We are told that the peri-menopause and menopause are an inevitable part of the female aging process, as we transition from our ‘goddess’ to ‘crone’ phases and that it’s something to be endured…. but is this really the case? Below I refer to ‘menopause’ for ease of label but this covers both stages of peri-menopause and menopause which can be a time to own our femininity as we transition through a natural part of our body’s life cycle.
There is a considerable amount of research which shows that the biological and psychological response to menopausal symptoms is influenced by cultural beliefs, attitudes, perceptions and experiences.
In western culture we are conditioned to believe that hot flushes are an inevitable consequence of the decline in fertility as we pass through our menopausal period; but in Japanese there is no word for ‘menopause’ or ‘hot flush’ – because it’s not a part of their cultural expectations; and possibly a result of their diet.
In the 1980s anthropologist Margaret Lock interviewed 1000’s of women in the USA, Canada and Japan about their menopausal symptoms and concluded that whilst genetics and diet contributed to a lower number of menopausal symptoms being reported in Japanese women, their experience could also be a psychosomatic response to cultural expectations. Japanese medical culture simply doesn’t have the same inevitable expectations that western medicine has.
What does that really mean for western women though? More and more research is showing that if our mind expects something to happen it will. Therefore the reverse is also true, we can use our beliefs and our mind to change what we believe, feel, think or act. Research has shown that adopted daughters experience similar period pains and symptoms to their adopted mothers simply because that’s what they observe and therefore believe to be ‘the norm’ even though there is no biological inheritance to generate the same symptoms.
If we believe that the menopause is going to be long and difficult because that was our mothers experience, then the chances are that it will be just that. We all have beliefs that we aren’t even aware that we have, buried deep in our subconscious, these are the programs we operate through and you may have a belief such as ‘the menopause is an unpleasant process and I’m going to have to suffer during this time of my life”. You may have created these beliefs because of the experience your mother, grandmother or other female friends or relatives had, or even just wider cultural expectations. Examine your beliefs and ask yourself if it’s true? Just because society says it will happen it doesn’t mean that it’s true.
If you would like to make the menopause or peri-menopause easier consider exploring holistic approaches that use the mind to influence how the body responds such as Rapid Transformational Therapy.