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Meet Your (Peri)Menopause Mentor, Karen

1. Can you tell me a little bit about your job role?

I am a quailed holistic therapist and clinical hypnotherapist, specialising in anxiety and supporting ladies going through perimenopause… Holistic means looking at the whole picture. Taking time to find out about their symptoms, stress levels, energy levels, exercise, eating habits, drinking habits, sleep pattens of the individual…I guess you could call it a lifestyle audit.

I am also a menopause advocate (a volunteer role) helping to raise awareness of the menopause, providing a safe listening space and champion support groups. I volunteer time online to groups of ladies to talk about how complementary therapies can help. I was so excited to be on the wall of fame as 1 of 70 menopause advocates in the NHS south Yorkshire menopause conference 2023 which was covered on the BBC last week looking at how places of work can put in essential support for people going through the menopause.

2. Many women struggle with symptoms of menopause, can you tell us a little bit more about the symptoms of menopause and what treatments do you use to help women going through this?

Symptoms can include 1 or more of the following:

· sleep disturbances

· mood swings / irritability / anger

· headaches or migraines

· night sweats

· hot flushes

· weight gain

· dry &/or itchy skin

· irregular periods (perimenopause)

· anxiety

· thinning hair

· loss of memory

· heart palpitations

· bloating

· craving sugar

· vaginal dryness

· low libido

· feeling low

Generally speaking:

Hypnotherapy can help with mindset, weight, pain management, temperature regulation, rage, loss of purpose, anxiety and mild-moderate depression

Reflexology focuses on strengthening the female body by encouraging it to balance, regulate and normalise itself during the transition to menopause.

Aromatherapy can help relax the body which relaxes the mind and uses essential oils chosen specifically for their properties targeted to help the individuals symptoms.

Brain fog – cannot concentrate / forgetfulness

Relaxation techniques like meditation along with reflexology can reduce the effects of psychological stress. The stress hormones can alter the mitochondrial function which negatively effects the immune, nervous and endocrine systems.

Using facial foot and hand reflexology once a week can reduce the impact of stress on the body, support mitochondrial function and decrease the incidence of brain fog, forgetfulness and low energy.

Regular reflexology helps to protect the brain by allowing it to clear the bi-products of thinking that build up during the day (known as neural waste). When neural waste accumulates, it is harmful to the mitochondria in neurons.

Menopause age spurt

A lot of clients ask me why their face looks angry when they’re not. And feel they have ‘aged 10 years overnight’. A study has suggested that 35% of ageing (which normally takes place over a decade) occurring in 1 year alone. Lifestyle factors can contribute towards this such as smoking, divorce, illness, job loss, bereavement which all correlate to high levels of stress.

Stimulate collagen and elastin when you wash your face in the morning by adding facial massage, gua sha or a couple of Zone Face Lift moves. In addition, having regular facial massage treatments like Zone Face Lift can show measurable results. In the same way that an angry frown on the face can trigger the bodies fight or flight response…so relaxing the facial expression will not only help you feel better, clinical studies show that a relaxed facial expression actually calms the body.

Weight gain

Around 7lb weight gain is normal. Generally menopausal women need 200 fewer calories each day.

Reflexology can help regulate your appetite as can essential oils such as grapefruit and peppermint which can be used in an aromatherapy blend in a massage oil.

Hypnotherapy for weight loss targets your eating habits/behaviour to promote a healthier attitude towards food and boosts self-esteem.

Disturbed sleep

Reflexology or an aromatherapy massage has been useful in helping ladies sleep all though the night. I have one lady say she only sleeps really well after seeing me (she books in once a month and always looks forward to her treatment).

Hot flushes/Night sweats

Hypnotherapy can help you to regulate your internal temperature control and reduce hot flushes by up to 80%. There have been studies carried out between 2008 and 2012 to show this

Low mood/Depression

Engage in serotonin boosters such as reflexology or hypnoantidepressant.

If your symptoms are severe, please contact your GP or a charity like MIND

3. Do you believe that the treatments you offer are effective for all women?

As with any treatment, even provided by medical doctors, there is no guarantee. However, whether a lady is taking HRT or not, I believe a lady taking time out for her and acknowledging that she is important is the first step. My therapies help to reduce stress, promote sleep and make ladies feel good about themselves in body and mind. Some ladies cannot have HRT or find it doesn’t agree with them. I encourage the mind and body to balance, regulate and normalise itself during the transition to menopause.

4. If you were to give one piece of advice to a woman going through the menopause, what would it be?

I really want to emphasise that this is not the end of the road, you’re not past it…it’s the start of the next chapter in your life…it’s a time of transformation which should be celebrated. Who do you want to be for the next half/third of your life? You’ve had puberty and your reproductive year, now its time to feel liberated. Mindset is so important.

Remember that getting old is a privilege denied to many (my best friend died in her 20s). Embrace life and now maybe the time to start thinking about you for a change. You should listen to the cabin crew who say you must always put on your own oxygen mask before helping others (kids, partner, elderly parents) – who will be there for them if you’re mentally/physically not available?

If this resonates and you want to have a chat with me, book in for a free consultation online:

Karen xx

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