Menopause And Peri-menopause, Essential Oils To Support You

This is a blog I have been meaning to do for some time, but there was the small matter (NOT) of a pandemic to handle as well. Then a couple of months ago I sadly lost my Dad after a short illness. I thought this was definitely the right time for our remaining small family to gather our knowledge and experience together. My daughter Jo, a coach and fitness trainer, has done a fabulous blog on nutritional tips for menopause, and I wanted to add in my aromatherapy (and meditation) experience and knowledge, including my own journey with it so far. I hope that this can inform and support you in, and through menopause and peri-menopause.

Finding myself this past week arriving at 57 years (my mind maybe will catch up at some point, but it hasn’t yet! ha ha) and although I have not been period free for a year yet, so technically not in menopause yet, I have been experiencing some flushes and possible mood variations. However, it is difficult to tell with the pandemic, and two close family losses in the last 18 months.

Without it being a fear – I have been very aware approaching menopause since probably my late 40’s when a therapist told me that I was definitely peri-menopause, I knew changes were afoot. I have been incredibly lucky though – or was it awareness and some preparation and care? Everyone is different and unique with this, as in anything. That is how I treat my clients, and myself.

My Choices

I went pescetarian in my 40’s actually because of my beliefs around animals, but also very much in preparation for menopause. My initial plans were to only eat organic meat. However, I found that I just didn’t want any meat of any kind, and did not miss it. I eat very little fish now too. My body & mind is still happy with this choice.

A healthy balanced diet is extremely important to me and I do enjoy drinking Deeside Water (so not just for using in my Aloe Vera gel, Muscle Rub and Midge & Mozzie Balm, ha ha). I also keep my sugar intake modest. A glass of wine or two at the weekend used to be very fine, but I now find that alcohol and sugar can sometimes just cause hot flushes, so I don’t always now. I take a vitamin B complex vitamin from G & G Vitamins, who are a great company.

Exercise

I need fresh air, and at least a walk for exercise regularly before work (even in the bad weather). I do a fabulous weekly, outside (yes outside!) boot camp. Adding in swimming, yoga and the gym when I can too. For me personally exercise has always been a really important part of my life and I think it is incredibly helpful in this transition stage of my life.

I love, of course, also use essential oils and my blends a lot, as a fantastic support for me, alongside twice daily meditation (morning and night).

Now that is just MY chosen journey so far. Yours could be totally different and that is all absolutely fine and how it should be! I haven’t mentioned HRT, simply because I haven’t used it myself. So I cannot talk from personal experience, but I definitely work with many clients who are, or have. I have supported clients who experienced many different kinds of things in menopause and peri-menopause. Many various blends and treatments have been used to support my clients, working with each person individually.

Aromatherapy Blends to support you with menopause and peri-menopause

The main approach I am sharing in this part of the blog, is offering blends that focus more on hormonal and mood balance and alleviating anxiety or stress in menopause or peri-menopause .

 I am using low levels of essential oils, it is definitely a case of ‘less is more’ .  The first blend that I reach for is probably not a traditional blend for menopause, but right now its calling my name! With aromatherapy use your intuition, and go with what your body needs, it will talk if you let it, I believe. You must really be drawn to the blend for the best results.

The oils I would choose for use in menopause or peri-menopause generally are:

Clary sage, rose otto, cypressfrankincensebergamot, jasmine, rose geranium , ylang ylang and neroli,

1 drop rose Otto, 2 drops geranium, 3 drops bergamot

Right now for me its 2 drops neroli , 2 drops frankincense, 2 drops geranium. I instantly feel calmer, more balanced. You can use this blend in a diffuser or burner with water, or blend with a vegetable oil (around 15ml – approx. a dessert spoon) for use on the body.

Other blends that I would recommend or have used, the top two maybe more specific for hot flushes, but they also more widely helpful too.

1 drop Clary sage, 3 drops geranium, 1 drops lime, 1 drop ylang ylang

2 drops jasmine, 1 drop cypress, 2 drops bergamot

How you can use these essential oils

All these can be used in a burner or diffuser with water, or blended with the vegetable oil (around 15ml) for use on the body. What I often recommend to clients and use myself a lot too is to put the oils blended in vegetable oil on your pulse points and on the upper chest area (where easily inhaled). Do this practice both during the day, if possible, and at night time before sleep.

For ease of use the ready made Roller Ball Pulse Points are also great for this. Next week a new range is being launched that I will be recommending for use in menopause and peri-menopause.

