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Navigating Menopause and Finding Balance

Written By  Go Vita
Menopause tips Go Vita

Navigating menopause and finding balance is a natural transition in a woman's life. Discover how embracing natural remedies can offer significant comfort and control during this phase.

Menopause is an opportunity to assess your health and become reacquainted with your body. Understanding what is happening to your body and mind, and how natural alternatives like herbs and acupuncture can provide significant relief, will put the controls firmly back in your hands.

Defining Menopause

Menopause was long referred to, rather euphemistically and confusingly, as “the change of life”. Thankfully, it is now discussed far more openly and honestly, and symptoms which may result from this natural stage in a woman’s life no longer need to be a source of fear or worry.


In fact, many women remark that once they have adjusted to changes such as hot flushes and mood swings – many of which are temporary and short-term – that they feel empowered and look forward to the freedoms and opportunities ahead.


Menopause is defined as having taken place once there has been no menstrual period for 12 months. Hormone levels fall to a point where the ovaries stop releasing eggs. Most women reach menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, the average being around 51. The transition phase before menopause is referred to as perimenopause and typically takes about three years.


During this time, the supply of mature eggs in a woman's ovaries diminishes, ovulation becomes irregular, and the production of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone decreases.


Period cycles may become longer, shorter, or totally irregular, bleeding may become lighter, heavier, and/or unpredictable. Although fertility after the age of 45 is low, falling pregnant is still a possibility, and it may be mindful to discuss with your healthcare professional about contraception.


Each woman experiences menopause differently, and symptoms can include any of the following:

Hot Flushes (or Flashes)

These sudden rapid increases in body temperature usually start occurring before a woman's last period. A hot flush can vary in frequency, intensity, and length for each woman. Some may experience just a brief warmth throughout the body, with possibly a little light perspiration, but others may have a more debilitating form, including a sensation of intense heat, palpitations, and heavy sweating, followed by feeling chilled and shaky.


Night-time can often be worse, with hot flushes resulting in exhausting sweats that flood bedding and sheets, and severely impair sleep.


Common triggers for both hot flushes and night sweats include hot weather, smoking, caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods, tight clothing, and stress.

Other Symptoms

  • Aches and Pains

  • Forgetfulness, headaches, fatigue, and poor concentration

  • Anxiety, depression, irritability, low self-esteem often (understandably) caused by adjusting to these changes in the body and coming to terms with physical signs of aging, changes to libido, and possibly other health issues.

  • Reduced libido

  • Increased urinary frequency, vaginal dryness, and painful sex are all linked to this.

Help Yourself

  • Dress for success: Removable layers are best, plus soft, breathable fabric.

  • Know your triggers: These may include hot beverages, spicy food, alcohol, and caffeine (present in both coffee and tea).

  • Stay hydrated: A big glass of cool water is very handy when a hot flush starts.

  • Address stress: Studies show that one to three hours of exercise a week significantly reduces hot flushes. Weight-bearing exercise, such as walking and weight-lifting, also helps prevent osteoporosis, while aerobic exercise, like swimming and dancing, helps to protect against heart disease. Meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and counseling can all play a part in preventing, or at least minimizing, distressing menopausal symptoms like mood swings, depression, and poor memory.

  • Try acupuncture: A Swedish study reports that acupuncture helps to ease insomnia and the intensity of hot flushes. Interested in seeing whether this could work for you? Visit www.acupuncture.org.au to find a qualified practitioner near you.

  • Investigate alternatives: Potent natural medicines have been clinically proven to provide relief from menopausal symptoms, including sage (Salvia officinalis) known for its cooling effects to reduce hot flushes, night sweats, palpitations, and anxiety; zizyphus (Zizyphus jujube var. spinosa) to counter mild depression and calm the body and mind, and vitex (Vitex agnus-castus), commonly known as Chaste tree berry, to balance progesterone levels, and to improve sleep quality, sexual desire, concentration, and energy.

  • Book a full check-up: This may include a bone density scan, mammogram, blood tests, and a mental health check. It is an important first step towards feeling confident about navigating menopause.

  • The amino acids in collagen support the repair of the stomach lining, promoting better digestion and reducing gut-related issues.

Herbal Help for Menopause

Ziziphus jujuba is traditionally used in Chinese Medicine to relieve irritability, insomnia, and night sweats. It's believed to nourish the heart and calm the spirit, addressing 'shen disturbance' symptoms like irritability and shallow sleep


Modern studies support its role in improving sleep quality and mood by influencing GABA, a neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation. The active component, Jujuboside A, regulates brain chemicals to improve sleep and reduce anxiety. Sage has been traditionally used to treat excessive perspiration and sweats associated with menopause. Its anxiolytic qualities help ease anxiety, lift your mood, and calm your mind. Sage is a phytoestrogen.


Phytoestrogens (plant oestrogens) are substances that occur naturally in plants. They have a similar chemical structure to our own body's oestrogen and can bind to the same receptors that our own oestrogen does. Bupleurum is used for constrained Liver qi which expresses itself in symptoms like hot flushes. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Bupleurum is described as cool, dry, and bitter.

Links for Support

Information presented is for information purposes only and is not intended to replace advice or treatment from qualified healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to treat or diagnose. Always consult your healthcare professional before taking nutritional or herbal supplements. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have any allergies or diagnosed conditions, or are taking prescription medications, always consult your healthcare professional before taking nutritional or herbal supplements.


About Margaret Leedham

Margaret Leedham brings a wealth of experience as a naturopath, educator, product developer

and writer to her role as the Brand Manager for NutriVital.

With over 24 years of experience, Margaret has also helped thousands of clients reach their health

and wellness goals through an evidence-based approach.