been in her life yet and now she has a way of journalling them through to clear them from her body and her mind. Its early days still.

What can I learn from her behaviour? To work through things as they arise to look at my needs as my guidance and know they stimulate feelings I don’t like and then do the journalling to breakthrough these beliefs, habits behaviours and doubts.

In a study of 400 healthy people, those participants who had higher scores on a gratitude test also had significantly better sleep. They reported faster time to sleep, improved sleep quality, increased sleep duration, and less difficulty staying awake during the day. This is not because their life was simply better – levels of gratitude are more dependent on personality and life perspective than on life situation.

Gratitude reduces feelings of envy.

A small bit of jealousy or envy directed at the right target is motivating. Too much produces feelings of insecurity, materialism, inferiority, distrust, and unhappiness.
Did you hear social media swan in the back door?

How does gratitude reduce feelings of envy?

An attitude of envy and an attitude of gratitude are largely incompatible. Just like it is impossible to feel optimistic and pessimistic at the same time, gratitude is the act of perceiving benevolence, while envy and jealousy is the act of perceiving inadequacy. Benevolence and inadequacy cannot be completely perceived at the same time.

Make sense?

I propose our greatest joy needs to come from our work and from our families. Perhaps nurturing our life’s work which includes our family, rather than excludes our career.

I propose a purpose which starts when we are kids, takes a detour or sabbatical when our kids are born, comes back with a vengeance when our kids are whatever age you decide and then our passion and purpose continue until grandkids, then right back into it.

Fear is our greatest enemy, not our children or our partners or our bosses. Let’s self-coach ourselves to peace of mind.

Loads of love

Glyn

Glyn Conlon Communication Mediator

Glyn helps business professionals resolve conflict by communicating effectively so they can protect the things that matter most– in the workplace and at home.

Get your free copy of 5 Steps to Personal Power by visiting https://keystoneskills.com.au/

Read more articles like this in the Maga Woman Magazine, the magazine created for women over 45. You can grab your free copy HERE

Tuning into Animal Magic

Tuning into Animal Magic

Author: Bianca de Reus

 Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the beautiful eyes of animals? What they must be thinking, and how they experience life?

I know that every animal has a story to tell, wanting to express how they feel, and share their wisdom with the world.

How do we know they can do this, and how can we hear them?

Luckily, many people are open to listening to animals and receiving the stories, knowledge, and wisdom that helps us humans, so we can learn, be inspired, and create a positive change in ourselves and in the world.

When I am out and about in nature and around animals, they often just start talking to me. It doesn’t matter whether I’m wandering amongst them or I see a picture in front of me; animals’ need to communicate with me is ever present.

Whether they have a specific message or just want a chat, I find that communicating with our animal friends is a fun, healing, loving, and therapeutic experience.

Over the years, I have learned that many people are curious about what their beloved animal is thinking. What goes on in their mind? Dogs, cats, guinea pigs, birds, sheep, cows, lizards; all animals can communicate with us, and we with them.

We simply need to be quiet and listen.

Over the years I explored, about our connection with animals and I learned more about how I could hear the animals, I was amazed at how much I learned from them and how lovely and relaxing it could be to have a conversation with an animal.

Initially I practised only with my dogs, Rosie and Toby, discovering the differences in their energy, personalities, and how they communicate with me. For example, Toby is very relaxed and his energy reflects that. He is a sook, very dependent, and his energy is extremely mellow. Toby is also an old soul, and very wise.

Rosie, on the other hand, has a higher and more energetic vibration, and comes through with lots of excitement. She is more pedantic and not always willing to communicate. She will indicate to me if she is ready to talk. She is also a very independent dog and likes to do things her own way, yet on the other hand she is very supportive towards Toby and us.. In many ways, her personality mirrors mine.

I always speak with animals with gratitude and respect.

I talk to Rosie and Toby every day, whether out loud or in my mind. It is so much fun! It has also helped me to understand them much better. For example, Rosie tells me whether she is hungry or not and what she wants to eat. She also tells me what she wants to do; go to the park or just a walk around the block, chill and relax. Rosie is a wealth of wisdom, advice and support. Toby is my guardian, my gatekeeper.

