Menopause, Shiatsu and the Power Stage (by Lisabetta Vilela, Shiatsu Practitioner and Energy Healer)

According to ancient Taoist wisdom the Menopause is considered one of the ‘Power Stages’ of a woman’s life. Shiatsu can help support women through the physical and emotional transition of this stage.

Menopause as a ‘Power Stage’

The Western world often dismisses the menopause as yet another “female problem”, but it is a natural and beautiful part of our feminine legacy. This period is viewed as the third Power Stage in Taoist and esoteric tradition: a time to honour the changes occurring at every level for women. With menopause there is no longer a monthly loss of eggs: so older women can retain the powerful chi which is usually lost through menstruation.

This inner redirection of the feminine vital force (our creative essence) during this Power Stage, if well managed could be a perfect time to reach an elevated state of being. This can be supported with shiatsu, chi awareness, exercises, rehydration, nutrition and herbal remedies.

time to reach an elevated state of being...

time to reach an elevated state of being…

Our inner integrity grows and a heightened and glowing intuition is awakened. We begin to embody the power state that is the “Wise Woman”, a woman who has experience enough of life to share her wisdom.
The awareness of being in a rich transitional stage of life, in which women let go of what they no longer need, helps to manage the discomfort of the symptoms that may arise.

The perception of menopause solely as a mechanical shift of the body towards an infertility state can leave women feeling disempowered and frightened.

Relieving Menopause Symptoms with Shiatsu

Shiatsu can help to relieve the symptoms of menopause. The practitioner will work with women who seek help at many levels: energetic, emotional and physical, each one influencing the other and thus generating a cascade of well-being and regained health.

The shiatsu practitioner will work on the energy meridians according to symptoms and causes. These include hormonal imbalance, fatigue, hot flashes, anxiety and nervous disorders, heart palpitations, ringing in the ears and dizziness.

The Makko-ho chi exercises, a simple sequence of breathing/stretching exercises, can also help unblock and open the body’s energy meridians. This is a great self-help tool which, used daily, can help manage the symptoms and maintain balance.

Lisabetta Vilela is offering discounted packages for shiatsu and the Makko-Ho stretches course to help with the menopause. Just give us a call on 020 3384 0509 to book your place. 🙂


She’s on the change! by Jane Miller

“She’s on the change!”

It was a phrase often whispered between women when I was a child. It summed up and explained away everything about the poor woman who was the object of concern. If a women who was no longer young should get angry or start crying or, heaven forbid, be dissatisfied with her life and family, she was either mercilessly gossiped about or knowingly forgiven. It’s funny, I can still see so many women whispering behind their hands and giving a conspiratorial nod to each other.

Somehow the dreaded ‘change’ was talked about by everyone yet why did so few seem to want to understand what that person was going through? The poor woman who really was struggling with the effects of the menopause would find herself so often alone, misunderstood and being told to ‘pull herself together’ or just get on and stop complaining.

Many anxious, unwell and unhappy women of my mother’s generation went to see doctors (mostly male), who simply didn’t comprehend the shock to the system and the emotional and physical effects it can have. Their husbands didn’t know, didn’t want to know and most often didn’t believe that they had any reason to be feeling so bad. The more caring ones often kept a shy distance, feeling inadequate and worried in silence.

Then along came Hormone Replacement Treatment. My mother was one of the early guineapigs for HRT. After being ignored by her own GP for years she eventually became so anaemic from continuous menstruation she had to be admitted to hospital. She finally was given a female consultant who wanted to do everything possible to help. She received a slow release implant which should last for three months, though nobody knew quite how long it would actually. When she started feeling rough again she would contact her gynaecologist to arrange for another implant. And at the age of 70+ my mother was still on HRT and still struggling with erratic and very heavy periods. In fact I was already free of that monthly hassle for many years, whilst my mother was still subject to indignities and inconveniences she should have been able to leave behind a long time before.


We might have started to use the official term menopause as opposed to the ‘old wives’ name, but were we any further in helping women? Finally some help was being offered and more women were being listened to. The down-side though was that HRT was heralded as the magic answer that saved the day and started being handed out to anyone who was over 40 and felt a ‘bit down’. It seems to me that no one actually thought that my mother and other women like her may want or need to experience menopause; to pass through the changes to the other side.

I now believe there was more sense to the old name than I used to think. It truly is a time of change and any change brings challenges and questions that can be hard to deal with. It is a time of hormonal changes and the accompanying physiological turmoil, which also coincide with a time of life changes, such as children leaving and parents ageing. It’s a very real sign that we are growing older and all that that implies.