Alternatively you can use the blends above (without further blending in vegetable oil) – on a tissue by your pillow overnight.

You can also add these blends above once blended in vegetable/carrier oil in your bath too (just be careful with slips getting in and out of the bath and wipe down your bath afterwards). I most definitely have, as I bath almost every evening before bed. Or you can simply use them as an after shower body moisturiser and gain the benefit of the blends with a calm and more balanced mind – and nourished skin too!

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Jo’s Nutritional Tips for Menopause

Forgive me if I am stating the obvious here. The likelihood is that if you’re reading this, you’ve researched the menopause front to back.

Whether you are peri-menopausal or comfortably (or not so comfortable) into the menopause, this post is for you to add (positively) to your bundle of research.

You see, in my coaching I draw my methods primarily from an evidence-based perspective. Sprinkle in a little more compassion and holistic perspective – and bam. That’s me. And for those who are reading this post, I am offering a 3 free week coaching trial! More information on that at the end of the post – so stay tuned.

Alongside Jacqui’s (for those of you who don’t know.. AKA my Mother) aromatherapy recommendations for support during menopause, these nutritional considerations should be taken into account.

It turns out, women are complex

The issue with being an “evidence based coach” and working with women,

Is that researchers are a bit stingy when it comes to studying specifically women.

And that’s because we are a complex bunch and hormonally, no two are the same.

Think about it – I’m sure you’ve experienced different menopausal symptoms to our other friends.

So it’s not so simple to conduct research and studies.

What changes are happening?

Essentially what happens in menopause is a reduction in sex steroid hormones. We get a big old drop of oestrogen levels.

As a coach, what I often hear from women as one of the more challenging changes from a physical perspective, is the redistribution of body fat.

It is more likely (not always) we will see our bodies redistribute fat from the legs and bum to around our mid-section.

Which when you are struggling with the other side effects of menopause (such as low mood), can be incredibly challenging for our body image and self confidence.

It is often regularly presumed that menopause ruins our metabolism and that is why we gain body fat during this time.

This is not really the case.

When oestrogen drops, our appetite will likely increase. Therefore we have a physical drive to eat more.

We are also a lot likely to move less if we are having poor sleep, low mood and lacking in energy.

Great – so we are eating more and moving less. And it’s largely out of our control!

But there are areas that we can control…

If there was ever a time to focus on your diet, it’s now.

Protein

Okay so I know there is a general assumption that a high protein diet is for body builders and gym junkies.

But what if I told you that the population who would benefit the most from a high protein diet are the elderly?

And then I would say women going through the menopause come in a close second.

Why?

Yes protein does support muscle mass. Which why in an elderly person it is important. Think about it – more muscle mass, less likely to slip and fall. More likely to move around independently as they age. More muscle literally equals a reduce in all cause mortality (dying).

So why is protein important during menopause?

Remember that drop in oestrogen? That also causes a quick decline in the amount of muscle mass and strength we have.

If you want to maintain muscle mass (and I’m not talking from just an aesthetic angle here), getting regular servings of protein in each day is going to be incredibly important.

Alongside exercise and specifically strength training… You are on to a winner and you in 30 years time is going to thank you.

What is protein?

The recommended daily amount of protein per day is widely considered in the health and fitness industry to be too low.

It is 0.8g per kg of body weight. So that means someone who weighs 60kg should have 48kg per day.

Now let me point out that that is the minimum amount to avoid deficiency.

If you are looking to support and improve muscle quality – we should be aiming for more like 1.6-2.2g per kg bodyweight. So that would be 96-132g per day if you weight 60kg.

Protein doesn’t just support muscle mass, it is used for all the cells in our body and supports:

  • Immune function
  • Transport around the body
  • Regulation of DNA
  • Quality of skin, hair & nails

Some examples of protein:

Meat:

Chicken breast (100g = 26g P)

Rump Steak (100g = 36g P)

5% Beef Mince (100g = 27g P)

Fish:

Cod (100g = 18g P)

Salmon (100g = 21g P)

Tuna (90g = 20g P) 

Dairy:

Egg whites (190g = 20g P)

0% Greek Yoghurt (200g = 20g P)

Plant Based:

Quorn Chicken Pieces (200g = 30g P)

Tofu (200g = 26 P) 

Chick peas (200g = 16 P)

Lentils (200g = 12g P)

Phytoestrogens 

There is some evidence that behind phytoestrogens supporting changing that occur during menopause.

