The menopause is sometimes known as the ‘change of life’ and is marked by the ending of menstruation (when a woman's periods finally stop). In the UK, the average age for a woman to reach the menopause is 52. The menopause involves the end of egg production (ovulation). This occurs as a result of falling levels of the female sex hormone, oestrogen, which regulates menstruation.
A woman’s periods do not usually stop suddenly, although sometimes this does happen. They usually become less frequent, the odd period is missed, and then they stop altogether.
A woman is said to have reached the menopause once she has not had a period for one year. After this point, she can be described as post-menopausal. The length of time leading up to the menopause is known as the peri-menopause.
During the peri-menopause, the hormonal and biological changes that are associated with the menopause begin. As a result of these hormonal changes, many women experience both physical and emotional symptoms.
In the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology a study using traditional foot reflexology and non-specific foot massage sought to discover the clinical findings of Reflexology benefiting women with menopause. In the end both groups reported drops in anxiety, depression, night sweats and hot flushes. (Randomised controlled trial of reflexology for menopausal symptoms, PMID: 12269681). Anecdotally Reflexology has helped women overcome the intensity of hot flushes and the many symptoms associated with menopause.
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MENOPAUSE (Williamson J, White A, Hart A, Ernst E., "Randomised controlled trial of reflexology for menopausal symptoms," BJOG, 2002 Sep; 109(9):1050-5) Eighty-two women diagnosed with menopause were randomly divided into two groups. Forty-two women received foot reflexology and forty received foot reflexology with auricular point magnet adhesion. Thirty-minute session were provided daily for 60 days. Among women provided with foot reflexology at the conclusion of the study, 17 (40.48%) of the women had fully recovered, 20 (47.62%) had significantly recovered, 4 (9.25%) had effective results and 1 had ineffective results. Among women provided with foot reflexology and auricular magnet adhesion at the conclusion of the study, 9 (22.5%) of the women had fully recovered, 16 (40%) had significantly recovered, 9 (22.50) had effective results and 6 (15%) had ineffective results. Sun Jianhua, "Observation on the Therapeutic Effect of 82 Cases of Climacterium Syndrome (menopause) Treated with Reflexotherapy," 1998 China Reflexology Symposium Report, China Reflexology Association, Beijing, pp. 60-61
"Seventy-six women between 45 and 60 years, reporting menopausal symptoms. Methods: Women were randomised to receive nine sessions of either reflexology or non-specific foot massage (control) by four qualified reflexologists over a period of 19 weeks. Main outcome measures: The Women's Health Questionnaire (WHQ), the primary measure s being the subscores for anxiety and depression. Severity (visual analog scale (VAS) a n frequency of flushes and night sweats. Results: Mean (SD) scores for anxiety fell from 0.43 (0.29) to 0.22 (0.25) in the reflexology group and from 0.37 (0.27) to 0.27 (0.29) in the control group over the course of treatment. Mean (SD) scores for depression fell from 0.37 (0.25) to 0.20 (0.24) in the reflexology group and from 0.36 (.023) to 0.20 (0.21) in the control (foot massage) group over the same period. For both scores there was strong evidence of a time effect (P<0.001) but no evidence of a time-group interaction (P>0.2). Similar changes were found for severity of hot flashes and night sweats. In the control group, 14/37 believed they had not received reflexology. Conclusion: Foot reflexology was not shown to be more effective than non-specific foot massage in the treatment of psychological symptoms occurring during menopause."
(Williamson J, White A, Hart A, Ernst E., "Randomised controlled trial of reflexology for menopausal symptoms," BJOG, 2002 Sep; 109(9):1050-5)
Eighty-two women diagnosed with menopause were randomly divided into two groups. Forty-two women received foot reflexology and forty received foot reflexology with auricular point magnet adhesion. Thirty-minute session were provided daily for 60 days.
Among women provided with foot reflexology at the conclusion of the study, 17 (40.48%) of the women had fully recovered, 20 (47.62%) had significantly recovered, 4 (9.25%) had effective results and 1 had ineffective results.
Among women provided with foot reflexology and auricular magnet adhesion at the conclusion of the study, 9 (22.5%) of the women had fully recovered, 16 (40%) had significantly recovered, 9 (22.50) had effective results and 6 (15%) had ineffective results.
Sun Jianhua, "Observation on the Therapeutic Effect of 82 Cases of Climacterium Syndrome (menopause) Treated with Reflexotherapy," 1998 China Reflexology Symposium Report, China Reflexology Association, Beijing, pp. 60-61
This cake contains a number of important ingredients which are highly beneficial during the menopause. In particular, the seeds (linseed, sesame, pumpkin and sunflower) contain essential fatty acids and phytoestrogens which are vital to health.
According to Dr. Marilyn Glenville in the Natural Alternatives to HRT Cookbook....
