MANAGING MENOPAUSE

Menopause can be a difficult time for a lot of women so today I am going to write about some of the ways women can help themselves through this stage of life.

Statistically, menopause occurs between the ages of 40 and 58 years with the average age being 51 years. Endocrinological and clinical features such as weight gain, hot flashes, mood changes, insomnia, fatigue and memory problems can occur. Not every woman will experience all or any of these symptoms but many will.

Exercise is one of the ways perimenopausal or menopausal women can help to manage the symptoms. There are many benefits for women who exercise into menopause, so supporting yourself nutritionally to stay active is very important.

Some of the benefits of exercising are:

  • Improve or maintain cardiovascular fitness.
         • Preserve or improve muscle mass.
         • Control weight and metabolism.
         • Improve or maintain bone density.
         • Reduced risk of associated conditions.
         • Assist mental health and self-esteem.

Hot flashes are one of the most common symptoms of menopause. They often increase just before menopause, and peak 2-3 years after onset, then taper off.  Some of the triggers include stress, coffee, spicy foods, alcohol, sugar, citrus fruits, a high BMI, smoking and SSRI’s (antidepressant).

Studies have shown that consuming 50-100 mg/day of isoflavones from food helps to relieve hot flashes. This would be equivalent to consuming one of the following:

  • 1-1/2 cups of soy milk
  • 120g of tempeh or tofu
  • ½ cup edamame
  • 3-4 Tablespoons of miso

It’s best to get isoflavones from food rather than supplements. Isoflavone supplements might interfere with thyroid function and inhibit mineral absorption, so stick with whole food sources.

Osteoporosis (weakening of bone mass) is another concern for menopausal women. Some ways to preserve bone mass upon menopause are:

  • Incorporate green leafy veggies, legumes and nuts/seeds – these are the optimal sources of calcium.
  • Get outside in the sun for Vitamin D.  
  • Avoid excessive alcohol, salt, carbonated drinks, and caffeine as they create an acidic environment and leech calcium from your bones.
  • Eat Edamame (soy beans). Soy can help increase intestinal calcium absorption.
  • Do resistance training.  
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Avoid refined sugars/grains – these don’t provide nutrients and increase inflammation.

Mood swings can be a common symptom of menopause. Some ways to support yourself nutritionally are:

  • Incorporate plenty of whole foods rich in vitamin C like capsicum, citrus fruits, broccoli, and potatoes.
  • Eat foods with B vitamins for the nervous system like wild rice, brown rice and quinoa.
  • Eat whole grains to bump up serotonin.
  • Don’t skip meals – try to eat regularly.
  • Limit processed foods.
  • Limit/avoid alcohol and caffeine.
  • Incorporate omega-3 fats from algae, flax, hemp, chia, and walnuts.

The takeaway from this is that we can have some control over the symptoms we experience throughout menopause. Following these guidelines, keeping active and reducing stress will all help to make the transition into menopause a breeze.

To make a booking with Bronwen our wonderful nutritionist, book online or call

(02) 84060679

5 Reasons to see a Kinesiologist

I am often asked why a person would see a kinesiologist.  As a kinesiologist and reflexologist based in Mona Vale on Sydney’s Northern Beaches I have lost count of the number of times I am asked questions about kinesiology and it’s benefits.  What can it be used for??  How exactly does Kinesiology work?  The range of questions can vary from, “WHY do people need to see a Kinesiologist?” to, “Does there need to be something “wrong” with me in order to reap the benefits of a kinesiology balance?  Well the word “wrong” is relative – if “wrong” is referring to a current health issue then that is indeed a good reason to visit a  kinesiologist.  Under the guidance of a physician, Kinesiology can have a profound impact on a persons well being as it works holistically to ease the presenting symptoms as well as release stress and anxiety – an added bonus!  

Other reasons that may prompt a kinesiology consult may include a range of conditions that could be causing physical discomfort and pain such as muscle tension, jaw pain, persistent headaches, hay fever and sinus issues.  Skin issues and gut issues are also quite common in our clinic as well as a wide range of sleep issues that may be causing a host of other problems such as anxiety and depression and weight gain.  Bed wetting in small children and possibly behavioural issues and associated learning difficulties can also be worked with, gently pin pointing the underlying issues for the family when a child is not responding to alternative treatments.  

But I do more often than not find people in my rooms who are searching for something but aren’t entirely sure what kinesiology can do for them and how it can help.  They may be  struggling with emotional issues but are unsure of why or what the cause is.  Sometimes they feel depressed and completely at sea.      

Statements like “I’m feeling so lost”, and “I have everything, but I just don’t feel happy” are common.  Kinesiology can help to work through these issues by finding the root cause of any emotional blockages that are holding them back from living to their fullest potential.  Understandably these sessions do take a certain level of commitment from the client and although a significant part of the issue is often shifted in the first session it is ideal to commit to at least three balances to experience profound awareness and change as the client becomes aligned with the life they want to live.  Ongoing inner work is about the journey and taking self responsibility is often a (long) and rewarding road.  As they grow and evolve as a human being life’s challenges change and require you to show up in an entirely different way.   

These are some examples of reasons why a person would see a kinesiologist when the “symptoms” aren’t all that obvious: 

Being indecisive 

Constant second guessing and indecisiveness is counterproductive in reaching any goals – big or small!  Some sessions with a kinesiologist can be immensely helpful in reaching an understanding of why and what needs to be shifted in order to start taking action!  

