Could hypnotherapy help your menopausal symptoms?
Kerry Dolan knows firsthand how powerful hypnotherapy can be.
Pregnant with her eldest daughter and terrified of needles, she took a hypnobirthing class to help her prepare for labor.
“I wasn’t the kind of person to do a natural birth, but I was so scared of needles that I didn’t want an epidural,” she says.
Hypnobirthing provided Kerry with knowledge about what was going on in her body during labor and practical ways to manage her stress and fear response, such as breathing and visualization techniques.
“It was my first real experience of hypnotherapy,” she says.
“Almost as soon as I had my first child, I wanted to teach hypnobirthing because it had just made such a difference to me.”
When pregnant with her second baby, Kerry trained herself as a hypnobirthing practitioner and then, shortly after the birth of her third child, she began her full training as a hypnotherapist alongside her career as a hypnotherapist. teacher.
Hypnotherapy can be an effective tool for treating conditions such as anxiety and low self-esteem or for changing habits – quitting smoking, for example.
During a session, the person receiving the treatment is placed in a state of deep relaxation, in a safe space.
While they are in this relaxed state, the hypnotherapist will make suggestions related to what they want to achieve.
Very often, we are in this state when we are going about our daily activities, like the weekly grocery shopping, where we can do one task while thinking about another.
Kerry, who practices in Norwich, specializes in women’s health, with fertility being a particular area of interest.
And her experiences of perimenopause, the changes that occur in the years leading up to menopause and the end of menstruation, led her to explore ways in which hypnotherapy could help — to “transform” her, as she describes it.
Everyone’s perimenopause and menopause will be different, with the fluctuation and reduction of reproductive hormones leading to a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms, which can include anxiety, brain fog, fatigue, bloating, weight loss, weight, aches and hot flashes.
Menopause was once euphemistically called “the change” in hushed tones – although it’s something half the population will experience at some point.
But now, thanks to TV presenters like Davina McCall and Mariella Frostrup who have been open about their own experiences, it is pushed to the forefront of the health agenda, with issues such as HRT shortages making the one of the newspapers.
Kerry is also a Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) practitioner and life coach, which allows her to take a holistic approach.
“It’s such an upheaval for women, because our hormones change. You’re moving into a different stage of life, and to some degree our hormones are fundamental in the development of our ‘drivers’, our moods, our personalities even,” Kerry explains.
“There is a huge change happening. So I think on some level using things like visualization and coaching techniques helps women explore what’s next. All the cultural messages we receive say to stay young and that youth is better and everything will dry up and shrivel up into non-existence.
“So giving women the space or the tools to explore who they want to become and what’s important to them and reframing that as an opportunity to step into something new can make a big difference.”
Perimenopause and menopause come at a time in a woman’s life when they often perform the ultimate juggling act – they can raise their own children while caring for aging parents, working and managing a home. simultaneously.
And at the same time, what Kerry calls their “tolerance window” is shrinking in many areas, both emotionally and physically.
“Emotionally, women become less tolerant of the garbage that goes on in their family.
“Physically, the brain is less tolerant of temperature changes, so that’s what hot flashes are for,” Kerry explains.
Hot flashes are one of the symptoms that many women dread, but as Kerry explains, there is a hypnotherapy technique that can help.
“Ironically, hot flashes must cool us down because the brain freaks out if the temperature fluctuates,” she says.
“There is a technique in hypnotherapy called grounding, which is a way of reliving everything that you have ever experienced.
“The physiology of something is stored, so if you imagine, for example, eating something disgusting, you’ll probably start feeling sick again.
“When you imagine something, you create a physiological response, so in the case of something like a hot flash, you can teach people to access the feeling of coolness and calm, and then you can almost define what feels like to a shortcut on someone’s computer who can teach them how to get there quickly rather than having to do a long, drawn out hypnotherapy session.”
And, says Kerry, physiological changes can lead to increased anxiety — something that hypnotherapy can effectively address.
“Any physiological changes that happen trigger anxiety so we tend to have heightened anxiety and you can use hypnotherapy as a way to learn how to calm that down and reset because a lot of women that age lose confidence because of it.”
Kerry incorporates her own perimenopause experiences into her workshops.
“I am literally my own guinea pig. My personal experience is that whatever has happened to me so far I have been able to handle either with a mindset, rest, diet and exercise and, knock on wood, I’m doing great and was able to eradicate all the symptoms I have, except I definitely need a good hour of extra sleep per night.
She says perimenopause and menopause are when women should put themselves first — making sure they are adopting healthy self-care habits, like eating well, exercising and reducing stress levels.
“They get to the bottom of the pile and they suffer from it, and when menopause comes it’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back and all the cracks start to show.
“So it’s very important for women to take care of themselves. I don’t mean slow down like quitting, I mean slow down like taking better care of themselves and reassessing what they want.
“The hormones we have during our childbearing years are literally designed to domesticate us so that we don’t leave our babies and abandon our families, so when they wane it’s actually an opportunity for women to check in and to say, okay, I’ve taken care of everyone, now it’s time to take care of myself.
For more information, including details of Kerry’s online Tranceform Menopause Workshops, see wombservice.co.uk