October 29, 2023

Navigating menopause: How one conversation can change lives

Creating a calm and considerate conversation about menopause, that will benefit both client and holistic therapist is much easier than you think.

My main top tip is to not start with menopause, and forget everything you heard about menopause being taboo, stigma, or an ‘issue’. At The Menopause School, we do things differently, and we certainly do not use negative terminology and doom and gloom forecasts.

Fact: Menstrual health is the precursor to menopause health.

The first rule of menopause school is, we don’t talk about menopause, unless, we talk about menstrual health first.

Did you know that during perimenopause, the time leading up to menopause (day), menstruation patterns are often irregular and create many physical and emotional challenges? The sex hormones involved are the same from the day menstruation starts, it’s just a different part of the chronological aging timeline, so talking about menstrual health is actually the obvious place to start the menopause conversation.

But, how do you start a confident conversation? Developing a calm and clear way of talking about menstrual health can seem daunting at first. Let’s look at 5 simple non-intrusive ways to do it that can be adapted to all wellness modalities:

​​1. Display Educational Material: In your waiting area or treatment room, place pamphlets or posters that provide basic information about menstrual health. This can include explanations of the menstrual cycle, common symptoms, and self-care tips.

2. Include It in Your Intake Form: When clients fill out their intake forms, include a section where they can voluntarily provide information about their menstrual health. You might ask about the regularity of their cycles, symptoms, or any specific issues they’d like to address.

3. Broach the Topic Gently: During the initial consultation, you can gently introduce the subject by asking a broad question, such as, “Is there anything related to your menstrual cycle that you’d like me to be aware of in terms of your massage treatment?”, if you were a hands-on therapist for example.

4. Provide Information Sheets: Offer clients informational sheets about how your treatments can be tailored to relieve symptoms like cramps, back pain, or stress. This can be handed out after the session or emailed to them.

5. Be Open and empathetic: Make it clear to your clients that you are open to discussing menstrual health. Encourage questions and let them know that you are there to provide a safe space for them to express themselves.

Remember that the goal is to create an environment where clients feel comfortable sharing their own stories so you can enhance their treatment experience. Menstrual health is an important aspect of overall well-being, and by introducing the topic to clients in simple ways you can gradually discuss the wider subject in terms of where they are on their hormone highway. Eventually, when the conversation reaches menopause know-how, they are in a much better place to receive the information.

Fiona Catchpowle

Let’s start the story of menopause in a better place

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