Menopause has a range of symptoms, and many women turn to holistic treatments in order to treat them. For many women struggling with menopause symptoms, finding a connection between mind and body can greatly assist the effectiveness of treatment. However, many holistic treatments have no evidence backing them up, and many times, they produce improvement solely because it is believed that they will work. This is called the placebo effect.
What Are Holistic Treatments?
Holistic treatments are a range of natural and alternative treatments. There are not many factors that unite these wide ranging treatments, but the vast majority of them are not supported by the mainstream scientific and medical community. It is a good idea to talk to your doctor about any holistic treatment that you receive. Even though they may be touted as natural and risk-free, they can still have side effects, interact with other medicine you are taking, and have effects on underlying conditions you may have.
What Types of Holistic Treatment Are Available?
There are many types of holistic treatments available for menopause. Some of the most common ones include:
Aromatherapy. This is an ancient form of medicine used by the Greeks, Egyptians, Persians, and Romans. It is based in the use of essential oils, vegetable oils, candles, soaps, herbs, and aromatic plants to achieve wellness. There is no research or scientific evidence that aromatherapy works for menopause symptoms, though it may help symptoms that are worsened by stress.
Acupuncture. Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine where small needles are inserted into the body. This type of medicine has been used for over thousands of years. Acupuncture is based on the idea that "energy channels" in the body can become disrupted and cause symptoms.
Reflexology. In this form of therapy, pressure points in the hands, feet, and other places are squeezed or rubbed to release "pressure" through nerve endings.
Homeopathy. It is based off the belief that a natural substance that causes a healthy person to get sick, in turn, can have the reverse effects on a sick person. In addition, that substance is then extremely diluted. There is no evidence that this is an effective treatment for any condition.
Meditation. Meditation is used to relieve stress. There are many different forms of meditation, such as guided visualization, mindful breathing, conscious mindfulness, and other techniques.
Herbal remedies. Many health practitioners use herbs in tea and supplement form to promote wellness. Usually, herbal supplements are unregulated, so be careful when choosing to take one.
It is also important to point out that diet and exercise are very important while trying to maintain physical and mental strength. Exercise regularly and eating a healthy diet will help your body handle the extra stress. It is a good idea to see a doctor if your menopause symptoms are lowering your quality of life.
For more information on holistic treatments, click on the link below.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. (2014). Complementary and alternative medicine. Retrieved December 10, 2015, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/in-depth/alternative-medicine/art-20045267
- National Health Service UK. (2008). Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Retrieved December 10, 2015, from http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/complementary-alternative-medicine/Pages/complementary-and-alternative-medicine.aspx