Tag Archives: Menopause

A Woman’s Time Menopause Research Study

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A request from the folks at A Woman’s Time:

We are doing a clinical trial to evaluate the effectiveness of an experimental herbal product in menopausal women with hot flashes and night sweats. Participation for women in the study would last about three and one-half months and would require 4 visits to our office in Portland, Oregon. Payments to you of $20 will be made for each of the last three visits.

We are seeking women over 45 who have an average of 5 or more hot flashes and/or night sweats per day (at least 35 per week) to test the herbal product to see if it helps.

To see if you might qualify for this study, please click on the questionnaire here. You do not have to answer any questions you do not want to answer. You may stop the questionnaire at any time. If you do not qualify for this study, some of the information you give, but not identifiable information about you, will be stored until the end of the study.

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Looking Forward to Menopause? Yes! Here’s Why…

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Witch Hexing

Happy Halloween! Hope it’s pleasantly scary and filled with candy that suits your every sweet tooth.

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This witch made the mistake of not looking forward. She was hexing while flying!

But speaking of looking forward, I love this list on Everyday Health of eleven reasons to look forward to menopause. Check them out here.

The article outlines the physical advantages of menopause such as no more periods and no more PMS. Then it goes on to the intellectual and emotional reasons to look forward to the Great Pause.

Dr. Cynthia Stuenkel, an endocrinologist at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, suggests that menopausal women “ask themselves if they’re headed in the direction they want to go, both professionally and personally, and whether the way they’re spending their time is meaningful to them.”

There’s that heading in the right direction again!

What about you? 

Have you changed directions? Or are you thinking of it?

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The misguided witch above graced the lawn of my neighbor, Linda Ostrand, last Halloween.

On Menopause

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just mom

A post by my friend Ann Rocap. I recently met Ann at the Tablerock Writers Workshop, and I asked her to write a post for Friend for the Ride. Thanks, Ann!

On Menopause

Ann Rocap

Birth date June, 1926

So, you are approaching menopause.  Don’t worry.  It is the gateway to the best years of your life.  At least it was for me.

It meant the end of irregular and painful periods, cramps, cold sweats, nausea, flooding and at the most inconvenient times – my honeymoon for instance.  Even after having three children I still had problems with my periods.

Menopause arrived in my early fifties accompanied by occasional hot flashes.  I only remember them at night when I had to sleep on top of the covers.  Somewhere I had heard that the pancreas could produce small amounts of estrogen after the ovaries have shut down.  In the middle of the night I would call on my pancreas to get cracking.  I believe in mind over matter.  We do have amazing control over what happens in our bodies.

Another thing I was told is to expect weight gain.  That does not need to happen.  It is what you put in and what you put out that controls weight.  I did not want to grow out of my clothes and I didn’t.  Well, maybe some of those short shorts.

My sister who is five and a half years older than I am encouraged me regarding menopause.  “Love making can be more spontaneous.”

The good thing is that after menopause your body settles into a more even keel.  Emotional highs and lows moderate.

I felt so much stronger – ready to take on new physical challenges – lap swimming, hiking, back packing.  I even bought myself sporting equipment for the first time in my life – cross country skis and boots.  It was so liberating to be able to make plans and count on being well.  Life presented me with many opportunities to take up responsibilities that I was ready and willing to undertake.

The fifties, sixties, seventies, and eighties have been good years for me, and they can be for you!

A short bio, written by Ann: I was born in Media in 1926, the youngest child in a family of three. After graduation from high school, my desire was to attend art school, but instead I  went to a secretarial school and got a job in Philadelphia.

In 1950, I married attorney Edward Rocap and continued to live in Media, Pennsylvania. We raised three children and filled our lives with Christian service of one kind or another. In 2001, my husband retired after practicing law for fifty years, and we moved to Cedar Grove, NC.  My husband died in 2011.