Talking with animals is an intuitive process, and usually happens via telepathy. Of course they can hear our voice, but don’t necessarily understand our language. What’s important is what we project to them, including our energy.  That is how they understand what we are saying. They can send us a picture, a smell, a colour, or words via telepathy.  We receive this only when we are tuned in to them.

Animals live from their hearts. They are connected to spirit at a higher vibrational or energy level and give absolute and complete unconditional love. It gives us such a great feeling to see our own beloved animal approach us, wanting us to receive their love.

Whether animals have a specific message for us or just want to have a conversation, communicating with our animal friends is an enjoyable and therapeutic experience.

I’d love to share the experience I had with Audrey, the cat.

This beautiful cat formed part of a loving family. She was mature, and usually very friendly, yet kept to herself. She had her favourite spots around the house, and was living out her life in a gentle way.

However, one day this suddenly changed. Audrey became quite aggressive towards people, something she would otherwise never do. In particular, she showed aggression towards one member of the household. They couldn’t figure out what was going on with her, and asked me if I could help.

I connected with Audrey, and my, what a fussy eater she is! The main issue though, was that one particular family member  was drinking alcohol at night, and she didn’t relate to that very well. She didn’t feel that it was a good thing for that person to do, because it had a negative effect on him. Being aggressive was her way of letting him know “I don’t like what you are doing, you need to stop this.”

Sometimes I provide Reiki healing during an animal communication session. This form of energy healing helps the animal to calm down, reduces aches and pains, and can help to balance energy levels as well as reduce  inflammation. I also apply Reiki when I want to ‘see’ what the animal is sharing with me. I receive the images directly from the animal through the energy in my hands.

I provided some Reiki healing for Audrey during our session, and she loved it! Audrey became very mellow and her energy shifted from being angry, upset, and annoyed, to relaxed and comfortable. She even went outside and lay in front of the window in the sun. Apparently she hadn’t done that for a long time.

After we learned of Audrey’s reason for her behaviour, it was shared with the members of her family. She started to settle down after the person in question started to change his behaviour.

This story is one of the reasons I am so passionate about connecting with animals; we can help each other.

Animals are so wise and have many stories and much information to share, so it is important for me to share how you can connect and listen to them. Whether you have a pet in your family, you are a foster animal human guardian, have animals on your farm, or rescue animals from misery and abuse, everyone can learn this wonderful and important skill.

Be inspired

I’d love nothing more than you being inspired and encouraged to tap into soul to soul connecting with animals. I want you to be amazed by what the animals will share with you, and to have the capacity to do the best you can for animals who need you. I also want you to fully understand that animals are sentient, just like you and me. They are Soul Beings, living with genuine love, absolute passion, and a desire to serve the planet and all Beings on it.

My vision is to inspire people to create love, harmony, and joy around the world, so that humans and animals may live side by side with real love and respect.

My mission is to teach humans how to connect with animals by way of spiritual communication, inspired soul connection, mentoring, and energetic healing.

So let’s practise! Take a breath, and open up to the possibility that you too can talk with animals and understand them.

Here are a few simple steps you can take at home, and connect with your pet, soul to soul:

1 – Find yourself a quiet place at home, or outdoors. A place where you are free from interruptions. For example, you may have a quiet meditation corner in the house, or a favourite spot in a park or on the beach.

2 – Take a few deep breaths. Visualise green beautiful light surrounding your heart. Feel the warmth, the love. Sit with this for a few moments.

3 – Imagine sending the green light directly to your pet or any other animal you wish to talk with. The green light represents unconditional love, from your heart to the heart centre of the animal.

4 – Ask for permission to connect and have a conversation. Introduce yourself. Some people receive this permission by hearing the animal saying ”yes”, or the animal showing you a picture of love and approval, or by feeling an intense hug. It is different for everyone, and I invite you to take note of what it is for you.

5- Start by asking questions and patiently wait for the answer. The information will present itself through words, images or feelings, and will come in very quickly, so it’s important to record it and not analyse it! Allow the information to flow.

6 – Now that you have received the information, you THANK your pet for the connection and share how grateful you are for this.

