HORMONE REPLACEMENT THEORY ALTERNATIVES broken down to us by Balance Health practicioners Catherine Hermant (Kinesiology expert), Sudha Nair (Ayurvedic Nutritionist), Wendy Lam (Physiotherapist), Clara Chan (Registered Traditional Chinese medicine practicioner) and Chew Yin Chan (Intuitive Raindrop therapist)
CATHERINE: Going through menopause is a very natural process in every women’s life but sometimes the hormones fluctuations and adjustments can lead to an array of symptoms that are challenging for some of us. It is even more difficult if you are experiencing perimenopause early or you have already some imbalances in your system due to other medical conditions or a stressful life.
With Kinesiology using the muscle testing technique, we can discover and correct rapidly the imbalances in your system related to hormones and associated organs in order to cope better with the fluctuations caused by menopause, lessening symptoms until the process is complete.
It doesn’t interfere with the natural process of menopause, it is non-invasive and very safe without any side effect.
Kinesiology works very well as complimentary treatment with HRT as it can minimize the risks of other imbalances caused by the medicated approach. The HRT can indeed have secondary effects on your Adrenals, Thyroid, and the way you carry yourself through this transition phase emotionally and as a Woman. It is always preferable to consider to try a non-medicated approach such as Kinesiology before getting into a long term medicated one if need be. And if HRT is required, then Kinesiology can help in minimizing the side effects, and eventually lower the intensity of the treatment and the duration required.
SUDHA: Medicines to treat imbalance hormones generally include contraceptive pills, insulin infusions, thyroid drugs and others. Tragically, these medications frequently do three things: It makes individuals reliant on taking professionally prescribed medications to keep the signs and symptoms under check. Stroke, osteoporosis, tension, reproductive disorders, malignancy or tumors/ cancer are some of the side effects of these medications.
The food you choose to eat can have a major impact on your health. If your diet is high in sugar, processed carbohydrates, hydrogenated fats, genetically modified foods, and conventional beef, dairy, and poultry, refined grains, wheat, corn, full-fat dairy, red meat, caffeine, alcohol, peanuts, sugar, saturated and trans-saturated fats, you are more susceptible to obesity and all the associated diseases, plus an increase in hormonal imbalances.
Diets designed around foods that are believed to decrease inflammation are based around whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fresh vegetables and fruits, wild fish and seafood, grass-fed lean turkey and chicken. Eat Healthy Fats (Including Coconut Oil and Avocados) as they are fundamental building blocks for hormone productions, keeping inflammation levels low, boost your metabolism and promote weight loss. Fermented vegetables, probiotic food and high-fiber foods like vegetables and sprouted seeds can be added to protect gut health. Omega-3 fatty acids assume an imperative part in creating hormones, thus they are exceedingly helpful in adjusting them. Soy beans, tofu, fish, flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and olive oil are some of the main sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Other good sources of nutrients are Vitamin D and essential oils such as fennel essential oil, thyme essential oil, and clary sage essential oils that help balance women’s hormones.
WENDY: Along with the use of HRT, bioidentical hormones and/or herbal medicines, Integrative Manual Therapy (IMT) can be used as an adjunct, as well as preventive-care, in promoting the health and wellness of women.
Integrative Manual Therapy (IMT) is a drug-free, non-invasive and gentle manual therapy with predominately hands-on techniques. IMT assesses and treats the underlying cause(s) of dysfunction, which could be a single structure, or multiple systems, such as spine, bones, nerves, organs, circulatory system, lymphatic system, digestive system and more. As IMT looks at the body, it also addresses the nutritional, emotional, mental and spiritual factors that contribute to the dysfunctions if needed.
IMT can help to support the body through changes in sex hormone levels in the following ways:
Support Liver and Kidney health- enhance both the drainage from the kidneys and detoxification functioning of liver will help to reduce the toxin load in the body and therefore lowering down the inflammation in the body
Support Gut Health- Health digestive system can promote the production of serotonin (the neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood and social behavior, appetite and digestion, sleep and memory)
Support the Adrenal gland system- Relax the adrenal glands which may be under chronic stress and adrenal fatigue, contributing to menopausal sleep disturbance.
Relax the Central Nervous system and the brain tissues- Help to calm down the brain “command central” centers for hormonal system , i.e. hypothalamus and pituitary gland, The hypothalamus is also the temperature regulating center of our body
To reduce nervous tensions in the body tissue and therefore increasing relaxation in the body for better sleep
To restore the balance to the neck and cervical area of the stellate ganglion, which has neurons connections with the central nervous system nuclei that modulate body temperature and neuropathic pain
To open up blocked energy channels and promote the self- healing in our body. Anxiety is in a sense of blocked energy, and IMT helps redirect that energy constructively
CLARA: Cannot speak for all natural therapy. However from a Traditional Chinese Medicine point of view, our approach on menopause is more focus on regulating the Qi flow and enhancing blood profile, instead of targeting on replacing the hormone. Despite some of the medicine we used for enhancing the kidney function may have effect on enhancing certain hormone function. I personally not encouraging menopause women taking HRT, mainly due to the odds of increasing certain type of cancer. Excessive amount of hormone cause harm in different ways too
CHEW: Essential oils are used in aromatherapy. The essence of these oils is meant to be inhaled (directly or through a diffuser) or diluted and applied to the skin
These 6 essential oils may be considered if you prefer to take a more holistic route when think of HRT:
- Clary sage
Hot flashes are a quick sensation of heat that pulsates throughout your body. These may be naturally remedied by rubbing three drops of diluted clary sage oil across the back of your neck or all over your feet.
Clary sage is also thought to help slow the development of osteoporosis . Women experiencing menopause have an increased risk for osteoporosis due to a decline in estrogen. During this time, bone breakdown overtakes bone development.
- Peppermint oil
Peppermint oil may also reduce your discomfort when experiencing hot flashes. Add no more than two drops to a tissue. Hold the tissue up to your nose while breathing slowly.
This oil may help to relieve any cramping you may experience during this time. Although not common once menstruation has ended, it’s typical to experience menstruation-related cramping (dysmenorrhea) during perimenopause.
Some women may continue to experience cramps once menstruation has ceased completely. This may be a sign of an underlying medical condition. If you’re no longer menstruating and experiencing persistent cramping, consult your doctor.
Lavender may help balance your hormones and soothe perineal discomfort. If the area around your perineum feels tight or otherwise uncomfortable, you may consider placing a cold compress on the area. You can add one drop of diluted lavender oil to the compress for additional relief.
It’s recommended that you only use the compress for up to 30 minutes. If you experience any stinging or burning, you should remove the compress and rinse the area with water.
Lavender can also promote feelings of relaxation and help improve the quality of your sleep. During this time, insomnia and other sleep-related problems are common. You may find it beneficial to add lavender aromatherapy to your nighttime routine.
Geranium used as an essential oil has also been found to help menopausal women manage hormonal changes. One to two drops may be inhaled from a napkin for immediate stress relief. Geranium is also helpful for dry skin. Consider adding a few drops of the diluted oil to the water during a relaxing, hot bath.
Research also suggests that this essential oil has antianxiety and antidepressant effects.
If you’re looking for ways to increase your estrogen levels or to help improve your mood, consider adding basil aromatherapy to your daily regimen. Basil can also be helpful against hot flashes when diluted and applied to your feet or rubbed across the back of your neck.
Grapefruit oil aromatherapy is said to have a number of health benefits for women experiencing symptoms of menopause. Researchers in a 2014 study found the postmenopausal women who inhaled this essential oil experienced fewer physical symptoms and an increase in sexual desire.