Preparing for life's next phase

| May/June 1999

• Ancient formula for perimenopause relief
• Plants for perimenopause

There are so many natural remedies, you don’t have to ­suffer through it. You don’t have to tough it out.

Like the gentle rhythm of the tides, a woman’s hormones pull and tug at her throughout her lifetime, influencing every ­aspect of her physical, mental, and emotional ­existence. As a child becomes a young woman, as a woman embraces motherhood, as a mature adult approaches mid­life, hormones dance through her body. In the years leading up to meno­pause, it’s especially important to get in sync with this hormonal rhythm because this is the time when a woman can best prepare for smooth gliding in the years ahead.

Perimenopause, simply put, is the period of time when a woman’s body gets ready for menopause. Some of its symptoms are similar to menopause, a phase of life that some women dread. They associate it with drama, trauma, and the end of their biological reason for living. But for others, and increasingly more of them, the thought brings comfort. As life expectancies have gradually increased over generations, the postmenopause period of a woman’s life has come to be a greater portion of the whole, and many are recognizing the progression toward it as a sign of the rich and rewarding time to come.

Positive steps

Traditional herbal medicine offers many ways to combat discomforts associated with perimenopause and help ensure a smooth transition to menopause. A woman who understands the hormonal changes that are occurring and investigates natural and herbal ways to help support her body during this time can think confidently about living out her life in health and comfort. She can develop good habits now that will become crucial to her health after menopause. She can anticipate problems and solutions and make sensible decisions concerning hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

“The majority of symptoms in the premenopause and menopause eras of our life are influenced, mediated, and minimized by taking better care of ourselves in the premenopause stage,” says Jesse Hanley, a Malibu, California, medical doctor who focuses on women’s health issues and has used herbal remedies in her practice for more than fifteen years. She is co-author with John R. Lee, M.D., of What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause (Warner, 1999).

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