Goals and Dreams 

If a person has all these ideas and dreams that never materialise then this can leave them feeling unfulfilled.  Feeling unfulfilled can lead to problems in so many other areas of our lives impacting our relationships as well as our mental, emotional and spiritual health.  Sessions can assist in defining goals and taking definitive action – actual physical steps – towards making them happen, and learning to be accountable (to themselves) is an integral part of a kinesiology session.  Self-responsibility is key!     

Life Path and Contribution 

People often “know” their life path when they wake up to how they want to “feel” within themselves.  There is nothing more potent than when they are able to verbalise and speak their “truth”.  When we speak and hear out loud what we have been dreaming about for years – this is the first step towards making things “happen” and taking actual steps to making, creating or building whatever it is that we came here for.    

Suffering from feelings of overwhelm? 

Nobody wants to feel overwhelmed, exhausted or uninspired.  Perhaps a new strategy is required, a change of tactic?  Getting clear on how they want to feelis just the beginning.  This is how we get stuff done.  Back to basics.  “When you get clear on how you want to feel, the pursuit itself will become more satisfying.” Danielle Laporte 

Feeling stuck 

Many of my clients express a feeling of being “lost” or “stuck” and unsure of their purpose in life.  A kinesiology session can really make a difference in answering some of those bigger questions within themselves and understanding what it is that they really want and why.  Understanding why you want something can often make the planning and details fall into place a lot easier.  “Small deliberate actions inspired by your true desires create a life you love.”  Danielle Laporte 

Kim is a qualified kinesiologist and loves working with people who aspire to evolve and find their real magic.  Finding practical ways to make your life better ~ on a daily basis.  Relishing and revelling and growing and creating.  This is what we were made to do.  This is what it means to be a human.  She can’t wait to work with you.  Contact Northern Beaches Integrative Practitioners on 02 8406 0679 or book on line at www.nbip.com.au

Staying Well this Winter. Advice from our Naturopath.

How are you holding up with the recent drop in temperature and winter really setting in? If you haven’t already, it’s time to ramp up the immune support and put some extra defences in place to keep sickness at bay.

Natural medicine is a powerful therapy that is very effective in treating coughs, colds and influenza. Naturopathic treatment can bring rapid relief to symptoms and reduce the risk of a cold developing into a more serious condition.

There are a few simple steps to take as soon as you feel the dreaded lurgy rearing its ugly head which may help speed up recovery.

Rest! That’s right- rest! With all our commitments and the busyness of daily life we tend to “soldier on” and not give our body the rest it deserves. Taking the time to rest may not only reduce the severity of your cold, but it can also reduce the duration of the cold.

Stay warm. Keeping warm, particularly when braving the great outdoors on miserable days is important. Remember to add an extra layer or two under the kids’ clothing too. With this is mind, remember fresh air and sunshine are not only free, but necessities for optimal health and wellbeing.

Eat well. Nourishing your body with warming nutritious foods is something you are entirely worthy of. Packaged processed foods are often high in sugar which is damaging to your immune system and puts a further load on your liver’s detoxification processes. Including more immune-stimulating foods into your diet in the cooler months will help build immunity and lower susceptibility to disease. Garlic, onion and ginger, for example, contain antimicrobial, antibacterial and antiviral properties which are perfect for targeting dis-ease of the respiratory system.

To supplement or not? There are many specific nutrients that are needed for immune function. The most common ones are vitamin C, zinc and probiotics all of which support the immune system and perform many other essential functions in the body. At times supplementation may be necessary, particularly in times of acute stage illness. A naturopath can recommend specific nutrient supplementation targeted at immune support and respiratory function including information around dosage.

Herbal medicine can offer patients suffering from coughs, colds and the flu, not only symptomatic relief but long term immune modulation and balance. Different medicines exert different therapeutic activity which enables a naturopath to prescribe a customised formula targeted at individual symptoms and causative factors. Naturopaths have so many wonderful herbs to choose from which can be tailored specifically to the patient. Herbs can be used to balance multiple imbalances within the body at the same time which can be helpful if your sickness is causing other dysfunction such as sleep disturbance.

There are many natural remedies available to us that work efficiently and effectively, suitable for all ages and at every stage of illness. Tissue salts can offer immediate relief to sufferers young and old and for many conditions. Speak to your natural healthcare practitioner about which remedies are best for the common cold, sore throats, coughs and mucous congestion.

The famous “flu brew” is a concoction aimed at getting rid of that awful flu sooner than later. Juice one lemon, crush one clove of garlic, add a few slices of fresh ginger, 1 tsp of Manuka honey, mixed with one cup of boiling water. This can be made several times per day and sipped to aid in fighting off those nasty winter ailments.

YEP tea (yarrow, elderflower and peppermint) has been used to fight against the common cold and flu for many years. Drinking these teas, which can be found at your local health food store, have been known to bring some relief due to their medicinal properties.

A naturopathic consultation is based on thorough case taking to investigate the cause of the dysfunction so it can be addressed and resolved. If you are experiencing recurrent sickness you may be immune compromised. Natural medicine can offer you the support you need to strengthen your immunity and reduce the risk and frequency of becoming sick over winter.

Don’t underestimate the power of naturopathic medicine when it comes to your immunity and wellbeing. If you feel you need some extra support this winter, book a naturopathic consultation to get your defences in place and reduce the risk of catching the winter sniffles. Call us on 02 8406 0679 or email reception@nbip.com.auto discuss how we can support you.