Male Announcer: You’re listening to From Pain to Possibility with Susi Hately. You will hear Susi’s best ideas on how to reduce or even eradicate your pain and learn how to listen to your body when it whispers so you don’t have to hear it scream. And now here’s your host, Susi Hately.
Welcome and welcome back. With this episode I want to share with your key insights that I have learned and noticed among my clientele who are going through perimenopause and menopause. And whether they are struggling through the process or not what has been ultimately learned as they’ve been moving through that process and some of the ideas that have kind of bubbled out of that and the patterns that have occurred.
Now, I’m really fortunate that ever since I’ve started in this world of supporting people and their reduction and eradication of pain, which is coming onto 30 years now, most of my clientele have been older than me throughout my entire career, with a large percentage of people in the age of 55 to 65.
So I’ve seen a lot of people who are at the end stages of perimenopause into menopause. And I’ve seen a lot of people just having different experiences and different insights as a result of the practice that they are doing, tuning into their bodies in new ways. And so as a result of that there’s been some very interesting patterns that have been recognized and acknowledged through this transition of life.
And I say that very specifically because so often when we are reading about perimenopause or menopause the first word that comes to mind are symptoms. And symptoms are aligned with conditions or diseases where there is something wrong, broken, or needs fixing.
And it’s a really common way that society views this phase of life. So even if you have an upbeat view around this transition, it’s very easy to have this idea that something is broken to be lodged in the back of one’s brain simply because that is such a common way that society views this, right? it’s those inherent societal norms.
So it becomes really interesting as someone tunes into themselves and really can pay attention and then notice what some of these thoughts are that are driving what their experience is, that can all begin to shift. Especially when they start to recognize that this truly is a transition.
Now, to highlight this and to really be specific about this I remember having a conversation with my naturopath when I was at the start of perimenopause. And something that she said really struck me, how I was now in a phase where the energy that was once directed toward fertility, the possibility of creating life, of nurturing and growing babies, is now being redirected.
The creative force that was so tuned for one specific task is now no longer needed for that task and can be utilized for a totally different task. And she said to me that so many women she has seen in their 50s just take off because there’s this new power of creation that can be directed to something else entirely.
When I speak with my colleagues in traditional Chinese medicine they all say the same thing, that while it’s the end of one creative phase, it is also a whole new beginning to another creative phase. Some of them will go so far as to say that the pattern that they have seen amongst their patient base is that those who are struggling have a common pattern around not knowing what that next phase it.
So that’s kind of curious. Now, this is all second-hand knowledge but it’s just a curious idea around the process of this change of phase. When I share these ideas with my clients it really can shift this reality. And I got into this a little bit with Mona Warner who is our Ayurveda trainer and is training to become an Ayurvedic doctor. She worked inside of our certification program and is really steeped inside of Ayurveda, which is the traditional form of Indian medicine.
She was saying in that episode that the reality is is that it can be bumpy and it can be a difficult process. But yet it doesn’t make it any worse than someone who is finding their process smoother. There is a tendency that if someone has an easier go at it that it’s somehow better. But again, it’s what we’re learning from the process that seems to be what is vital.
And from what I’ve heard is that when someone begins to recognize that it’s about what we’re learning, or at least part of it is, the process becomes a bit easier. Something begins to evolve, the transition of creative energy directed one way to creative energy directing another way.
But to enter into this type of thinking requires another important insight I’ve noticed, which is to trust. As in trusting themselves. And this is something I’ve noticed with a lot of my clients, is the idea of learning to trust themselves. To trust the sensations, to trust symptoms and how that can be actually quite challenging, particularly at first.
But then as they continue to be my client, as they can tune into sensation, as they tune into the whispers, as they tune into yellow lights they recognize that these sensations, these symptoms, they’re messengers and trust develops and continues to develop further. And it blends into the tendency of who my clients tend to be, which is that many of them are already quite intuitive.
They’re also very logical in the way that they process information. So they can bring together quite a lot of data and come up with a solution or they can just have these insights of flashes of waves where they don’t need the evidence to say what they’re doing is right, they just know. So they're really great at bypassing their body, right? They either are getting these intuitive hits or they're using their brain to process data in a remarkable way.
But by being able to bypass their body, by being able to push aside symptoms, by being able to push aside sensations and live their life, they stop listening to their body. And that's one reason why they show up on my doorstep or in my Zoom room. As they work with me, they begin to learn about how their body is a battery, their body is a barometer, and the sensations are their body whispering messages at them.
So as they are able to better understand their movement, as they're able to tune in and become quieter, as they recognize what I call the yellow lights and really recognize what their messaging system is for themselves, there's more data for them to take up into their brain and process and there's more room for intuition. And as a result they become more intuitive.
So how this relates to perimenopause and menopause is that in this transition, where there's a lot of hormonal fluctuations, there can be a lot of mood change, dryness in the tissue, changes of libido, limited in orgasm, dry vaginas, now all of these types of scenarios become sensations and messengers. They're able to tune into the whispers of the hormonal fluctuations. They're able to recognize when they need support.
And in some cases someone will need to go to a medical practitioner and receive hormone replacement therapy or some version of hormonal support. Others may realize they need to go to a Chinese or a traditional Chinese medical practitioner to receive herbal or acupuncture support.
Others will go to an Ayurvedic doctor or practitioner and receive nutritional support and other practices that they can do to support themselves in moving through these transitions, in working with these various sensations that they're experiencing.
But to be able to choose the level or the kind of support they need is based off of tuning into what it is that they feel, and tuning into what is a whisper, what is a scream, and what is in between? I've had so many of my clients tell me at different times that the way that they view their hot flashes now or the way that they view their mood swings is a lot different when they can start to recognize the whispers associated with them.
