All women will experience the menopause, the ‘last menstrual period’. This either takes place when the ovaries become unable to produce the hormones oestrogen and progesterone or when the ovaries are damaged by specific medical treatments such as chemotherapy or are removed, often at the time of a hysterectomy.
The average age of the natural menopause is 51 years, but can occur much earlier or later. Menopause occurring before the age of 45 is called early menopause. Before the age of 40 is premature menopause. Many women feel overwhelmed by the physical and psychological changes that are taking place. The psychological effects of the menopause are often increased for those going through premature menopause.
Physical Symptoms of the menopause may include:
- Hot flushes
- Night sweats
- Joint aches
Situations and life events such as children leaving home, divorce, illness of parents, redundancy and physical aging present particular emotional challenges for women of menopausal age and may cause associated psychological problems. Psychological symptoms associated with the menopause include:
- Anger and Irritability
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Mood Swings
- Distorted body image
- Fear of death
- Feeling ‘unemployable
- Low self worth
If you are experiencing the menopause remember that the physical and psychological effects are likely to be combined. A holistic approach which combines a talking therapy (the mind) with a healing therapy (the body) such as Reiki may be useful in coping with and lessening the symptoms.
*Always consult with a medical professional before commencing therapy for menopausal symptoms.