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Menopause and our Hearts
So it is a fair statement to say, that Massage with or without Aromatherapy has been shown to reduce the severity of symptoms among Menopausal women, according to recent research. However, the study’s authors found that aromatherapy massage yielded significantly better results than the massage without aromatherapy. Why is the nugget of information so important? Read on…
Menopause isn’t typically a life threatening condition – but in extreme cases, it can bring upon symptoms like rapid heart beat that feels like it is. The occasional feeling that your heart “skips a beat” does not necessarily indicate a serious medical problem. For those with menopause, rapid heart beat should be monitored by your doctor to check for a mitral valve prolapse which is a mild deformity of a heart valve.
Palpitation is when the heart races repeatedly without any sign of stopping. It’s not only extremely uncomfortable, it’s downright frightening. Premature contractions cause the heart to beat twice really quickly, causing more blood to enter the heart on the third beat. This increased amount of blood makes the heart contract even more. In essence, it is a forceful pulsation that can sometimes be caused by stress.
Stress can come from menopausal symptoms like irregular periods, annoying ringing of the ears (tinnitus), insomnia, panic attacks, depression, and everyday occurrences like the simple yelling and shouting of a child at the playground.
When you perceive a stressor, hormones from your brain pass into the bloodstream alerting the adrenal glands. In response they secrete corticosteroid hormone including cortisol.
When cortisol raises sometimes twenty fold, the body speeds up its blood sugar burning capacity providing an instant surge of energy. Cortisol causes your heart to beat faster in order to pump oxygen-bearing blood more quickly into your tissues. Too much of cortisol can lead to diabetes or high blood pressure, so this is a process of you can to be conscious of and learn to cope with by practicing such relaxing techniques as yoga, meditation and Pilates.
The addition of caffeine loaded drinks can worsen this condition as can smoking. In order to avoid rapid heart beat and palpitations, it is best to refrain from stress and maintain a healthy diet. Alcohol and coffee are known to excite the heart’s processes, causing it to work much harder than it has to.
So with all these stressors and the possible side-effects of this stress, Aromatherapy Massage should be scheduled (and circled in red) at least monthly to allow our bodies to rest, relax, let go of the stress, remember what it feels like to be in a more calm and balanced state.
I recommend the following oils for your Aromatherapy Massage:
Unfortunately anxious feelings and stressful situations are not going to simply disappear. This is where dealing with our stress becomes a priority. Managing a lot of daily stress comes down to some simple and quick solutions listed below. While this list is not comprehensive, it is a start in helping you identify ways to help yourself. We recommend that you pick the easiest solutions for you, and then practice them on a daily basis or whenever you feel the need.
- In any situation, take two minutes to breathe. We’re not just talking about trying to breathe deeply in and out here, though that is the start of it. Improve on this idea by using the 4–7–8 breathing exercise. Breathing only through your nose, count to four as you deeply inhale, then count to seven as you hold your breath, and count to eight as you exhale. Repeat the cycle three more times. This should take around two minutes to complete. This will help you focus on your body and help you breathe more deeply on a regular basis without even needing to think about it.
- Drink herbal tea. If you’ve never tried herbal tea, now might be a good time to give it a try for some stress relief. Teas like lemon balm, peppermint, chamomile, or passion flower are helpful. You can incorporate essential oils into your tea as well—infuse a drop of essential oils like Roman Chamomile, Lavender, or Melissainto herbal teas like chamomile to soothe the body and mind.* Just the act of drinking warm tea can also be soothing and relaxing and just the boost you need for the day.
- Get outside in the fresh air. Although this is easier to do when the weather is nice, even when the weather is not ideal, it is a good idea to at least get a few minutes of fresh air each day and get your body moving. Reconnecting to the outside world and nature can help you refocus and feel better. If you can’t go outside in this moment, reach for Vetiver. Its calming and grounding effect on emotions is great to diffuse, or to put directly in your palms, cup your hands around your nose, and inhale.
- Exercise for at least for 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Exercise is known to bump up the level of endorphin production, improves your mood, and helps you move past the day’s irritations. Learn more about exercise and stress resilience here.
- Set out 10 minutes in the morning for meditation. In yoga specifically, meditating is about being grounded physically and mentally, and coming to an expanded state of awareness. You can start meditating by choosing a consistent time and place, and then picking something to focus on for that session. (Examples of different focuses include a helpful intention or affirmation like “I am relaxed”, counting your breath as in point number one, or visualizing your favorite spot in nature and trying to keep your focus on that only.) Don’t be discouraged if your mind starts to wander, just refocus back on your purpose. You can also increase the effects of mediation by diffusing calming oils like Frankincense while you practice. There are many other ways to meditate, try different kinds before you determine how to incorporate it into your daily life.
- Give yourself a hand massage. According to a 2008 study published by the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, a five-minute hand massage can lower stress levels. If you can’t find anyone to give you one, you can massage your own hands. To reduce the effects of daily stress, put a drop of Ylang Ylang or AromaTouch® and some Fractionated Coconut Oil into your palms and massage your hand slowly using the AromaTouch Hand Technique.
- Apply PastTense® or doTERRA Peace®. Because PastTense comes in a roll-on bottle, this grounding and soothing blend is convenient and easy to use. (doTERRA Peace also comes in a roll-on version that is equally as easy.) You can apply either blend to your temples, wrists, or the back of your neck in times when you need to quickly ease stressful or anxious feelings on the go.
- Ensure that you get enough sleep. Dr. David K. Hill, doTERRA Chief Medical Advisor, insists that, “Sufficient amounts of rest provide bodies with an opportunity to recover from the day’s activity, improve energy levels, and reduce the effects of stress.” If you currently struggle with falling asleep, diffuse doTERRA Serenity® about 30 minutes before you go to bed, or take doTERRA Serenity® Softgels.
- Generate a support system. This may be our most important tip, because even though it can be hard to reach out to others when you feel overwhelmed, sometimes it is necessary to depend on other people for help. Don’t try to keep going alone. Even if the stress is over something that you feel you have to do alone, at least having someone there to listen or give you a hug (which is proven to help with stress on its own) can help more than you realize.
Here are a few more references and resources to consider when addressing stress in your life. Every woman’s path through Menopause is different, and just when you feel you have it all figured out, it changes. Journey on sweet friends, you got this!
Don’t forget…book our Aromatherapy Massage today, your body and heart will thank you!
In health and wellness,