So as an example, they noticed that when their stress levels are higher, that their hot flashes are more intense, that their mood swings may go a little bit more random in some ways. They see the same relationship to not being fed as well or less sleep, right?
So they can start to tune into some of these factors that aren't necessarily causal per se, but are certainly correlated to the experiences that they're having. They start to see the relationship of sensations, which are so often considered symptoms, but simply see them as sensations and start to see them as responses to scenarios that are going on in their body.
Yes, of course, there's a biological reality, there's physiological changes. And those physiological changes are being impacted by other things too. So when they're able to start to see more of what is contributing to the intensity of things like mood swings and hot flashes, they're able to mitigate them better.
And in some cases, if those sensations are really screaming at them and they can't find any correlations, then they might be like, “Okay, I can't find anything that is supporting why this is happening. I need some different kinds of support.” Right?
So whether that, again, is going the way of pharmaceutical or Western medical support or some other kind of support, the way that they're making the choice becomes very powerful and a lot more empowering. Rather than having to bear with it and endure, they're able to sense into and trust their own internal sense and then tie that together with their ability to cognitively process, to logically process, and to make the right choice.
Which correlates to this next point, which I've mentioned already, but I really want to use this like to tie it up. And that is that it's no longer seen, perimenopause or menopause, as a condition with symptoms, but as sensations.
So whether it's dry tissue or hot flash hell, whether it's low libido, limited orgasm, whether it's painful sex, they're now starting to be able to notice what is contributing to whether these things are loud or quiet, soft or hard. They begin to see their body is working for them, not against them. That yes, for sure something might be up and that needs changing, but that's very, very distinct from being broken.
Yes, the process can be a struggle. Yes, it can be difficult. Yes, it can totally feel uncertain at times and really, really, really random. And there's a distinction between those experiences and feeling broken.
Now, I do want to emphasize that if you're someone listening to this and you are feeling broken, please don't interpret what I'm saying as I think you're wrong for feeling that. I think it's a really important piece, if that's what you're noticing is arising. And a really, really, really good indicator to help you decide the kind of support that you need in order to be able to move through the phase in the way you want to or closer to the way that you want to.
Which brings me to this idea of listening closely and being aware. You can get onto Dr. Google and read about all the things that you should be doing. And there are myriad upon myriads of books that you can be reading about doing the right thing. Whereas when you can listen closely to what your own experience is and tune into that, something becomes really interesting.
When you're able to sit with sensation, what do you hear? What can you feel? Can you be quiet enough to just be with it? You don't need to fix it. You don't need to answer it. You don't need to endure it. You don't need to like brace against it. You don't need to change it, just to be with it.
Because when you can tune in and listen and pause and slow down just a bit, then you start to be able to make better choices. And you can tune into what is changed when you implement that choice and be better able to discern what's worked and what hasn't worked.
You'll notice the change of symptomology or sensation. You'll notice a distinction and what's happening in the way that you cognitively process or the way that you feel. So it's super, super, super important because you can really tune in and say okay, is this the right thing for me?
Here's something that I've learned over the years of working with people, whether someone is utilizing pharmaceutical support or herbal support, whether they're choosing an exercise regime or a nutritional regime, if the intervention is what is needed, the body and brain respond very quickly in a positive way.
So you need to be able to pay attention, to listen, to notice, to feel and to perceive. It's a process that is both creative and very, very curious. So if we harken back to what I said earlier in this episode about what my naturopath had said to me, which is when you think about this energy of creation, the energy of giving and supporting life, and how for all of those years that is what that energy was directed to and now that energy has been directed to another purpose.
Just the act of tuning in to your experience to listen, to notice, to feel, to perceive, that in and of itself is the creative process. You're allocating resources in a different way. Moving from one place, one phase to another. And the support you're giving yourself is tuning in and paying attention.
If this idea of menopause and thinking about menopause and perimenopause and really tuning into yourself really resonates with you, then you are going to love what I'm doing on October 1st.
I have brought three medical doctors as well as an Ayurvedic practitioner to speak and teach all day on Saturday, October 1st. We have experts in the field of urology, radiology, as well as an OB/GYN. And they're going to be digging into this experience of menopause, sex, and pleasure.
Now, the reason we're doing this is because so often as people move through perimenopause and menopause the mood swings, the dryness, low libido, limited orgasm, pain with sex can be this taboo topic that is really difficult to address. So we're bringing in these folks who have dug into these ideas because medical school did not provide a whole lot of information about this phase of life and they have really, really dug in.
So you are going to be learning all about better sex, better orgasms, what you can do to support your tissue, as well as how to have conversations, one of the physicians is also a sex therapist, and what you can do about hot flash hell.
And to round it out, as I've mentioned, Mona Warner, our Ayurvedic trainer will be sharing more about the Ayurvedic approach to menopause. It is going to be such a great day. And these are not interviews, they will be teaching and they will be taking your Qs and giving you As, there will be solid Q&A session for each speaker.
Now, if you can't make October 1st, no worries, it will all be recorded and you'll be able to enjoy it for a long time after. All right, so if you want to dig in it's learn.functionalsynergy.com/menopause. I would love for you to join me, filter the information through your own sense of knowing, tune into your body, and choose those pieces that work the best for you. I would love to see you there. Take good care.
If this episode has resonated and you're looking to deepen this idea of getting your body back on board, of listening deeply to your symptoms, of listening to the whispers so you don't have to hear the screams and you're looking for one to one support or professional training, then reach out to us at [email protected]
where we can customize your learning path. That's [email protected]
Looking forward to hearing from you.