Contributor: Vanessa Mergulhao
Photographer: She Thinx

Menopause is a woman's natural transition from one stage into another. Ideally, this happens gracefully, without any problems or health concerns. But largely due to our modern lifestyle, with excessive stress and unbalanced diets, this can be a challenging time for some women, leading to unwanted physical and emotional symptoms.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, as we age there is a natural decline of something called Jing or essence, this is our vital energy and it is stored in the Kidneys. We are all born with a particular supply of Jing, which can be nourished throughout our lives by proper nutrition, rest and other self-care practices.

Since Jing, or essence, is at the core of our health, and everything else draws from it, it can lead to deficiencies such as qi or life force, blood or others. These deficiencies manifest as "common" menopause symptoms such as night sweats, hot flashes, anxiety, fatigue and melancholy.

This time of a woman's life can be greatly supported by adopting a healthy lifestyle with a nourishing whole-foods diet, stress-reducing practices, exercise and proper rest.

Acupuncture and herbal medicine can help treat the root cause of imbalance and reduce the symptoms. Ideally treatment with Chinese Medicine should start even before approaching menopause as a preventative care.

Here are some beneficial practices that can help during menopause:

- avoid processed foods, refined sugar, alcohol and caffeine

- include some beneficial foods into your diet such as yams, sesame seeds, brazil nuts, bean sprouts and pumpkin seeds

- practice meditation and breathwork

- incorporate more self-care into your routine such as a massage, walking on the beach or anything that brings you joy.

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