Approximately 1,600,000 women enter menopause each year. Many of these women experience a variety of different uncomfortable symptoms. Even for those who are free of troubling symptoms, this is an important transition time that requires changes in attitudes that match the changes taking place within the body. All women need to be able to go through this transition feeling healthy in mind, body, spirit and emotions. Menopause is the end of menstruation. This is the time in life when women stop being able to produce children.
A woman’s period called Menses stops naturally (for most women) with the decline of monthly hormonal cycles between the ages of 40 and 60. It may stop earlier in life because of a woman’s illness or because of the surgical removal of the uterus or both ovaries. As the production of estrogen by the ovaries and pituitary gonad-stimulating hormones decreases, a woman’s ovulation and menstruation begin to slow down and eventually stop. Variations in the circulating levels of the hormones occur as the hormone levels decline. Hot flashes are the only general symptom of menopause that nearly every woman has. They can often be controlled with estrogen and progesterone but are seldom so bad as to need therapy. Hot flashes will stop in time without hormonal treatment. Occasionally, heavy irregular bleeding occurs at this time, usually linked to fiber like tumors or other uterine disorder.
The most common treatment for hot flashes and the other symptoms of Menopause has been hormone replacement therapy. However, recent research has found an increased risk of breast cancer in women receiving hormone replacement therapy. Because of this, many menopausal women and breast cancer survivors are deciding not to do hormone replacement therapy. Latest research has shown reduced rates of breast cancer. This is thought to relate to the fact that the use of hormone replacement therapy has gone down in the last few years. Many women are now looking for new ways of dealing with their symptoms. A variety of herbal replacements are being used with varying success. Other areas to explore are the use of yoga, mindfulness training, effective self talk and self-hypnosis.
Hypnosis can be very effective in reducing the frequency and intensity of hot flashes. Hypnosis is a mind-body intervention that is of significant benefit in treatment of hot flashes and other benefits may include reduced anxiety and improved sleep. Further, hypnosis may be a preferred treatment because of the few side effects and the preference of many women for a non-hormonal therapy. As you undoubtedly know, hypnosis is altered state of consciousness where it is possible to decrease the perception of an experience. This is very true with the symptoms of Menopause. We can also add suggestions that increase the client’s ability to cope with those symptoms. Remember that with hypnosis:
The client’s attention is more focused
They are more responsive more to suggestions
They are more open and less critical or disbelieving
The purpose of hypnosis as a technique for managing Menopause is to help the client manage their specific symptoms, emotions and physical well-being. What I have found personally to be the most beneficial to clients is teaching them self hypnosis and supportive self talk as well as counseling them about their beliefs and attitudes towards this time in their lives.
When it comes to providing people with tools to improve their lives, Zoilita Grant MS CCHt. is truly a pioneer. As a nationally known psychotherapist and teacher, Zoilita has dedicated her life to helping people heal themselves. She works with clients to get to the roots of their issues so they may find happier, healthier lives. Zoilita uses five different styles of hypnosis. She is President of the Colorado Association of Psychotherapists and Director of the Colorado School of Counseling Hypnotherapy. Zoilita loves cats, practices yoga and has been meditating for 30 years. You can reach her at 303-776-6103