Don’t worry if the connection didn’t happen immediately. Keep practising; you are learning this skill, so be patient with yourself.

Communicating soul to soul is extremely important for us humans to experience, so that we are in the best position to create love, harmony, joy and freedom around the world.

Over the years, I have spoken with birds, dogs, cats, goannas, horses, guinea pigs, cows, sheep, koalas, kangaroos, and certain insects.

I feel so honoured to be able to communicate with animals.  It feels great to hear the different voices and feel the different energies.

I am loving it, and I am sure you will too!!

Bianca

Bianca De Reus

Bianca de Reus was born and raised in the small town of Heemskerk, in the Netherlands. She  found her way to Sydney, Australia in 1996, where shortly after she was approached by a wild  snake who told her what her life purpose was to be. Bianca is an inspiring and passionate Soul Being, who loves the connections between animals  and people, bringing them together with love, joy, and harmony.    She is a game changing animal communicator and soul connection mentor who works  outside the norm, and takes people to a higher energy when working with animals.     She helps conscious animals lovers to create harmony and love by connecting deeply with  their animal friends.

Bianca has recently published her book called Hello, Can You Hear Me? 

You can get your copy at https://www.biancadereus.com/book

Connect with Bianca

https://www.biancadereus.com

https://linkedin.com/in/biancadereus

https://www.facebook.com/BiancadeReus/

Read more articles like this one in the Maga Woman Magazine, the magazine created for women over 45. You can grab your free copy HERE

My Story – Turning Point

Turning Point

Written by Margaret Rainbird

I ventured out one beautiful crisp Autumn morning to walk the labyrinth in the community garden in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. This example of an ancient path for walking meditation had been my staunch companion through some pretty turbulent times that included the death of my beloved dog and watching my ex-husband waste to his death in the same year. These were accompanied by the sale of my home and commencing work as a doctor to the dying. These experiences culminated in admission to a psychiatric hospital with crippling anxiety and depression. Already, a few months since my hospital stay, that duo were once again pinning me to the bed early in the morning. Heaping fears and recriminations upon me and making it well nigh impossible to crawl out from under the doona and face the challenges of day to day reality.

I paused at the entrance to this mosaic beauty and felt the sun on my upturned face, the cool fanning breeze on my skin. Aptly, as I made one of the turns on the path an idea emerged. It felt as if it left the shelter of the heritage apple trees and walked up to me. It carried a question: What would my life be like if I walked a different labyrinth every day for a year? I felt excitement rise up from my feet and pass through my body. Such a quest would involve travel. After all, there aren’t 365 labyrinths in Australia. Immediately I had a sense that, unlike the planning and forensic diagnostic thinking that guided so much of my life, this would evoke a willingness to trust in invitation, inspiration and serendipity. Of course, I was already talking myself out of it by the time I got back to the car.

I gave myself the final piece of permission to fulfill my ‘crazy idea’ and go on this personal pilgrimage when I was diagnosed with two large tumours squashing the left hemisphere of my brain 3 days before Christmas in 2016. I had already made moves that defy logic and ‘good sense’: I had quit my job at a palliative care hospital and was in the process of surrendering my apartment and giving away many of my possessions. My young adult children had both left home.

On the eve of my surgery I was reflecting on this ultimate test of trust:  Allowing other people to take sharp implements to my brain! I was told that I may have a stroke or die. At the very least, I was to expect things to be worse before they got better. However, leaving the tumours in place would kill me. No-brainer really!

Prior to the operation I was experiencing weakness in my right hand and foot, was walking in to walls, my writing and memory were deteriorating. A whole constellation of symptoms worsened slowly then much more rapidly. By the morning of surgery I couldn’t sign my name.  I vowed that if I survived with my intellect intact I would start to share more of what I had learnt in the last 40 years: no more hiding the magical, metaphysical and mysterious that medicine pushes aside. I pictured myself kneeling and touching my forehead to the floor of the 800 year old labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral in France.

I realized how important my intellect was to my pleasure in life: reading, writing, intelligent conversation, studying, teaching. I didn’t want any of that taken away from me. It was with great relief and gratitude that I found myself the next day walking, talking, writing much more clearly. My brain slowly creaked back in to place and in to action. I was discharged home within 5 days with the mother of all headaches but excited to be alive.

