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TWC #011: Is Ayurvedic therapy right for me?

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Is Ayurvedic therapy right for me?

When you reach the menopause, generally between the ages of 45 and 55, your oestrogen levels drop. This can lead to unpleasant vasomotor symptoms. In our Symptom Checker, you can read which symptoms may occur.

You may already have heard of ayurveda, which can reduce symptoms. Below you’ll find all the information you need to decide whether this is the right solution for you.

What is ayurvedic therapy?

Ayurveda is a traditional Indian holistic healing system that aims to harmonise body, mind and soul. In Ayurvedic medicine, the menopause is considered to be a period of transition and change in a woman’s life, and an imbalance in the doshas (bioenergetic forces) can lead to symptoms.

Ayurvedic therapy for the menopause focuses on restoring the balance of the doshas and alleviating symptoms. It is important to note that each Ayurvedic therapy is individually tailored to a woman’s needs and constitutional pattern.

What does an Ayurvedic therapist do?

An Ayurvedic therapist is an expert in Ayurvedic medicine and therapy who has the knowledge and skills to create individual treatment plans and apply Ayurvedic principles to promote the health and well-being of her post-menopausal patients.

Here are some of the tasks and activities that an Ayurvedic therapist typically performs:

  1. History-taking and diagnosis: the Ayurvedic therapist takes a detailed history to gather information about the patient’s state of health, history of illness, lifestyle and constitution. On the basis of this information, the therapist establishes an individual diagnosis in accordance with the principles of Ayurveda.
  2. Advice and treatment plan: Based on the diagnosis, the Ayurvedic therapist draws up a tailor-made treatment plan, which may include various elements such as dietary recommendations, herbal remedies, lifestyle changes, yoga exercises and other therapies. The therapist advises the patient in detail on the treatment plan and gives instructions on how to implement it.
  3. Phytotherapy: the Ayurvedic therapist may prescribe or recommend herbal preparations to treat certain menopausal disorders or improve general well-being. The therapist chooses herbs according to the patient’s individual constitution and specific needs.
  4. Massages and body therapies: Massages and body therapies are an important part of Ayurvedic therapy. The therapist performs Ayurvedic massages such as abhyanga and may also use other techniques such as pinda sweda, shirodhara or panchakarma therapies to relax the body, improve blood circulation and promote detoxification.
  5. Yoga and breathing techniques: The Ayurvedic therapist may recommend yoga exercises and breathing techniques to calm the mind, strengthen the body and help balance the doshas. The therapist can guide specific asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing exercises), tailored to the patient’s individual needs.
  6. Follow-up and adjustments : The Ayurvedic therapist monitors the patient’s progress and organises regular follow-up sessions. If necessary, adjustments can be made to the treatment plan to achieve optimum effect.

It is important to note that the duties and responsibilities of an Ayurvedic therapist may vary depending on their training, experience and specialisation. A qualified therapist will have an in-depth knowledge of Ayurvedic medicine and will respond to the individual needs of each patient.

Benefits of Ayurvedic therapy

Ayurvedic therapy offers a multitude of potential benefits for health and well-being. Some of the key benefits include

  1. Holistic approach: Ayurveda considers the whole person, taking into account body, mind and soul. Ayurvedic therapy aims to restore the balance between these aspects, thereby supporting overall well-being.
  2. Personalised treatment: Ayurveda considers that each person is unique, with his or her own constitution and individual needs. An Ayurvedic treatment is tailored to the specific needs and constitution of each woman, resulting in a personalised treatment.
  3. Promoting balance: Ayurveda is based on the principle of balancing the doshas (bioenergetic forces) in the body. With Ayurvedic therapy, the balance of the doshas can be restored, leading to an improvement in menopausal symptoms and greater well-being.
  4. Support for the body’s self-healing capacity: Ayurveda considers the body to be a natural unit with the capacity to heal itself. Ayurvedic therapy aims to strengthen and support the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
  5. Emphasis on prevention: Ayurveda places great importance on preventive measures to avoid illness and maintain health. Ayurvedic therapy can help strengthen the immune system, improve resistance to menopausal symptoms and promote general well-being.
  6. Natural and holistic approaches: Ayurveda uses a variety of natural approaches, including nutrition, herbal medicine, massage, yoga and breathing techniques. These holistic approaches support the body in a natural way and can help to minimise unwanted side effects.
  7. Stress reduction and emotional well-being: Ayurveda also emphasises the importance of the mind and emotions for health. Through the use of yoga, meditation and relaxation techniques, Ayurvedic therapy can reduce stress, promote emotional balance and improve overall well-being.
The risks of Ayurvedic therapy

Although Ayurveda is a traditional and holistic method of treatment, there are nevertheless potential risks that can arise from Ayurvedic therapy. Here are some of the potential risks:

