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  • Chitra Eder

Ayurveda and Menopause: Dispelling the Myths of One-Size-Fits-All Solutions

If I know my people, you are a high-functioning, go-getter woman who has always been in control of your life. You have managed your health, embraced exercise routines, watched what you eat, and stayed informed. You have navigated the ups and downs with grace, facing challenges head-on. But then, menopause strikes, and it feels like the ground beneath you starts to shift. Suddenly, nothing seems to work the way it used to. The sense of control you once had slipped away, leaving you frustrated and in disbelief.

Woman sitting in a chair with hands over her face

If this resonates with you, you are not alone. Many women find themselves in menopause, battling a storm of overwhelming symptoms. Hot flashes, mood swings, sleep disturbances, weight gain, brain fog, and the list goes on. If you need a reference on the symptoms download my guide

Women’s healthcare is isolating, bewildering, enraging, and increasingly nonexistent, especially during menopause as you try to figure out what is happening and what to do about it.

Uncover the truth and discover the power of individualized care during menopause.

There are numerous challenges when seeking natural solutions to alleviate symptoms when navigating menopause. While the desire to find relief is strong, there is a common mistake that many make – embracing a one-size-fits-all approach. This misguided notion overlooks the unique needs and experiences of women. Women come to a one-size-fits-all approach due to the ease of finding information, societal pressures, and the allure of quick fixes that promise universal results.

The menopause experience is unique to each woman, and a personalized approach is essential.

Here are the four aspects of the biggest mistake in addressing menopause naturally. The universal approach seeps into four aspects of holistic solutions, nutrition, exercise, yoga, herbs and supplements, and mind/body practices. It is time to break free from the confines of a standardized solution and embrace the wisdom of Ayurveda, an ancient holistic system, to find personalized strategies that support menopause.

Mistake #1: Why a "generic healthy diet" Hinders Menopausal Well-being

When it comes to addressing menopause symptoms naturally, one of the biggest mistakes women make is neglecting the importance of individualized nutrition. Many women fall into the trap of following generic nutrition plans that claim to alleviate menopause symptoms for everyone. The things I hear most are "I love my salads, "I read on the internet about this awesome smoothy" or, the big one lately, "I'm doing intermittent fasting, that's healthy right?". These one-size-fits-all approaches fail to recognize the unique needs and variations among women experiencing menopause. Every body is different, and the impact of nutrition on menopause symptoms can vary significantly.

I can not emphasize enough the significance of personalized nutrition during menopause.

Woman cooking healthy food which is appropriate to her heritage.

Ayurveda, a holistic system of medicine, emphasizes gut health and provides valuable insights into tailoring nutrition according to your unique needs. Ayurveda recognizes that you have a distinct mind-body constitution, known as doṣha, which influences your physical and emotional tendencies.

Seasonality is just as important as experienced in various climates and locations. By understanding your doṣha as it expresses itself in the here and now and considering other factors like age, lifestyle, and overall health, a personalized approach to nutrition supports your specific menopausal needs to feel normal.

Individualized food recommendations offer a range of benefits for women going through menopause. By addressing specific symptoms and imbalances, women can experience improved hormonal balance, reduced hot flashes, increased energy levels, better sleep quality, and enhanced emotional well-being. For instance, women with a dominant vāta doṣha will benefit from warm, grounding foods and spices to calm their nervous system, and women who are pitta dominant will find relief with cooling foods and herbs that soothe inflammation.

Moreover, individualized nutrition takes into account other factors beyond menopause symptoms. It considers your overall health goals, existing conditions, and nutritional deficiencies.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to achieve alone as a DIY. Life is dynamic, which is why many of the solutions found online and those suggested by others may or may not work temporarily. Your diet needs to be just as dynamic and appropriate for you.

The goal of an Ayurvedic practitioner is to work with your agni (digestive fire) so that the fluctuations of life do not affect your digestion. Additionally, my personal goal is to educate you to make appropriate choices as to which food qualities and tastes you need to support your health during menopause and beyond. By embracing personalized nutrition based on Ayurvedic principles, you can nourish your body with the right foods, support hormonal balance, and enhance your overall quality of life.

The journey through menopause is unique to each woman. Information that costs nothing and is easily accessible can and will slow progress and hinder the ability to address menopause symptoms effectively.

Mistake #2: Overlooking Individualized Yoga and Exercise

When it comes to menopause, relying on generic exercise routines also undermines the effectiveness of your efforts to manage its symptoms. In Ayurveda, exercise is an essential aspect of health. However, a one-size-fits-all approach fails to consider the individual doṣha (mind-body constitution) and unique needs of menopausal women.

Ayurveda emphasizes the significance of tailored exercise and yoga practices to address specific symptoms and individual requirements during menopause. You can select movement practices that help balance your doṣhas and alleviate menopausal symptoms based on your unique doṣha composition. For example, women with a dominant vāta doṣha will benefit from gentle, grounding exercises like yoga, while those with a pitta doṣha will find cooling and calming exercises like swimming beneficial. Similarly, women with a Kapha doṣha will benefit from invigorating and stimulating activities like dancing. All women will benefit from walking.

Diverse group of people dancing

The Ashtanga Hridayam, an ancient Ayurvedic text, discusses the importance of exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle. According to the AH, regular exercise helps improve digestion, metabolism, strength, and vitality. Exercise in moderation, with consideration to age, strength, and physical condition.

The text recommends specific types of exercise based on doṣha (mind-body constitution), season, and time of day.

  • Mindset - Practice with awareness and not to the point of exhaustion

  • Exercise and Rest Balance - Maintain a balance between physical exertion and rest, as excessive exercise increases doṣhic imbalances and leads to various health issues.