I got to fulfill that dream plus many that were unforeseen. Within four months of my surgery I commenced my travels to 8 different countries including France, England, Sweden, Ireland, Scotland, USA and Australia. My grateful feet trod the path of 400 different labyrinths. It was one of the most enriching experiences of my life. One whose wisdom I’m still harvesting. I called it my penciled-in-pilgrimage because I learnt very early in the piece that the landscape was constantly shifting and changing. It didn’t pay to write any plans in ink!

Harvested Wisdom from my Labyrinth Journey

In case it is valuable for other people undertaking something fairly major I will share some of what I learnt through the course of this 12 month process.

  • Share your ‘crazy’ idea out loud (perhaps not with your accountant and other seriously pragmatic people). Stating your intention allows you to start feeling your way. It also allows other people to come forth with help, knowledge, assistance and useful contacts.  Telling others also makes it harder to talk yourself out of it.
  • Put in place things that will encourage you. I plastered a quote from Goethe to the fridge:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”

In retrospect I can strongly attest to the truth of this. While I was quitting my job and packing up and relinquishing my home I was flying more by the hope that this was so.

  • I created a collage that included pictures of labyrinths I intended to walk and quotes from books on pilgrimage as well as some of the world’s great philosophers including Woodstock and Michael Leunig. I included the thought that came to me one cold, anxious morning in bed: I am tired of living a small, scared, defeated life.
  • One of the things that I turn to when facing major decisions that won’t appeal to everyone is divination tools such as Runes, Labyrinth Wisdom cards and others. I find they are often an uncanny source of encouragement particularly when I am contemplating things that fly in the face of logic and ‘common sense’.
  • I can’t write this in big enough letters: reach out to other people: for support, for encouragement, for practical help. We/I have such strong values around independence and self-reliance yet every single person who extended their hospitality to me said that they benefited from my knowledge, my company and my experience. They were reconnected with the labyrinth and with each other. Obviously there was reciprocity in all of these aspects of my travels.
  • Be willing to live with ongoing uncertainty. You may only be able to see a couple of steps ahead at any one time.
  • That the linear models we create of set a goal, take action, achieve the goal are a false representation of how most of life unfolds.
  • Trust your gut feelings and your bodily responses to things: go with the ones that energise and enliven you.
  • Be prepared to change course and alter plans. What actually unfolds is likely to be far richer (though at times difficult and painful) than anything that you originally envisioned.

I wish you all the best with whatever you dream of bringing in to being.

Margaret Rainbird

 

Dr Margaret Rainbird decided to undertake a quest to walk a different labryinth every day for 365 days.  You can learn more about her journey on her website – https://labyrinthsforlife.com/

You can read more articles like this one in the Maga Woman Magazine, a magazine for women over 45. You can grab your free copy HERE.

Natural Remedies for Menopause

Menopause Supplements

Natural Remedies for Menopause

In a previous blog I shared with you some of the common symptoms that can occur as your hormones shift and you transition through the menopause stage of your life.  Now that you understand how the way you are feeling is impacted by your shift in hormones let’s have a look at some of the simple ways that you can manage your symptoms.

Please note that I am not going to include pharmaceutical medications or HRT in this blog, I will cover those topics in the future.  This blog will only include herbs, nutrients, diet and lifestyle interventions.

Before I go into how you can treat your symptoms I do want to briefly cover the role that lifestyle choices play in the severity of your symptoms.  As I mentioned in the previous blog the adrenal glands do naturally secrete some reproductive hormones and this process is designed to make the drop in hormones a little more gradual so that you don’t experience too many symptoms.  The problem is that many women are adrenally exhausted by the time they reach their mid to late 40s and their adrenal glands don’t have the capacity to cope with the hormonal shift that occurs.

The release of adrenal hormones is very closely connected to our lifestyle choices (see this blog) and therefore the key to managing your menopausal symptoms starts with healthy lifestyle choices.  Check out the Acts of Self Love E-book and videos (click here) if you are not sure how you can make better lifestyle choices.