I wonder where we are at now and how much further we have to go in understanding ourselves and in being understood. I still hear so many women literally dreading the menopause, convinced that they will suffer terribly. Of course anxiety, depression, mood swings are common symptoms but then many people experience those with or without the menopause. Remember too that for many people it isn’t too rough a ride at all and I can promise you there many gains on the other side.

There is one thing for certain though, whatever symptoms you, or your mother or your wife are going through, there is no need to suffer alone and in silence. If you’re not in a position to get professional help from a therapist at least talk with your friends and family. Explain how you feel and ask for their help and understanding while you ride the roller-coaster of your hormonal and life changes.
If anxiety and depression or mood swings are getting too much for you, please can contact Jane Miller to discuss how she can help you.

Jane and Janet Rich will be holding a group support workshop here on Thursday 17th October during our Menopause week. Just give us a call on 020 3384 0509 to book your place. 🙂

Herbs to help the menopause

How can herbs help with the symptoms and change of the menopause?
Herbalists have always viewed the peri-menopause and menopause as a normal transition rather than a deficiency disease and herbs are merely a way of easing some of the symptoms which may arise during this time. The symptoms are as varied as the women who get them,  but there are a few symptoms which tend to be mentioned more, eg hot flushes, mood swings and sleeplessness.

Medicinal herbs

Medicinal herbs

Usually a number of herbs are chosen and combined in an individual prescription to take into account each woman’s own constellation of menopausal symptoms. These may of course change over time and so the prescription will be adjusted accordingly. There are many herbal ‘over the counter’ preparations available, but it is important to remember that these cater for a wide range of people and may therefore not be as effective for the individual.

For many GPs in Germany, herbal preparations are now the first line treatment for menopausal complaints. Some herbs have been extensively researched and their effectiveness can be shown in the lab. Black Cohosh is perhaps the best known ‘menopausal’ herb and has been subjected to a lot of research and studies. It has an oestrogen-like effect on the body which makes the drop in oestrogen, which causes so many of the symptoms, less drastic. It is often prescribed in combination with St John’s Wort and has been found to be effective in the management of mood changes, hot flushes and sleeping problems. These herbs may be at the core of a herbal prescription and combined with herbs which are more specific to the various symptoms, i.e. relaxing nervines for sleeping difficulties.

Herb tea

Herb tea


There are plenty of herbs to choose from for the treatment of the various symptoms and the amount of information found on the internet or in books can sometimes be overwhelming. Self-prescribing can be fine in some cases but is not recommended for anyone with other medical problems or on any medication. A herbalist will always take into account the patient’s medical history and medication and adapt the prescription accordingly.

A simple and safe home remedy to ease hot flushes and increase general wellbeing:
1tbsp dried Red Clover flowers
1 tbsp dried Sage
1 tbsp dried Lemon balm
Cover the above with 500ml – 800ml of boiling water and infuse for at least 10 minutes. Strain off the herbs and drink the tea throughout the day. Can be drunk warm or cold.

Marion Colledge
Medical Herbalist BSc (Hons) MNIMH

Marion will be talking about how herbs can help with menopause symptoms here on Tuesday 22nd October from 7-9pm.

If you would like to book a consultation with Marion at The Little Escape just give us a call on 020 3384 0509. 🙂

Stoptober: Quit Smoking with Hypnotherapy!

Thinking of Quitting smoking, but think it might be too hard to quit?

Think again!

Why Stop Smoking?

1. Smoking is bad for you, Gone are the days when tobacco companies could deny this!

2. Smoking increases your risk of a wide range of life threatening diseases.

3. Smoking can endanger the health of others. For example, even if you smoke outside of your home, the health of your children is endangered.

4. The health benefits of becoming a non-smoker include; longer life expectancy, more energy, better breath, improved immune function, better skin, more enjoyment of your food.

5. Willpower alone is not that effective as a way of quitting smoking: only 3-5% of smokers are still non-smokers a year later.

6. The financial benefits: 20/day at £8 is £2920/year
a. 40/day at £8 is £5840/year

Imagine what could you do with that spare money rather than give it to the tobacco companies?

Research has shown that Hypnotherapy has cited as:
‘Three times more effective than nicotine replacement therapy.’
‘The most effective way of stopping smoking’

Simon Pimenta – Hypnotherapist/ Life Coach/ NLP practitioner. Simon is available on Mondays at The Little Escape – to book a free 15 minute consultation with him contact us here 🙂