(Natural Alternatives to HRT Cookbook: Dr Marilyn Glenville: This is no ordinary cookbook. Full of recipes rich in phytoestrogens which are scientifically proven to have an oestrogen-like effect and so help you to alleviate menopausal symptoms)
....it offers natural answers as well as giving you an eating pattern for general good health.
The Benefits of Phytoestrogens:
• Provide oestrogen in plant form
• Control menopausal symptoms
• Protect against breast and womb cancer and also prostate cancer
• Help maintain a healthy heart and lower cholesterol
• Prevent Osteoporosis.
• The Benefits of Essential Fatty Acids:
• Maintain a healthy heart
• Minimise aching and stiff joints
• Prevent degenerative diseases like arthritis
• Protect against cancer
• Control weight naturally
• Bring good mental health
• Control menopausal symptoms.
• To also benefit from these seeds, Dr. Glenville recommends mixing one part each of sesame, sunflower and pumpkin with two parts linseeds. Store the mix in a sealed container in the fridge and lightly grind the quantity you need just before serving on vegetables, salads or cereals.
• 100 gr. soya flour
• 100 gr. wholemeal flour
• 100 gr. rolled oats (porridge oats)
• 100 gr. linseeds
• 50 gr. sunflower seeds
• 50 gr. pumpkin seeds
• 50 gr. sesame seeds
• 50 gr. almond flakes
• 100 gr. cranberries (270 gr. jar) drained
• 200 gr. chopped, dried, non-soak apricots
• 2 inches stem ginger, chopped
• ½ teaspoon nutmeg
• ½ teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 tablespoon malt extract
• 3 tablespoons apple or pear concentrate
• 425 ml soya milk
• Put all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir.
• Add the cranberries, concentrate and milk and mix well.
• Leave to soak for at least ½ hour.
• Pre-heat the oven to 190°C (180°C hot air).
• Line a loaf tin ( 30 x 11 cm ) with baking paper and spoon the mixture into it. This should have a soft dropping consistency, if not, add a little more milk.
• Cook in the pre-heated oven for about 1 hour 10 mins.
• Test with a skewer to see that it is cooked through.
• Slice and freeze the amount not for immediate use (three days supply can be kept in the fridge ).
• Makes approximately 15 slices
• The ingredients can be adjusted according to taste : e.g. use sultanas instead of apricots.
• All these products can be obtained at the Migros or Coop or health food shops
Adjust the ingredients according to taste
• 4oz soya flour
• 4oz whole wheat flour or plain while flour for those with IBS
• 4oz oats
• 4 oz linseed seeds
• 2oz sesame or pumpkin seeds
• 2oz nuts - any non salted
• 8oz preferred dried fruit (raisins, ready to eat dried apple, apricot, prune etc)
• 2 teaspoons preferred spices (mixed, cinnamon, ginger etc)
• Tablespoon malt extract
• 1-3 tablespoons honey depending on sweetness required
• 25-28oz soya milk
For a less coarse consistence, chop ingredients in blender first.
• Almond, rum, orange, lemon or brandy essence
• Tablespoon sunflower, walnut, evening primrose or sesame oil
• 4oz stewed fruit for extra moisture
• Unprocessed sugar instead of honey (increase liquid content accordingly)
1. Add soy milk slowly to dry ingredients until stiff consistency.
2. Bake 160 C 60-75 mins.
3. Makes 2 1lb loaves.
Don't be a purist - if you haven't got any soy milk, use ordinary milk.
• 100g soya flour
• 100g wholewheat flour
• 200g raisins
• 100g porridge oats
• 100g linseeds
• 100g sunflower seeds
• 100g pumpkin seeds
• 100g sesame seeds
• 100g flaked almonds
• 2 pieces stem ginger, diced ca.
• 500ml soya milk
• 1 tbsp malt extract
• 1/2 tbsp nutmeg
• 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
• 1/2 tbsp ground ginger
1. Put all dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
2. Add soya milk and malt extract, mix well and leave to soak for 1/2 hour. If mixture is too stiff, add more soya milk.
3. Spoon into a loaf tin lined with oiled greaseproof paper and bake at gas 5/190C/375F for about 75 minutes. Turn out and leave to cool
For optimum relief from menopausal symptoms, one slice of HRT cake should be eaten daily.
• 100g soya flour
• 100g whole meal flour
• 100g porridge oats
• 100g linseeds
• 50g sunflower seeds
• 50g sesame seeds
• 50g flaked almonds
• 200g dried apricots
• 1 teaspoon mixed spice
• 750 mls soya milk
Mix all ingredients together. This is enough mixture to make 2 cakes. Split the mixture between 2 x 1 lb loaf tins and cook for one and a quarter hours on gas 5 / 190 deg c