Cass, my business partner and the Co-Owner of Balanced Healing Salt + Sauna , asked me to write an article on menopause for this monthly newsletter. Not only because I am obviously older, but because I am what I believe to be in the downward slope of menopause. This is my journey, and to cut to the chase, Salt + Sauna Combo has been a game changer! But apparently Cass would like more than a 50 word paragraph so, I will start with the “usual natural remedies'' suggested by friends, family, Google, Siri and WebMD.
Please note: As I have a family history of breast cancer, I was putting hormone replacement at the very bottom of remedies.
Don’t get me wrong, most suggestions were absolutely great and they do seem to be a good rule of thumb for everyone, but to me, these suggestions didn’t seem menopausal specific, except perhaps the natural supplements. Below is a list of some of the suggested remedies, and in parentheses my response to these remedies…
Get adequate sleep (duh, don’t we all want adequate sleep, but when you have to get up twice a night to pee, and have hot flashes in between… sleep is not really obtainable) (UGH)
Maintain a good healthy weight (what? - said with sarcasm!)
Eat natural, organic foods (Absolutely, does wine also count?)
Exercise Regularly (does getting up twice a night to pee count?)
Drink Water ( See #1 above about the peeing )
Reduce eating processed foods and sugar (See #3 above)
Eat on a regular basis (Personally, I rarely miss a meal)
Natural supplements. (This was my go to upon each new symptom)
Natural creams and oils, example black cohosh, primrose oil. (I did have positive results, temporarily, with natural oils)
Stress Reduction - (yup, I’ll just hit the OFF button on that ole’ stress)
But seriously, don’t we all want to follow those ten suggestions? And you know that if you are menopausal you just want relief....Now! Balanced Healing Salt + Sauna gave me that relief! If you have read our stories, you know Cass and I each have been on healing journeys, finding these unique modalities that spoke and worked for us. Each one unique, both with abundant benefits.
Research going back almost 200 years shows that one of the many benefits of breathing in salt and sitting in a salt cave and now in contemporary times a salt room, allows the ‘‘rest and digest’ system (parasympathetic nervous system) (PNS) to engage, which releases the hormone acetylcholine , slowing down your heart rate, lowering your blood pressure. Production of acetylcholine enhances your REM sleep which is needed for short term memory. See where I am going with this?
One of the many, and I mean many, benefits from infrared saunas includes reduced inflammation and swelling, pain relief and accelerated healing due to the improved mitochondrial function. This hyperthermia (full body heat) has been shown to increase the brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF). BDNF is akin to Miracle-Gro for your brain, which helps repair failing brain cells, helps protect those healthy brain cells and also helps develop new brain connections. This is what helps protect our brains from neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinsons, ALS and Alzheimers. Easy to see that if your brain is making connections, this has got to help short term memory loss.
Inflammation occurs in the body as a response to injury, stress and/or illness. Where there is inflammation, there is a lack of oxygen. When the body is exposed to the infrared spectrum, nutrient and oxygen-rich blood circulates at an increased rate through the body. When the body is exposed to halotherapy, your lung capacity increases, and your blood becomes more oxygenated. Salt + Sauna Combo Package = Oxygen Rich Blood
Back to my hot flash journey. When I first met Cass, I was well into my self discovery journey, practicing yoga and meditation. These became my lifelines. But the hot flashes were becoming more intense and frequent. These flashes left me lethargic, fuzzy headed and irritated. Plus my blood pressure was creeping up again. So I went down the proverbial rabbit research hole. What I found were amazing articles, research and online testimonials advocating both halotherapy and infrared saunas. This research was incredible, enlightening and gave me incentive to start practicing what I was preaching, in earnest. I went about being my own “guinea pig”, to see if these modalities provided any relief. I wanted to lower my blood pressure first and secondly work on the menopausal symptoms. With some experimentation and listening to my body and monitoring my blood pressure twice a day, I began to see and feel some relief. I started with a 45-minute session in the Salt Room, meditating and/or resting, breathing in the medical grade salt. Then I moved to the Cardio Wellness Program in the infrared sauna. I did this 3 times a week for the first few months and then twice a week for the next 3 months. I did use all the infrared health programs that we offer, I just listened to my body and selected the program needed. Sometimes it was the pain program, sometimes it was the detox, but being sure to keep the cardio program in heavy rotation. I know it sounds counterproductive, but fight fire with fire, or as we now say at Balanced Healing, fight hot flashes with salt and infrared sauna.
Nine months in (and two new businesses started) and I am down to a handful of flashes, no longer as intense nor as frequent. I’m starting to see the fog clear and sleep is a bit better. My blood pressure is much better with only occasional prescriptive intervention. I am beginning to see the dawn break. It is my goal to continue to improve my health and well being. I am an active, knowledgeable and questioning participant in taking care of this wonderful human body. I am continuing my path of Balanced Healing (there is a reason we choose this name) and hope to continue to reduce my need for prescription medications; only with my doctor’s approval and supervision.
As always, we are not medical professionals, nor do our articles, personal journeys, comments or suggestions ever replace the advice of your medical professional. Please seek and follow you and your providers plan.
Book a session now through the end of April and get $10 off your menopausal Salt and Sauna Combo session. (Coupon Code: HotFlash)