Vancouver massage therapy is widely available. You can book a session with a Registered Massage Therapist in downtown Vancouver on this site or call 604-685-4325. Ask about the benefits that massage can have for women experiencing menopause.
Menopause is a condition that occurs when a woman’s ovaries stop producing eggs. It is a natural event that most women will experience before reaching the age of 55. The symptoms of menopause are created by fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone, and while some women reach their post-menopausal stage with few symptoms, others may suffer a great deal of discomfort.
One of the most frequent menopause symptoms reported is irregular menstruation. For 1 to 3 years, women will experience an increase or decrease in menstruation frequency, as well as unpredictable cycle lengths and changes to premenstrual symptoms. The menopausal stage is reached once menstruation has stopped completely.
Other frequently reported menopause symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, mood swings, and a decreased sex drive. In addition to these symptoms, many women experience vaginal changes which can lead to pain during sexual intercourse, increased vaginal infections, and more frequent urinary tract infections.
Women who are either experiencing menopause or who are in the post-menopausal state, are at higher risk of developing osteoporosis, elevated cholesterol levels, and heart disease. Studies have also linked menopause and its fluctuating hormone levels with increased incidences of ovarian and breast cancer.
Most women are aware they are beginning menopause and do not seek a menopause diagnosis. There are some, however, who experience atypical symptoms or who experience the symptoms earlier in life than expected. For these women there are blood and urine tests that indicate changes in hormone level and can be used to determine the onset of menopause.
In recent years, pharmacological treatment of menopause has fallen out of favour with women and their physicians. For example, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was once prescribed for most women experiencing menopause, but is now recommended only in cases where severe symptoms are reported. Although still a viable option, the risks of HRT side effects must be carefully weighed against the benefits before treatment is undergone.
Instead of seeking menopause treatments that involve hormone substitutes, may women attempt to manage their menopause symptoms through changes to their life style and the addition of alternative therapies.
Hot flashes can be made more bearable by dressing lightly, wearing layers, and practicing slow breathing exercises. In addition, the frequency of hot flashes can be minimized through avoidance of caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods.
The anatomical changes to a woman’s vagina can be made more bearable by performing Kegel exercises to strengthen vagina and pelvis muscles, participating in active sex life to preserve vaginal elasticity, and using water-based lubricants during intercourse.
Finally, a woman’s mood and overall response to fluctuating hormone levels can be improved through the employment of relaxation techniques. Relaxation techniques such as yoga, tai chi, and meditation are highly beneficial; as are acupuncture and massage.
Seeing a massage therapist can help menopausal women balance their hormone levels, improve their emotional mood, and relieve muscle tension. Massage also serves to improve circulation which can improve a woman’s sex drive and alleviate discomfort due to irregular menstruation.
To book an appointment with an RMT please click here.