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SLP 56: Self Love Quicky – Essential Oils For Menopause
11, Mar, 2021
Thank you to one of our beautiful listeners for asking the question, ‘Can essential oils help with menopause?’ because in this week’s self-love quicky we go into some of the best oils to support a woman through this transitionary time.
The word menopause can strike fear in many women. We’ve generally been taught to fear it, fear “the change”. However, in more recent times, we’ve come to know, learn and accept more about this new phase of womanhood. We know it’s not something to be feared, but something we can embrace, learn about and from, and celebrate this new phase of our lives. One tool we can use to support us through this change is essential oils. Essential oils are a wonderful support tool to use throughout the various stages of life’s journey, and the transition into menopause can be aided by them too. But what is menopause? What oils can help offer relief and support?
So, what is menopause?
The term “menopause” refers to the final menstrual period and marks the end of a woman’s reproductive life. The lead-up, called perimenopause can last between 5 to 10 years, hence the term transition is used.
According to the Australasian Menopause Society, symptoms commonly experienced during peri- and post-menopausal women include hot flushes and night sweats, bodily aches and pains, dry skin, vaginal dryness, loss of libido, urinary frequency, and sleeping difficulties. Approximately 60% of women will have mild symptoms for around 4-8 years, 20% of women will have no symptoms at all while another 20% will be severely affected, with symptoms continuing into their 60s or later. (Australasian Menopause Society)
Perimenopause often begins with irregularities in your cycle. This can include skipping cycles or having cycles that come too quickly. You may start to experience chronic fatigue, trouble sleeping, mood swings, or depression. This is the time your progesterone levels begin to dip. Progesterone is the hormone that makes us feel good, emotionally stable and nourished.
So where do we start with our oils? What oils can support us during this cycle of our lives?
Stress levels can change easily during this phase of our lives, so it is important to manage your stress. Diffusing oils such as Neroli, Lavender or Geranium may help reduce the stress you are experiencing. Neroli is known to act as a natural sedative and can help reduce stress, irritability, and feelings of overwhelm and anger. Lavender is cherished for its calming and relaxing properties and can help ease signs of stress within our bodies. Geranium is useful in helping bring balance and harmony to our bodies and minds, and a must-have oil for your menopausal management toolkit. Place a drop of the oil on a tissue and inhale the calming aroma throughout the day or whenever you feel your stress levels rising.
Changes in our hormones can affect our sleep patterns, so it is important to get good quality sleep as much as you can. Oils that can support your sleep include Lavender, Vetiver and Sweet Marjoram. Lavender is widely used and well known for its ability to help us relax and used in numerous commercial products as a sleep aid. The smell of Vetiver is reminiscent of wet soil, so, for some it isn’t the most pleasant smell, but it has an amazing capacity to heal us in many ways. It can help us centre ourselves, relax and unwind, especially when it comes to mental and physical exhaustion. Sweet Marjoram is calming and nurturing, and a must for any sleep blend. In your diffuser, try this simple blend: 3 drops of Lavender, 1 drop of Vetiver and 2 drops of Sweet Marjoram prior. Diffuse it for about 30 minutes prior to heading off to sleep, and make sure it is turned off before you fall asleep. It will make your room a calming space and help you to fall and stay asleep.
Whilst some women embrace this time and change of life, for many, it can bring a sense of loss and confusion leaving you feeling down. Essential oils are a great way to help uplift you. Your favourite essential oil may help during this time, or you can try Geranium, Rose or Bergamot. Geranium brings a sense of balance, and Rose can soothe the heart and uplift your spirit, whilst Bergamot can ease tension and anxiety.
Add a drop or two of these oils to your diffuser or place a drop on a tissue. You might want to create a personal perfume for yourself using these oils. Place a drop or two of each of these oils in a 10ml roller bottle and fill with jojoba or apricot kernel oil – these are just two carrier oils that could be used. Whenever you need a pick-me-up or you can feel the feelings arising, roll the bottle over your wrists or pulse points, and feel the blues dissipate.
Hot Flushes and Night Sweats
Hot flushes and night sweats are the symptoms most commonly associated with menopause. It is due to our changing hormone levels, and our inability to effectively manage their fluctuations. Peppermint, Geranium, Lavender and Neroli would be good additions to your essential oil toolkit,
Peppermint can be cooling in low dilutions which would be great for helping cool down the heat, whilst Geranium brings a sense of balance and restoration to our bodies. Neroli is known for its ability to support, stabilise and regenerate the soul and emotions so adding it to our options is perfect as the hot flushes and night sweats are due to changing hormones; therefore, Neroli can help stabilise the changing hormone levels. Lavender is purported to be very relaxing and calming to our systems and a must for every home.
Before heading to bed, place a face washer in a bowl of cool water then a couple of the above essential oils. Swirl the oils around in the water with the face washer, then place the face washer on your neck or chest area for a few minutes. This will help cool your skin down. Keep the face washer and bowl beside your bed, so you can use it during the night if you need.
Another option is, after your nightly shower, massage your favourite carrier oil like Sweet Almond or Jojoba Oil into your skin. Add 3-5 drops of the oils into the carrier beforehand, then massage all over your body.
Here is a link to my favourite Body Boost Ritual – click here
Other things to consider…
Track your cycle
As we move through the menopause process, it is important to note the changes in our cycle. Have a look at apps such as Flo or MyFlow – you can use these free phone apps to monitor symptoms and changes in your cycle. This information can be useful for your doctor, and it can help you manage your cycle better.
Apps not your thing? That’s ok, use your diary to note your mood, your cycle, your flow. All the information will give you a clearer picture of what’s happening within your body as you move through the menopause phase.
Dehydration can lead to elevated stress, so it is important to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Don’t like water? Add a slice of fruit such as lemon or lime, or some herbs such a basil or mint for a refreshing flavour. Do NOT add essential oils to your water. The oils will float on top of the water, and you’ll essentially be drinking the oils straight. This can cause damage to the mucous membranes. Read our article on essential oil ingestion for more information.
Be gentle and loving to yourself
As we move through this phase of our lives, it is important to practice self-love and self-care. Practising gratitude, moving our bodies gently each day, meditating, and journaling all can help us greatly. This phase of our lives can bring us many challenges but is also a great opportunity to thrive and explore ourselves in a new light. Our beautiful can certainly help and support us on this journey.
Be gentle with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Give love to yourself. You’ve got this.
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MUSIC INTRO & OUTRO
Many thanks to Wes and Charlotte Carr – https://wesleydeanmusic.com/
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