Let’s get on to some of the specific treatments for the most common symptoms of menopause

Hot Flushes and Night Sweats – Hot flushes are one of the commonly known symptoms of menopause.  A flush is when you get a sensation of heat that seems to start inside of you and intensifies until you are hot all over and you can also have visible sweating.  At night when you wake up covered in sweat and feeling very hot (even if the outside temperature is cold) this is known as a night sweat and can severely disrupt the sleep of some women.

Lifestyle Changes

  • Where possible wear light loose clothing
  • Don’t rug up too much at night, loose cotton nightwear is best
  • Flushing and night sweats often happen more after stressful and busy days, try to manage your energy and emotions during the day

Herbal treatment

  • Note if you see a naturopath or herbalist they will create a herb mix specific for your situation
  • Common herbs used in the management of hot flushes and night sweats are sage, zizyphus, motherwort, black cohosh and red clover (any over the counter remedies will contain these herbs)
  • A simple home herb recipe is to chop up 6 sage leaves and soak overnight in lemon juice. In the morning strain and drink the juice.  Repeat for the next week to 10 days and often your flushing and sweats will decrease.  Do NOT continue this for more than 2 weeks without consulting a herbalist or naturopath

Diet

  • Avoid excessively spicy foods
  • Avoid very hot drinks or foods
  • Avoid coffee (this is not only a hot drink it also stimulates the adrenals)
  • Limit your alcohol intake, alcohol makes flushing worse particularly at night
  • Increase foods high in phyto-eostrogens eg organic tofu, tempeh, flaxseed, garlic, chick peas, pumpkin kernals, green or mung beans.

Poor Sleep – Insomnia is a very common complaint for menopausal women and it can be made worse with the occurrence of night sweats.  Poor sleep then leads to higher stress, memory loss and lowered energy during the daylight hours.  Whilst hormonal shifts can impact your sleep pattern, often the issue with sleep comes from years of poor sleep habits.  The first step to correcting your sleep problems are addressing some of your lifestyle habits while also using herbal support to help you sleep.  You will find a lot more info on my previous sleep blog

Lifestyle

  • Ideally your body prefers to be asleep by 10pm at the latest, this allows for a natural waking at around 6am when the sun rises. Try to be in bed before 10pm
  • Take all electronic devices out of your bedroom. Any device that is connected to the network or wifi produces EMRs which disturb your sleep patterns.  If you must have a device in your bedroom make sure that it is on plane mode
  • Keep your room as dark as possible and the temperature at around 23degrees Celsius
  • If you mind races before you go to sleep try writing in a journal to help you to clear your mind
  • Reduce stress

Herbs

  • Common herbs used to promote healthy sleep include – chamomile, passionflower, lavender, hops, kava, valerian, ashawaganda, St Johns Wort, zizyphus, californian poppy
  • You can purchase Sleepytime tea at most supermarkets or health food stores which will include some of the above herbs

Diet

  • One of the reasons why people wake up in the night is due to their blood sugar levels dropping too low. Eating sufficient protein and fats in your evening meal will help to regulate your blood sugar while you sleep
  • Avoid high sugar foods prior to bed
  • Avoid caffeine late in the day
  • Avoid alcohol especially if you find that you regularly wake between 1am and 3am (this is liver time)

Nutrients

  • Magnesium with dinner can assist with sleep or a long bath with Epsom salts will do the same job
  • Calcium is also required to help with relaxation and sleep

Vaginal Dryness – The decrease in oestrogen levels affects the mucous membranes and the skin.  This can lead to dryness of the vaginal tract, the eyes or the mouth.  The skin also can lose its elasticity which leads to wrinkles or skin irritation.  These symptoms can range from quite mild to very severe in some women resulting in discomfort walking, ongoing cystitis problems or recurring urinary tract infections.

