Today I’m going to talk about hot flashes and about how they can make you crazy! In peri-menopause hot flashes will often start right before your period. You may not experience them at all during most of the month or you may have a few intermittently in the middle of the night. As you get closer to menopause you may start to experience them more often.
The reason you have hot flashes is not just that the estrogen in your body goes out of balance. There is a group of chemicals called “catecholamines” that is also connected to hot flashes. Epinephrine and norepinephrine are chemicals made in your nervous system. Their job is to help you get ready for flight or fight when you’re stressed. During your normal cycle, your estrogen levels begin to rise after your period ends. They peak at ovulation and then begin to drop again. When you move into peri-menopause your estrogen levels drop even further than normal. Your body is more prone to hot flashes at this lower level. Interestingly you can also have hot flashes if you have too much estrogen. As with all things in your body – everything is about balance.
Energy and Balance
In the philosophy of Chinese medicine, you have both yin energy and yang energy. Yin is described as feminine: cool, calm, moist – the nighttime energy. Where the Yang is masculine: hot, sunny, bright – the daytime energy. As the beautiful picture that represents this duality symbolizes, that energy must flow together and be equal.
So in peri-menopause that Yin energy – the feminine, hormonal energy – is dropping. When the Yin is lower than it is supposed to be – typically at night – your Yang energy will artificially be raised out of its balanced position, and this causes the hot flashes.
There are many things you can do to help raise your yin energy. Anything that is more focused on the ‘feminine side’ will help. Spend more time doing things that encourage rest and relaxation. Don’t over do exercise, or food, or work. Dietary things will help cool your body as well. For example you can eat blueberries – they are cooling and moistening and these little guys really help boost your yin energy and help calm the imbalances brought on by peri-menopause! Other food habits such as avoiding processed foods, sugar, poor quality meats, and more can also help balance your hormones. You can also take Chinese herbs specifically to help balance yin and yang, or have acupuncture. If all else fails, you can do a hormone test in order to determine exactly what is going on and use specific supplement or bio-identical hormones to help balance them. .
If you’d like to learn more, I am part of the peri-menopause summit from March 18th to March 24th and this weekend is the free replay weekend! You can listen to me and other amazing experts talk about natural ways to balance your hormones.
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