This is all a good thing. But it does mean, inevitably, that an industry is springing up around the needs of menopausal people. All of a sudden there’s a deluge of products, services, books and treatments on offer targeting those experiencing peri-menopausal and menopausal symptoms.
Can massage help with the symptoms of menopause or is it just another industry jumping on the bandwagon?
It always surprises me when a new client tells me they have never had a massage before, I fell in love with massage as a teenager and it seems a crying shame that some people are only prompted to come for a treatment when they are going through a major life change (like pregnancy) or have specific aches and pains that need resolving. Massage is a hugely beneficial tool for self-care; it helps increase flexibility, eases aches and pains, reduces stress and tension, lowers blood pressure, aids restful sleep and allows for valuable me-time. It’s something that everyone could benefit from, and can specifically support women dealing with symptoms of the menopause.
Treating the symptoms of the menopause isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ solution. And I’m certainly not going to claim that coming for a massage is going to cure your hot flushes, magically improve brain fog or reduce vaginal dryness, but even if the only thing a massage does for you is help you to relax and de-stress this can make it easier to cope with this major life transition.
Five benefits of massage for menopausal women:
1. Increasing flexibility: Menopausal women typically experience a number of physical changes including loss of muscle strength, bone density and flexibility. Massage stimulates the natural muscle lubricants in your body, especially those between your connective muscles, and helps everything work smoothly.
2. Easing aches and pains: dropping oestrogen levels in menopause can cause joint pains as well as stiffness. By helping our muscles relax and loosen up, massage can help ease these aches and pains
3. Reducing stress and tension: typically the age women go through the menopause is also at the height of their caring responsibilities; they may be juggling caring for both children and aging parent as well as a job. It’s a lot to keep on top of. Regular massage can be like loosening the lid of that pressure cooker, giving you time to relax and recharge. Stress is recognised as a trigger for hot flushes and night sweats and by taking time to reduce your stress levels you can reduce the incidence and severity of this symptom
4. Lowering blood pressure: Blood pressure can rise in menopausal women. Whether that’s through the change in hormones or because we have a tendency to put weight on during this time is not sure, but it is something we need to watch out for. However research has shown that people who receive regular therapeutic massage have lower blood pressure.
5. Aiding restful sleep: Over 50% of perimenopausal and menopausal women experience insomnia. One study even suggests that one in four women with sleep difficulties deal with severe enough symptoms to impact their daytime functioning. Massage encourages the body to switch into the ‘rest and digest’ state by stimulating the vagus nerve and the parasympathetic system. This reduces the stress hormone cortisol that gives you that ‘always on’ feeling. Massage encourages the release of serotonin, a hormone that makes us feel good. Serotonin is also a precursor to the hormone melatonin that helps us to fall asleep. Massage decreases stress and anxiety, allowing for better and less disturbed sleep
In summary, massage has so many benefits it should be considered as part of any menopausal womens’s self-care plan. If you’d like to find out more, please drop me a message here or email firstname.lastname@example.org