Phytoestrogens are naturally present in plant foods.

Think flax seeds, soy beans, legumes and berries. The evidence shows they may help reduce bone loss and the frequency of hot flushes.

Disclaimer though – if you are taking HRT clear with your medical professional that it is safe to include these foods in your diet in larger quantities. Just to be safe!

Fruit and Veg

I think we are all aware that the classic 5 a day isn’t really cutting it.

I don’t think I really need to spend time banging on about the importance of vitamins and minerals we get in fruit and veg.

But where it can also come in handy during menopause is the amount of bang for your buck you get with vegetables.

You can get a huge plate of vegetables for a lot less calories than you can compared to something like a small bowl of nuts.

This is not only good for fibre and vitamins,

But remember when we mentioned your hunger levels can be impacted?

Bigger portions means feeling more full after meals.

So ensure you are aiming above and beyond the 5 a day recommendation!

Compassion

Ultimately, the most important thing for you to tackle at this time – is self compassion.

It’s a huge change for our bodies that mentally can be a struggle.

It’s frustrating when all the methods you have used in the past to change your shape, may not work in the same way now.

It is more important than ever to be journalling, practicing meditation, and calling yourself out on negative self talk.

My coaching hones in on these areas to ensure that you are at a positive place mentally – to get the most out of the physical changes.

Free 3 Week Coaching Trial

A bit of background on me:

I have been working in the fitness industry since early 2019 as a personal trainer.

Remember March 2020? When the world turn upside down?

I moved most of my business to online. Which is still a relatively new way of coaching – but incredibly popular.

Now, I coach a small handful of women (and men!) face to face down in Brighton. The rest of my clients I work with remotely.

The beauty of online coaching is there are no time commitments & no location restrictions.

We mutually decide on targets and actions with your exercise, nutrition and more that will progress you to your ultimate goal.

You are then held accountable to these by myself throughout our coaching journey.

Want to give it a shot for 3 weeks and see if it’s right for you? Hit this link.

Testimonials:

Here is my Instagram and Facebook if you want more regular fitness and nutrition tips.

Jo 🙂

Top Ten Uses for Rose Geranium Essential Oil

220945274Welcome to another week of Organica J’s Top Ten Uses! This week will be focusing on 10 helpful uses for Rose Geranium essential oil (also known as pelargonium graveolens). For using essential oils for specific medical problems always contact a qualified aromatherapist.

Here’s our Top Uses:

1.  balancing on skin
2.  balancing on hormones
3.  pmt and menopause
4.  helps dispel tension & stress
5.  can be helpful for eczema
6.  for bruising
7.  minimising cellulite
8.  for athletes foot

If you feel this would be a useful oil for you, you can buy it here from Organica J.

Tune in next week for another oil in another Top Ten Uses and comment below what you would like to see next!

Top Ten Uses for Vetivert Essential Oil

vetivert organic essentail oilWelcome to another week of Organica J’s Top Ten Uses! This week will be focusing on 10 helpful uses for Vetivert essential oil (known as the ‘Oil of Tranquility’). For using essential oils for specific medical problems always contact a qualified aromatherapist.

Here’s our Top Uses:

1.  for stress & anxiety
2.  for burnout & exhaustion
3.  for painful muscles & rheumatism
4.  helpful in menopause & PMS
5.  as a boost for tired skin
6.  minimising stretch marks
7.  to help with grounding & centring
8.  for insomnia

9.great to use as a base note in any essential oil blend

10. boosts the immune system

If you feel this would be a useful oil for you, you can buy it here from Organica J.

Tune in next week for another oil in another Top Ten Uses and comment below what you would like to see next!

Top Ten Uses For Cypress Essential Oil

220945262Welcome to another week of Organica J’s Top Ten Uses! This week will be focusing on 10 helpful uses for Cypress essential oil (cupressus sempervirens). For using essential oils for specific medical problems always contact a qualified aromatherapist.

Here’s our Top Ten Uses:

1. can be helpful for varicose veins
2. can relieve hemorrhoids
3. good for oily skin
4. helpful for sweaty feet.
5. can aid hot flushes in menopause
6. may help regulate menstruation
7. it can be a good deodorant
8. helpful as a cough treatment
9. supportive in times of transition in life
10. it has insect repellent properties

If you feel this would be a useful oil for you, you can buy it here from Organica J.

Tune in next week for another oil in another Top Ten Uses and comment below what you would like to see next!