05 Oct Hypnosis for Menopause: An Alternative Approach To Relieving Symptoms
Hypnotherapy for menopause is a popular practice for treating hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and other symptoms of menopause. It’s an alternative or complementary treatment to hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Why Choose Hypnosis For Menopause?
As a Master Hypnotist, I regularly see women who’ve entered perimenopause, the period of time around menopause, or who are just starting menopause and suffering from uncomfortable symptoms. Many of them seek hypnotherapy because they want to avoid the associated risks of HRT or they’re attempting to relieve the discomfort of anxiety, stress, and hormonal changes. They’ve shared with me their fears, pain, and hopes for a smooth transition through this inevitable phase of life.
These admissions are always the starting point for any kind of therapy. We must first recognize the problem or struggle we face, accept its presence in our lives, and then investigate its underlying qualities and nurture that source of discomfort. Psychologist, meditation teacher, and scholar, Tara Brach, coined this process of self-compassion R-A-I-N: recognize, accept, investigate, and nurture (see a link to her website at the end of this article). It’s a perfect starting point for managing menopause, and it aligns perfectly with the goal of hypnosis.
A Deeper Look At Menopause
In this article, we’ll look at how hypnosis can help support self-compassion and noticeably improve symptoms of menopause. But first, what happens during menopause?
Hormonally, a storm has erupted. Your ovaries produce less and less estrogen and progesterone, which lessens the frequency of your periods until they stop altogether. When a woman has gone 12 consecutive months without a period, she has officially entered menopause. These changes cause a variety of physical symptoms, including night sweats, hot flashes, and insomnia.
But as many women in menopause will attest to, there’s a lot more going on beneath the surface.
Entering menopause can feel like a bit of a letdown. Indeed, it signals the finish line of a woman’s reproductive viability. As a society, we tend to cast some negativity on this phase of life. Women may be seen as losing their sexual vitality, or as one man once described it to me, “they’ve deteriorated.” As women, we may feel a bit duped as those changes in our body lead us through a natural but perhaps not-so-pleasant reflection on your life.
You may start to wonder, already? But I’ve only just started to know myself and accept my body, and now it’s going to go and change on me… again? Your life may feel like a patchwork of twists and turns, of mistakes and resolutions, of hang-ups and glimpses of not-quite-realized freedom.
If you have children, you may be asking if you want more. If you don’t, you may be wondering what it might have been like to have a family. Or, you may be welcoming this whole transition with open arms of gratitude for having made it this far in one piece!
Regardless of where you are or what your mindset is, menopause is most definitely a time to “pause” and take stock of your life, your health, your dreams, and desires. The whole phase may feel like one long drawn out menstrual cycle as your hormones shift more dramatically than they have since puberty.
When your body is going through this simultaneously delightful and dreadful change, you may feel scattered and unpredictable. Withered, cold, and withdrawn one day; hot and bothered the next. You may have random fits of anxiety, insomnia, depressive episodes, night sweats, and cravings for sugar as though it were a biological requirement.
I remember my mother going through menopause and, throughout the day, continually sticking her head inside the freezer for long moments of relief from severe hot flashes. She layered her clothes with cardigans that she could rapidly remove when excessive heat or sweat came pouring forth. I’m only just now beginning to understand what emotional storms she was also facing during those face-in-the-freezer visits.
So, you may be wondering, what exactly about the transition into menopause is delightful?
The Upside Of Menopause
As women, the older we get, the more at home we begin to feel in our own skin. Major hormonal changes like menopause can make us more mindful of our bodies, reaffirming the need to treat ourselves with greater kindness and compassion. That’s always a good thing. While the physical body is the first to get our attention, our emotional needs often take a back seat, often with consequences not recognized until they have a physiological effect.
That’s where menopause really does some good work. Like the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, this phase may also prompt us to look inward and cater to our psychological and spiritual needs for growth and repair.
How Hypnosis Can Help Menopause Symptoms
Hypnosis is a gentle, non-invasive, and low-risk alternative therapy for combating menopause symptoms and nurturing compassion for ourselves. Remember R-A-I-N? We can consider a hypnosis treatment the nurturing part of that process. In addition to the anecdotal evidence my clients have shared about a decrease in their symptoms, scientific studies too have documented significant improvements. Specifically, they’ve reported a decline in hot flashes and night sweats, two of the most uncomfortable and common symptoms of menopause (1, 2).
How does it work?
Hypnosis is similar to being asleep or in a deep state of relaxation. The difference is that you are guided into that state by a professional, and supported through the process. Unlike sleeping though, you are awake and alert throughout the session, and you remember everything that occurred. The therapist may make suggestions in alignment with therapeutic goals. For example, they may encourage a processing and acceptance of certain disquieting symptoms of menopause, gently releasing the emotional and mental baggage or clutter that keeps women stuck or lost in feeling bad.
While the hormonal shift may still be in effect, women are often much less aware of and thus bothered by the changes in their bodies. Because hypnosis supports deep emotional and psychological cleansing and healing, it’s critical to choose a trained and trusted Master Hypnotist to lead you into a hypnotic state.
If you’re interested in learning more about hypnosis for menopause, I invite you to learn more here, or contact me for a free consultation. I’m located in Durham Region, serving clients in Clarington and surrounding areas. I look forward to hearing from you.
R-A-I-N reference: https://www.tarabrach.com/