What are the alternatives to HRT for menopausal clients?
While HRT has been the standard solution for menopausal symptoms for many years, lots of women prefer to explore different options, ranging from diet to holistic therapies or a combination of different approaches. As we collectively gather more knowledge and understanding about menopause, more women feel confident to approach this time in their lives in a way that they feel comfortable. As therapists we can provide support on a number of levels:
- By improving our own knowledge about menopause and the options women have for handling symptoms
- By offering hormonal wellness touch treatments that support them on their journey
What is HRT?
HRT (hormone replacement therapy), is a medical treatment for menopausal symptoms. It’s only available on prescription in the UK, and it works by replacing the hormones women no longer produce naturally - namely oestrogen and progesterone.
Why do some women want to avoid HRT?
While some women simply want to let their bodies do their own thing naturally, and that’s reason enough to choose not to take HRT, for other women HRT is not a recommended option. For example, if they have a history of hormone-sensitive cancers, particularly breast cancer, then their doctor may recommend different approaches.
It’s important to know that this isn’t a blanket approach to anyone with a history of cancer - everyone is different, so it’s always important for women to speak to their oncologist and come to the right decision for them.
As therapists, we should never demonise HRT, simply be aware of the choices that our clients might be experiencing. Those who have benefitted from our Diplomas of Hormonal Wellness Mentoring and Coaching may find that it’s something women choose to talk to us about as they navigate their own path.
What are the alternatives to HRT?
For some women it’s a question of finding alternative solutions to HRT when it comes to managing menopausal symptoms. For other’s it’s about combining holistic wellness with medical support. Different things work for different people, but amongst the approaches to supporting women with menopausal symptoms, are nutrition, holistic therapies, exercise and phytohormones.
Nutrition for menopause
Diet is a great way for anyone to influence their health and wellbeing - as we know. The body has different needs at different times in our lives, and adapting what we eat and drink can have a big impact on how women experience menopausal symptoms. It probably won’t stop symptoms from occurring, but understanding the impact of diet on symptoms can help minimise them or at least not exacerbate them.
Holistic therapies for menopause
You don’t need us to tell you that holistic therapies are good for mind, body and soul. For menopausal women, the benefits can range from helping to manage symptoms with treatments like acupuncture, to easing anxiety with massage and reflexology. Of course, therapies can be enhanced through the strategic use of essential oils and purposely chosen products as well - more on that below.
Exercise during menopause
Much like nutrition, exercise is something that generally always has a positive impact on how we feel and how our bodies handle change. For menopausal women, the mindfulness component of exercise is also especially important, with many finding that gentle exercise like walking, yoga and Pilates are a great way to ease anxiety, help manage weight and ease brain fog.
We have mentioned phytohormones/plant hormones before, and we have used them in our dedicated MPlus specialist skincare range, which is also suited to our Hormonal Wellness Touch Therapies. These naturally occurring oestrogens are becoming increasingly popular and can be used to help balance hormones, both through diet (they’re highly prevalent in things like chickpeas, soy beans and oats), and also applied topically in skincare products.
We know how important it is to therapists to feel that they are supporting clients in the best way possible. So, in addition to the launch of our hormonal wellness courses, we have also put together a free guide to understanding menopause, to help you support your clients.
Download our free menopause guide