  • Moderation - exercise to half your capacity daily or just until you break a sweat. The more regular the practice, the more your capacity increases. Exercising till exhaustion does not serve you as a menopausal woman.

Incorporating personalized exercise and yoga plans aligned with Ayurvedic principles offer numerous benefits for menopausal women. Tailored exercise routines help balance the doṣha-s, increase circulation, strengthen the body, reduce stress, and enhance overall well-being. Choose exercises and yoga practices according to your doṣha which address specific menopausal symptoms, promote hormonal balance, support emotional well-being, and cultivate a sense of groundedness and inner peace.

Overlooking individualized exercise and yoga practices hinders your ability to resolve menopause symptoms effectively.

Mistake #3: Trusting Hearsay in Choosing Your Herbs and Supplements

In pursuit of natural solutions for menopause, one critical mistake often made is neglecting the significance of individualized herbs and supplements. 🌿💊

Image of too many vitamins and supplements

During menopause, self-medicating with herbs and supplements can pose risks, let alone loss of time and money. It is tempting to rely on popular recommendations or trendy products, but what works for one person does not work for another. Ayurveda recognizes the unique nature of your body, and a one-size-fits-all approach to herbal remedies and supplements does not provide the desired outcomes.

That is why seeking professional guidance for personalized herbal and supplement protocols, rooted in Ayurvedic principles, becomes paramount. The personalized approach ensures that the recommended herbs and supplements are appropriate for your situation. 🌱

Individualized herbs and supplements, complementing your natural approach to menopause, can be transformative. They address your unique set of symptoms, rebalance your doṣha-s, and support overall harmony. Whether you seek relief from hot flashes, hormonal balance, improved sleep, or increased vitality, Ayurveda provides tailored solutions that honor your cellular wisdom. 💪

Self-medicating without professional guidance leads to ineffective results or potential side effects. Even herbs from the Ayurvedic pharmacopeia can bring about unwanted side effects. The recently popular Ashwagandha is generally safe to use, but some people have reactions that are opposed to its most observed action. Herbs are powerful and respond specifically to your constitution. Consult an experienced Ayurvedic practitioner who considers your doṣha (Ayurvedic body type), all the factors in your life affecting your health, and menopausal symptoms.

Why waste all that time and money on Amazon or the health food store?

Mistake #4: Ignoring your Unique Mind-Body Connection

In the quest to address menopause naturally, one mistake often made is disregarding the unique and individual nature of your mind-body connection. As you already know, menopause is a phase that impacts us on multiple levels, including our emotional state, mental clarity, and overall sense of who we are. Yet, we tend to fall into the trap of embracing generic, one-size-fits-all mind-body practices. 🌸💭

Recognizing the significance of the mind-body connection is crucial. Menopause involves not only physical changes but also emotional and psychological shifts. Each woman experiences menopause in her way, and adopting a generic approach fails to acknowledge the unique aspects of our journeys. It is so easy to put yourself into the hands of self-help books and podcasts.

A deep understanding of individual constitutions (doṣha-s) provides invaluable insights into tailoring mind-body practices to suit your unique requirements. The following are some tendencies of unique mental signatures by doṣha:

  • vāta - creative, expansive, quick learning, quick forgetting can get overwhelmed, spacey, absent-minded, and becomes easily anxious.

  • pitta- focused, sharp, clever, planner with follow through, meticulous, triggered to anger, jealousy, and bitterness, can be over-demanding and even violent towards self and others.

  • kapha - soft, caring, slow learning but once remembered, they never forget, tends to hang on to people, emotions, and things, needs time to think before making decisions, dislikes change, leans towards depression.

Meditation, mindfulness, and stress management techniques should be customized to harmonize with your specific ratio of doṣha-s, ensuring a more targeted and effective approach. By aligning our mind-body practices with our specific constitutions, we can experience greater balance, vitality, and serenity throughout the menopause journey. 🧘‍♀️🌼

Woman on a yoga mat doing her spiritual practice outdoors

Tailor your meditation/mindfulness practice based on your doṣha. Vāta women will benefit from grounding and calming meditative practices. Pitta people can focus on cultivating tranquility and surrender, while kapha types need to find energizing and uplifting techniques.

You do not need to change your already established practice or spiritual path, just tailor your approach and attitude based on doshic tendencies.

The mind-body connection is deeply personal, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Embrace the beauty of your individuality and seek practices that align with your unique constitution and needs. 🤗

Relying on a one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition, exercise, herbs, supplements, meditation, and mindfulness is frustrating and costly, basically, they are trial-and-error methods.

Why miss out on the profound benefits of personalized care?

Embracing individualization is paramount in supporting a healthy menopause experience. Ayurveda's holistic wisdom provides invaluable guidance in tailoring these aspects to suit individual constitutions and requirements.

Social media communities like Facebook Groups, Instagram, Twitter, and Tik Tok can be great support and sources of information but they cannot unlock the full power of individualized approaches.

It is essential to understand that seeking professional guidance is crucial in navigating the path of personalized menopause support. There are many practitioners who specialize in menopause. These practitioners offer valuable insights and can create tailored plans for you.

I invite you to take the next step in your menopause journey by exploring personalized approaches and seeking professional guidance. Empower yourself with knowledge, embrace your unique needs, and embark on a path that honors you.

Chitra Doctor of Ayurveda

When you do take that step find out if the professional you choose is a good fit for you. Follow them, speak with them, and make sure they get you.

After all, you will be entering into a relationship with the practitioner, so make sure it's what you want and need.

I have just written a lot about customized medicine from the Ayurvedic perspective. Ayurveda has one powerful DIY practice if that's where you want to start.

I will explain more in the upcoming weeks.

Stay Tuned 🙏🏽 😘

Peace! See ya!

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