I have always enjoyed my family, my friends, painting, journaling, listening to classical music, bird watching, and taking a good walk.

About Table Rock Writers Workshop: Read more about this fabulous writers workshop in the mountains of North Carolina here on their website. 

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Bochorno* Escolar: Hot Flashes at School

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                    Spa 304 final at mercado BA

A post by writer, teacher, and healer Sirena Pellarolo    

Se siente bien, maestra?” the student who was sitting directly in front of me asked.Are you ok?”

I could barely respond. I was standing there, in the middle of the circle of students–my favorite format for conducting class– trying to keep my “cool” and remember what I was doing there. I had felt a hot flash mounting up my legs from the very bottom of my feet, increasing temperature as it ascended, until it got to its highest tension in my face and head. It then erupted in visible sweat that flashed my face and made my neck and armpits moist. It was a power surge indeed, and my face was red as a tomato and my consciousness astral travelling.

When I was able to finally come back to my senses, I sat down in front of twenty faces that looked at me in horror. And then I calmly said: “It’s a hot flash!”

That day I learnt that it was better to warn my students as soon as I felt the glimpse of a hot flash coming. It didn’t matter if I was lecturing about tango women or Eva Perón, or if the designated student was giving a presentation about that day’s reading. As soon as I felt my head becoming lighter at the onset of what I felt was an of out-of-body experience unfailingly resulting in a dangerous increase of my body temperature, I would yell “Hot flash!”

In time, my students became accustomed to my interruptions of lectures with the disclosing in real time of what my body was going through. They actually started liking the fact that they were privy to my most intimate symptoms punctuating the change I was undergoing in menopause. And one of them, compassionate enough of my desperation to find anything to fan my fiery body with during those trances, one day came to class with a “present.”

“Maestra,” she said. “Last weekend I was in Las Vegas, and my older sister took me to this show, Menopause, the Musical. It reminded me of you. They were giving out these cute fans to audience members, and I thought it would come in handy when you’re teaching class and those hot flashes take you by surprise. “

I looked at the simple tool: a white hand fan with the inscription Menopause, the Musical on its reverse side. I looked at it in appreciation, and thanked the student for her mindfulness. I understood then the importance of these gadgets, and how I had seen my abuelita holding the most exquisite collection of silk fans during her outings. She was a pro at opening and closing it with just a twist of her wrist in a gesture that made her look as a sophisticated matron, who knew what to do with her hands in social gatherings. So now I knew what those fans were actually for!

Needless to say, I tucked the white fan in the bag where I carried my books and folders. It accompanied me to school during those long peri-menopausal years and helped me cool off when needed. It was also good that my school fan was simpler than the beautifully embroidered ones that my abuelita flaunted during tea parties and other social occasions. All things considered, Amalia’s thoughtful gift might have been plain, but it embodied her care, and it also kept me “shame-free” at school.

*bochorno means “shame” in Spanish. The same word was used to name hot flashes, referencing a link between uncontrolled body reactions in aging women and shame.

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Sirena Pellarolo, Ph.D., your Midlife Midwife, is an author, speaker and holistic healer. She supports women in their menopause years to manage symptoms naturally, through cleanses, live foods, and emotional detoxing.  A board certified holistic health coach, raw food educator, detox expert, radio host and blogger, Sirena is Professor Emerita of Spanish and Latin American Cultural Studies. She has authored and published numerous articles and two books on Latin American performance and gender studies, globalization and new social movements.

Her forthcoming book Recover Your Juiciness: A 30 Day DIY Guide for an Empowered and Healthy Menopause will be out next Fall by Flower of Life Press. She has also designed a program, “Four Months Towards an Empowered and Healthy Menopause,” that follows the four stages of healing covered in the book.

For more info check out Sirena’s menopause website, here.

Contact Sirena at info@sirenapellarolo.com

Top Photo:  End of classes dinner with Sirena’s Spanish 304 students at Mercado Buenos Aires, Northridge, California