Learning & Resource Center Articles
Exercises to Ease Menopausal Symptoms
By: Vanessa Vogel Batt, L.Ac., MSTOM
While there is no stopping a woman's body from undergoing menopause, there are easy exercises that may help to reduce emotional and physical discomfort during this transition. Some common symptoms of menopause relate directly to the emotions such as irritability, anxiety, mood swings and depression.
According to acupuncture and Oriental medicine, each organ corresponds to a specific element and an emotion. For example, the heart corresponds to the element of fire and its related emotion is joy, when in balance, and mania or over-excitement when out of balance. Additionally, the heart is unique in that it ultimately experiences all the emotions produced by the other organs. This means that strong, unchecked emotions have the potential to produce physical symptoms. When there is anxiety, for example, the physical symptoms specifically related to this heart disharmony can include night sweats, heat sensations in the evening and waking frequently in the night.
Qi-gong Exercise for Emotional Balance
When the emotions start to run high and uncomfortable feelings take hold, it is time to center yourself. A quick way to do this is through using your breath. First, sit or stand comfortably. Then place both of your hands near your belly button, at the level of your hips, with your palms facing up. As you take a deep breath in, slowly move your hands up to your collarbones. Pause for a moment. Next, turn your hands so the palms face down and bring them down slowly in rhythm with your exhalation. Repeat this as many times as necessary. This may protect your heart from incurring excess heat, and help cool your emotional state.
Posture for Self-Nurturing
There are times when our emotional state feels anything but fired up, as is the case with depression. It is at these times when a safe retreat is necessary. There is a yoga posture called child's pose that one can take to help provide comfort. Find a comfortable spot on your bed or the floor and get down on your knees. Then sit on your feet and bend forward to put your forehead to the ground. Either extend your arms straight in front of you along the floor, or rest them at your sides with palms face-up. You might also bend your arms and cradle your head with your hands. The child's pose can provide the feeling of physical safety and offer a time of respite.
It can be difficult for a woman going through menopause to keep cool, literally and figuratively speaking. This is the time in life when her yin starts a rapid decline. Yin is associated with the feminine, night time, rest, cooling and mystery. When there is less of this cooling factor, there is more heat present in the body. Since the heart belongs to the fire element, it is prone to damage from heat. Therefore, it can be helpful during menopause to keep the emotions at a moderate level. Even joy in an exaggerated state may poorly affect the mind and body during this time of life.
Find a practitioner near you today to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can ease your transition through changes in your life!
Learn more about acupuncture and Oriental medicine for menopause!
About the Author: Vanessa Vogel Batt, L.Ac., MSTOM, studied at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and practiced acupuncture and Oriental medicine in New York for several years. Vanessa enjoys traveling the world, and has published articles on acupuncture and Oriental medicine and related health topics for websites and publications in both the U.S. and abroad.