Archeus founder Georgina Langdale has interviewed women around the globe about Menopause in order to create natural ways of helping at this time.
She explains how Nature can help with this transition.
Are you one of the many women today who feels relieved that at last, menopause is something that you can speak about?
The idea of menopause being a taboo topic is so last century. In today’s world, we are starting to see recognition and celebration of the reality of women having a middle age and we're able to make more choices about how we navigate this stage of life.
I have to confess that for me, going through menopause has brought with it a sense of stepping into my own power. I haven’t been too keen on some of the effects of this transition, but overall, I have found it immensely liberating.
Here are my five tips for going with the flow of this transition:
GEORGINA'S TIPS FOR NAVIGATING MENOPAUSE:
2. A practical thing to do is keep a journal so you can keep track of your body's rhythms as this will help you discover triggers for things like hot flushes and mood swings.
3. This time of life can make us question who we are and where we are going. Talking to a girlfriend who is a similar age or older can really help you realise you are not alone. Don’t be afraid to talk to a friend about what you are feeling.
4. You'll start to notice changes to your hair and your skin. Keep hydrated - water will help keep your complexion looking fabulous. Look for natural options for helping with skin problems and try a regular oil treatment for your hair.
5. Some women are not affected by hot flashes and others most definitely are. My tip is that going with the hot flash, rather than trying to fight it is better in the long run. Imagine surfing the flash and give yourself a moment to quietly be in awe of the energy your body possesses.
Natural Options for Support Through this Transition
I've spoken to so many women who have said they just wished there were some natural options for dealing with some of the symptoms of menopause. I’ve had women coming to me crying because they felt they were losing their sense of self, or that intimacy was affected by their bodily changes. Then there are other others who have said ‘Hallelujah!' and are loving this time of life.
I come from the point of view that the application of mainstream medical care and the use of natural products and therapies does not have to be a ‘one or the other’ model. I do tell my customers that if they feel they have a problem or concern they should definitely get it checked out by their doctor, but there are also many ways we can work with Nature to help us get through the tough stuff.
Nature’s given us a whole first aid kit for body and soul and many of what are seen as dowdy ‘weeds’ can be powerful healers, we have just forgotten how to see this and how to connect with that healing power. My aim is to help people find that connection again.
Archeus has evolved into helping people through the tough stuff, and for many women, Menopause can be tough. Menopause hits at a time when a whole bunch of stuff is going on in women’s lives. It can often be hard to tell if the emotional upsets are due to changing hormones or to the pressures of life. Things like kids leaving home can create a vacuum in one’s sense of identity, you may be dealing with ageing parents, often illness has reared its head or the sense of running out of time can become unbearable.
I don’t have children; and yes at first I did feel that panicky sense of running out of time, so I really understand that issue menopause can bring for many women. But after a while that agony of wondering if one could or would have children was gone. This realisation brings with it some sadness but also some relief. Now it just is what it is, not what it could be and I have made peace with that.
I have found that the Archeus plant essences can help with the emotional turbulence of menopause. As I grew up, I developed a very close relationship with Nature. It got me through some really difficult times and after a while, I began to see the unique energetic character of different plants and how their energy and healing attributes can help us in our own lives. For example, Silver Birch is also known as ‘Lady of the Woods’. She has a very protective energy and a cool, pale elegance. I have found she is wonderful for helping to feel grounded and calm in times of stress.
Vaginal Dryness - more common than you think
Now, I bet you weren’t told when you were younger, that one of the things menopause can bring with it is vaginal dryness? I look back at my own life and I know I never for a moment thought this would be something that would happen to me! But the reality is that it happens to many women.
Did you know though that experts estimate that 40 - 60% of women will develop vaginal dryness at some point during the menopause transition? For some women, vaginal dryness will start before their periods have stopped, while others will experience it in the years following menopause.
What is it about this dryness that make us feel unable to talk about it? After all, we seem happy enough to talk about periods and childbirth and less than perfect bladder control?
Acknowledging that dried up lady bits mean sex is painful, or that walking can chafe and irritate our bits, seems to carry with it a perception of us admitting to being ‘less than a woman’.
I think now though that one of the Archeus products I am most proud of is our Naturally Feminine Balm. This came about from women asking me if I could make something to help with vaginal dryness, and then as I went through menopause, I started to release this problem could affect anyone at any time. Some women were suffering from this earlier on in life due to medically induced menopause, while for others it came much later.
Burning, stinging, irritation, itching, painful intercourse and general discomfort were the most common complaints discussed. The more women talked to me, the more I wanted to create something from nature’s medicine chest to help with this hidden symptom of ageing.
Developing a natural product that is not all about sex, but very much about feeling feminine and womanly and, to be frank, comfortable has been very liberating.
A sense of comfort in one’s own body was of paramount importance in the brief I set myself as I started to develop Naturally Feminine Balm. To get that ‘soothe factor’ my starting point was making the balm with oils and butters rather than the more common water-based products. The balm is complemented by Archeus Transition Drops, The Change Functional Fragrance and the range of teas, vinegars, beauty creams and serums.
It means a lot to me to be creating products that are helping women through natural or medically-induced menopause. I think it makes a huge difference that my customers know that I am going through this transition as well, so I really understand some of the issues.
I think we need to celebrate this transition as a time of 'stepping into our power'. Rather than fight my own hot flushes I now marvel at them and go with them. I treat my hair regularly with our Halo Oil to help with 'menopause hair' and I have stopped trying to compare myself, my body shape, to the younger me.
Being kind to ourselves is important, and no less so at this transition. Everything we do at Archeus is about being kinder to ourselves and to the planet.
If you'd me ten years ago if I knew I'd be making menopause products, I'd have said no way! Mind you, if you'd asked me ten years ago if I understood what an issue dryness is for women as they age, I would've had no idea! It just shows that looking for ways to solve problems comes best from experiencing the issue.
Every product Archeus sells and workshop place booked contributes to giving back to Mother Nature by supporting plant conservation projects run by schoolchildren. I believe that as Nature provides so much it is just simply respectful to give something back.
Archeus products for menopause are curated on the Menopause Wellness Page. New customers can save 10% on their first order when they sign up to the Archeus newsletter.
Archeus founder Georgina Langdale