'I found meditation helped to clear away the stresses of the day'
Case study 1: Clodagh Kiely
Clodagh Kiely recalls her mother throwing open the windows and doors of the family home. "We were all freezing," she laughs, looking back.
Her mother called it: "The Change of Life," recalls Clodagh, who these days is a qualified yoga teacher, and, now in her late 50s, has experienced the condition herself.
Back in those days, however, it was never quite explained what 'The Change' was - but that has changed says Clodagh, a former financier, now a Satyananda expert based in Rochestown, Cork.
"There's an openness about menopause now, and information is available about it, which I like - it was not there in my mother's time."
In her late 40s, Clodagh, too, went through 'The Change' - and in more ways than one.
"I moved to Australia in my late 40s, and within a year, the peri-menopause symptoms started - hot flushes, night sweats and joint pain."
Her sleep was also disrupted, something which brought its own stresses in terms of tiredness and general ability to cope with life.
"I was also coping with a new country and a new climate - and it was a much warmer climate," Clodagh recalls.
At the time she was still working in finance, but during her stay in Australia she qualified as a Satyananda yoga teacher, and used its practices to help manage her symptoms:
"My biggest learning was the importance of building awareness and being present in the moment," she recalls - during times of stress she learned to go somewhere and practise abdominal breathing
"It would defuse the situation," she recalls.
"There is a huge connection between the breath and the mind and I would return to what I was doing with a clear head."
In terms of managing symptoms Clodagh found the different yoga positions helped with the joint and muscle stiffness she had started experiencing.
To counteract the hot flushes she used a breathing practice called 'Cooling Breath' which she found extremely beneficial.
Along with all of that she meditated each evening before bedtime, finding that it cleared away "the stresses of the day".
Clodagh also attended her doctor who, amongst other things, checked her thyroid function and hormone levels and offered her HRT.
"I decided to try the alternative route, however," recalls Clodagh.
She consulted a homeopath and had a special remedy made up which she says helped significantly with the night sweats and hot flushes.
She also took calcium for her bones, magnesium for healthy muscles and B Vitamins for the nervous system. Her periods stopped when she was around 51, she says. The symptoms gradually faded, and by the time she was in her mid-50s, they finally stopped altogether.
* For information about Clodagh's yoga classes, find her on Facebook or visit www.satyanandayogacork.com
Health & Living