Lifestyle

  • Use of vaginal lubricant such as Sylk (made from kiwifruit), coconut oil or Vit E cream
  • An easy cream that you can make up is – 75gm Vit E cream as base and add 10ml of Calendula Oil, 30ml olive oil, 20ml Evening Primrose oil, mix thoroughly and apply 2-3 times a day
  • Couples counselling maybe required if the relationship has broken down

Herbs

  • Black Cohosh, Red Clover, Wild Yam, Calendula, American Ginseng and Licorice are all great herbs that help with tissue integrity

Nutrients

  • Essential Fatty Acids (Fish oils)
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin C

Memory Problems – Many women report that their “memory isn’t what it used to be” after they reach the menopause stage of life.  This can be due to many different reasons.  Poor sleep is a big contributor and so it high levels of stress.  Also the older you get the more you have to remember so it is understandable that you forget some things.  As women age they may start to worry about whether they might have Alzheimer’s but the risk is lessened if you eat well and look after yourself.

Lifestyle

  • Get a good night’s sleep (refer above)
  • Reduce stress in your life and be less busy
  • If you smoke then take steps to stop, nicotine reduces the blood flow to your brain
  • Journalling will help to clear some of the thoughts that fill your mind so you can remember the important things
  • Use memory joggers, notebooks, todo lists etc

Herbs

  • Gingko and Bacopa are 2 fantastic brain herbs that help you remember, can take up to 2 weeks to start working
  • Other herbs are Peony and Ginseng
  • Rosemary as an essential oil is also greata

Nutrients

  • Fish Oils
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Sufficient protein and healthy fats in diet

Diet

  • Drink lots of filtered water, at least 2 litres a day
  • Eat a wholefood diet with heaps of veges, plus protein and healthy fats

Depression and Anxiety – Depression and anxiety are closely related to the memory symptom mentioned above, they are often caused by too much stress, not enough sleep as well as the shift in hormones.  Women over the age of 45 are also often questioning their life and what they will be doing in the future, if things don’t appear to be too bright this can result in feelings of depression.

It is not uncommon during this stage of life for women to wake in the middle of the night with their heart beating fast and feelings of anxiety.  This can be related to a sudden drop in blood glucose levels or it could be due to high levels of cortisol, whichever it is there are some steps that you can take to reduce these feelings

Lifestyle

  • Address any emotional triggers that you have around reaching this stage of life, a woman’s beliefs around aging and menopause will have a significant impact on how she deals with the changes that are happening to her body
  • Find a group of women who can offer support and understanding of what you are going through. The Maga Woman Project was created specifically to provide this support
  • Journalling is a great way to clear some of the circular thoughts that run through your head on a daily basis
  • Meditation or yoga are other great tools that can help with feelings of depression or anxiety
  • Research shows that regular exercise reduces depressive episodes
  • Regular massage helps to increase your sense of wellbeing
  • Spending time in nature will ground you and connect you back to yourself and have you feeling better
  • Slow breathing exercises
  • The LifeLine Technique is a great tool that will help you to connect to the true underlying cause of your depression or anxiety so that you can clear the beliefs that are impacting your life. You can learn more about the LifeLine Technique here

Herbs

  • St Johns Wort is one of the best herbs for mild depression and anxiety, it has been show in several research trials to be more effective than antidepressants
  • Other great herbs are – ashwagandha, skullcap, passionflower, oats, lavender, Siberian ginseng, licorice, ginseng, dong quai, peony

Nutrients

  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin C
  • Fish Oils
  • Evening Primrose Oil
  • Vitamin B (specifically B6 and B5)

Diet

  • Eat a clean whole food diet with adequate levels of protein and healthy fats
  • Lots of vegies
  • Avoid alcohol, processed foods and high levels of sugar

I have covered some of the most common symptoms above but there are other symptoms which might require more support from a naturopath or similar health provider.  Where I have mentioned herbs I have done this so that you can check for them in any of the products that you might purchase over the counter.  Purchasing products containing these herbs are relatively low risk but please read all labels to ensure that there are no contraindications for you.  I also have not mentioned any nutrient dosages, this is because everyone is different as to how much they need to take.  Simply taking an over the counter product at the dosage listed might not be enough for your particular needs.  Please consult with a trained health professional rather than self-prescribing herbs or nutrients.  If you would like a referral to a local naturopath please let me know and I will find someone for you.

Infinite Love and Gratitude

This article first appeared in the Maga Woman Magazine, a magazine created for women over 45. You can grab your free copy HERE.