Learn about Ayurveda views on menopausal change in this interview of Terra Rafael CAP by Karen Spies of the Evolving Woman podcast.
Perimenopause is marked by changes in the menstrual cycle – more irregularity; heavier OR lighter; ovulation may skip a month or two. Typical menopausal symptoms may creep in – hot flashes, sleep problems, unpredictable PMS. It is the boundary land between the Fertile years and the Menopausal years. It can be very symptomatic or easy. The length of perimenopause varies, as well as the time of onset – but on average begins in later 40s and ends in early 50s.
Four Things to Remember
- If you or your client suspect it’s beginning, it pays to track your cycles to know where you are in the process. This can inform you about how to surf the changes using natural techniques.
- You are entering an unknown territory. You will never be the same. Just as you don’t know what the process will look like for you, you also don’t know what you’ll end up like. Did you really know what it would be like for you after adolescence when you were 13 years old? It’s a similar process, in reverse.
- It is a time to evaluate and make changes in your life. How do you want to live the second half of your time on Earth? An important time to call on your spiritual forces.
- Having support and information from a guide is invaluable at this time.
Learn more about it in my upcoming class: Perimenopause – Facing and Surfing the Unknown
Or consider a private consultation with me.
The Autumn season has much in common with perimenopause. It’s a transitional season between the fertile summer and the winter when energies go more inward. Some days may be more summer-like, then some are cooler and windier. Dryness increases. It is unpredictable so one must prepare for any weather, with layers and perhaps an umbrella.
Just as Autumn is different in different climates, so does perimenopause vary according to the doshic condition of the woman. And it isn’t always easy to tell, at first, whether Autumn is truly here or it’s a cooler spell of late summer. Same with perimenopause – much must be taken into account.
One view of the menopausal transition, along with all the seasons of a woman’s life, is as a physical opportunity for initiation. Through conscious work with challenges presented a woman may increase her wisdom and power. So beyond the purely physical, mental and emotional must be addressed. A calm clear mind, sattwa, is open to the novelty of a new phase and can navigate more easily.
The Wisdom Goddess who associates with the unknown of the perimenopause is Bagalamukhi. She is know as the paralyser, just as the unknown of perimenopause can sometimes paralyze a woman. Bagalamukhi’s power is to stop us, so we can evaluate our past, and clearly see how we want to live in the future. We are forced inward, stopping outward activities temporarily to be still and contemplate. Embracing this initiation can help is along.
As this illustration shows – perimenopause is highly changeable. Therefore, a remedy that helps symptoms for one month may not work the next! Confusion can reign in this unknown territory.
However there are many physical and emotional helps through this, especially when keyed to an individual woman’s body. When she is conscious of how to observe her body, she can learn to suit supports to her needs more skillfully.
If you are interested in learning more about Perimenopause, consider the new live zoom class this fall I’m teaching through WiseWomanhood – Perimenopause with Ayurveda. Gain more skill for yourself &/or your clients for helping smooth the path of perimenopause.
This audio interview of Terra, hosted by Karen Spies of THE EVOLVING WOMEN PODCAST, is a brief but informative conversation about menopause.
Hear about Terra’s origins as an Ayurveda Practitioner, some facts about Menopause, and explanation about Hot Flashes and what can help.
Perimenopause, the Change, is like adolescence in reverse. And we all remember the wonder and craziness of adolescence. So don’t be surprised when you hit your late 40s and life gets more life-y for you.
It’s not written in stone that the Change be uncomfortable and mentally disorienting. By learning more about it and preparing it can be a smoother ride.
The Change is usually a gradual process – unless you have a hysterectomy. Then it comes on fast and furious. It happens when your ovaries no longer respond to hormones telling them to develop eggs so well.
Patterns of Perimenopause
Some women’s bodies respond by creating more and more hormones, stimulating more and more eggs to develop, making more and more estrogen. This sometimes means they get super periods – lots of blood and cramps may ensue. They might bleed every two weeks. Anger may ensue. A Pitta problem according to Ayurveda.
Other women have lighter and further apart periods. The ovaries are already retiring. Estrogen is already dropping. Anxiety and forgetfulness may accompany this Vata problem.
Then some women just stop bleeding. No biggie. This is more likely with Kapha women.
How Ayurveda Helps
Ayurveda can help you by balancing your Pitta, Vata, and Kapha BEFORE (best) or during the Change to allow the natural transition to happen more gracefully. Diet, herbs, and lifestyle make a big difference. And symptoms can be met with something besides artificial hormones.
After the Change, a program of rejuvenation can be instituted to keep you at your peak through the menopausal years.
Learn more about the Change and how to surf its ups and down in these WiseWomanhood classes:
Is This Menopause? Know it to Better Surf It. Perfect if you’re new to Ayurveda.
Graceful Menopause with Ayurveda First presented to the Colorado Ayurvedic Medicine Association, so some Ayurvedic understanding helps.
You might want an Initial Consultation with Terra Rafael CAP to get a personalized plan to prepare / surf your perimenopause or menopause.
Or if you’re an Ayurveda Practitioner and want to increase your knowledge about the Change time or consult about your clients – sign up for Mentoring with Terra
In the language of Ayurveda, during the menopausal change, the energy of the woman shifts from the downward energy of the apana more towards the upward energy of udana. If she has imbalances in the samana vayu or ranjaka pitta these can move into other areas causing hot flashes, cholesterol problems, or sleep disturbances.
There are also the effects of general aging and years of toxic build-up (if not controlled by proper diet & cleansings). Elder people will show the wear & tear of years of their lifestyle at this time—it may have not much to do with menopause itself. Disease tendencies have often progressed to a stage recognized as disease by the conventional medical profession.
In addition, the elder age is naturally more Vata—meaning it tends towards dryness, spaciness, expansiveness, and creativity from the heart. If one becomes too Vata this lends to the problems of osteoporosis, memory loss, joint problems, and sleep disturbances. By understanding root causes, rather than treating symptoms only, Ayurveda offers a truly holistic approach to menopause.
As mentioned earlier, menopause is influenced by the constitution & balance of each individual. By keeping in balance one may avoid unnecessary discomforts & complications of the menopausal years. Women who follow Ayurvedic self care, get regular advise from an Ayurvedic practitioner, and do hatha yoga may experience less disruption.
by Terra Rafael
You may be interested in classes that expand these ideas with practical applications :