  1. Lack of scientific evidence: some Ayurvedic practices and therapies are based on traditional knowledge and experience, but often lack sufficient scientific evidence to demonstrate their effectiveness and safety. It is important that Ayurvedic therapies are carried out by qualified and experienced Ayurvedic experts in order to minimise potential risks.
  2. Use of untested herbal preparations: Ayurveda uses a wide variety of herbal preparations, but these do not always meet the same quality and safety standards as regular medicines. There is a risk of impurities, inaccurate dosage or interactions with other medicines. It is important to obtain quality herbal products from reliable sources and to discuss them with an Ayurvedic expert.
  3. Allergic reactions: Certain ayurvedic herbs or ingredients can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. It is important to inform the Ayurvedic therapist of any allergies or intolerances to certain substances.
  4. Inappropriate use of therapies: If Ayurvedic therapies are applied inappropriately or by inexperienced people, there is a risk of injury or undesirable side effects. It is important that Ayurvedic treatments are carried out by qualified and experienced therapists.
  5. Interactions with other medicines : Some Ayurvedic preparations or therapies may interact with other medicines that a person is taking. It is important to provide the Ayurvedic therapist with a complete list of medicines taken in order to avoid possible interactions.
  6. Contraindications: There are certain situations or medical conditions for which certain Ayurvedic therapies are not appropriate or should be avoided. Women suffering from certain chronic illnesses or those recovering from certain surgical procedures should discuss specific Ayurvedic treatments with their doctor.
Measures to reduce risks

To minimise the risks associated with Ayurvedic treatment, you can take the following steps:

  1. Consult a qualified Ayurvedic expert: consult an experienced Ayurvedic therapist or doctor who has appropriate training and certification. Make sure the therapist has in-depth knowledge of Ayurveda and experience in treating menopausal disorders.
  2. Open communication: tell the Ayurvedic therapist about your complete medical history, current state of health, allergies and any medication you are taking. Open communication allows the therapist to adapt the treatment plan accordingly and minimise potential risks.
  3. Quality of herbal products: Buy ayurvedic herbal products from reliable sources that apply quality assurance procedures. Look for certifications and make sure the products are free from impurities. If you’re not sure, you can ask your therapist for recommendations.
  4. Follow the dosage instructions: Scrupulously follow the dosage instructions for Ayurvedic preparations. Do not exceed the recommended dosage in order to minimise possible side effects. If you have any questions about dosage, ask your ayurvedic therapist.
  5. Monitoring progress: during Ayurvedic therapy, it is important to keep a close eye on progress and any changes. If any undesirable symptoms or side effects appear, inform the Ayurvedic therapist immediately so that adjustments can be made.
  6. Combining with conventional medicine: if you are already taking conventional medicines, discuss possible interactions with the Ayurvedic therapist and also inform your doctor about Ayurvedic therapy. Coordination between the two therapeutic approaches can help to minimise any risks.
  7. Trust and intuition: listen to your body and your instincts. If you have any doubts or if you don’t feel comfortable with a certain Ayurvedic therapy, tell your therapist. It’s important to establish a relationship of trust and to feel safe and supported.

It is advisable to contact an experienced Ayurvedic expert for personalised advice and treatment.

When is Ayurvedic therapy not appropriate?

There are certain situations and conditions in which Ayurvedic therapy may not be appropriate or should be used with caution. Here are some examples:

  1. Serious psychological disorders: In the case of serious psychological disorders, such as severe depression, close collaboration with a psychiatric specialist is necessary. Ayurveda can be used as a supportive measure, but should not be considered as the sole method of treatment.
  2. Acute infectious diseases: In the event of acute infectious diseases such as bacterial infections, influenza or serious viral infections, appropriate medical treatment should be sought. Ayurveda can help in the healing process, but should not be used as the sole treatment.
  3. Allergies and intolerances: If a woman is known to be allergic to certain Ayurvedic herbs or ingredients, these should be avoided. It is important to inform the Ayurvedic therapist of any known allergies or intolerances.
  4. Certain chronic illnesses: Certain chronic illnesses, such as advanced cancer, advanced renal failure or advanced liver disease, require close collaboration with the treating physician. Ayurveda can be used as a supportive measure, but must be done in consultation with the doctor.

You’ve now learned the basics of Ayurvedic therapy. Of course, the question now arises as to whether Ayurvedic therapy is also suitable for you.

Is Ayurvedic therapy right for me?

Our experts can help you weigh up the benefits and risks and suggest a decision based on the severity of your symptoms and your medical history.

There are a few questions you should think about before talking to our experts.

  1. Do I trust Ayurveda as an alternative therapeutic method? Do I believe in the concept of Ayurveda and am I ready to commit to this type of treatment?
  2. Have I already tried conventional medical treatments without obtaining satisfactory results? Would I like to try an alternative treatment method to relieve my symptoms?
  3. Am I prepared to invest time and resources in Ayurvedic therapy? Ayurveda requires a detailed assessment of the case and an individual treatment plan. Are you prepared to invest the necessary time and budget?
  4. Am I open to a holistic approach that takes into account not only the physical, but also the emotional and spiritual aspects? Would I like a therapy that takes into account my overall condition and lifestyle?
  5. Do I have symptoms for which Ayurveda can be considered a safe complement to conventional medical treatment? Are my symptoms severe or acute, so that I may need prompt and proven medical attention?
  6. It is advisable to speak to an experienced Ayurvedic therapist before starting any Ayurvedic therapy, and also to seek the advice of a conventional doctor to ensure full medical follow-up.

Contact us if you need help.

Joëlle & Adrian

PS: If you like the information on Meno Health, don’t hesitate to send it to your friends.

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