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Healthy Menopause
Without HRT - I

By  Dr Nancy Lonsdorf

MENOPAUSE: IT'S ABOUT BALANCE

The medical community is quickly evolving its understanding of menopause. Following the abrupt, early halt to the HRT portion of the Women's Health Initiative last July, due to findings that Hormone Replacement Therapy's risks outweighed its benefits, headlines now read "Menopause is not a disease, but a normal part of life." Hormone "replacement" therapy (HRT) has become simply hormone "therapy" (HT) in recognition of the fact that replacing estrogen is not natural and brings dangerous side-effects, rather than the fountain of youth once touted.

Shocking and novel as these concepts may be to today's medical community, they are nothing new to Ayurveda, a consciousness-based natural medical system from ancient India. For over 5000 years, Ayurveda has acknowledged menopause as a natural transition, not a mistake of Mother Nature's that requires hormone replacement therapy. Maharishi Ayurveda reassures us that menopause can be health-promoting, spiritually-transforming and free of troublesome symptoms.

Experts today are affirming this positive view of menopause, stating that it is not natural to get weak bones, heart disease and rapid aging after menopause. Rather, osteoporosis, heart disease and other chronic health problems develop over a lifetime, resulting largely from poor diet, stress and lack of physical exercise. And hormone replacement therapy (HRT,) once heavily promoted as the medical solution to these problems, is no longer recommended for their treatment or prevention.

MENOPAUSE: A "BALANCE DEFICIENCY"

What is recommended for the prevention of major health problems after menopause is a healthy lifestyle. And, according to Ayurveda, healthy living is also the best way to ease symptoms of the menopause transition itself. How balanced, or overall healthy you and your lifestyle are when you reach menopause largely determines how smooth your transition will be. If you are "burning the candle at both ends" in your 30's and early 40's, you are more likely to have mood swings, sleep problems and troublesome hot flashes when your hormones start to change. Whereas if you are have healthy lifestyle habits and are managing your stress effectively, you are likely to breeze through menopause without any major problems.

Health problems at menopause represent imbalances in the body that were already growing in the body and are unmasked by the stress of shifting hormones. Menopause symptoms are Nature's wake-up call to let you know you need to start paying more attention to your health. Age forty-five to fifty-five is a critical decade, according to Ayurveda. It provides the foundation on which your later health is laid. Just like putting money in your IRA, timely investing in your health can dramatically increase your "yield" of healthy years at midlife and beyond. Particularly if you have not been taking care of yourself in your 30's and 40's, making lifestyle changes now is critical to ensuring that you age gracefully without the burden of chronic health problems.

To Be Continued


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Dr Nancy Lonsdorf is the Medical Director of The Raj Ayurveda Health Center in Vedic City Iowa. Dr Lonsdorf, who has 17 years of clinical experience with Ayurveda, received her M.D. from Johns Hopkins and did her postgraduate training at Stanford. She has studied Ayurveda with some of the world's most renowned Ayurvedic physicians in India, Europe and the U.S.

Dr. Lonsdorf has writen A Woman's Best Medicine: Health, Happiness and Long Life through Maharishi Ayur-Veda (Penguin/Putnam 1995) and A Woman's Best Medicine for Menopause: Your Personal Guide to Radiant Good Health using Maharishi Ayurveda (Contemporary/McGraw Hill 2002)

Dr Nancy can be reached at info@ayurveda-ayurvedic.com .

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