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The Pause

Finding Health and Vitality in the Third Act

The focus on women’s health is often centered around birth control, fertility and pre/post-partum care—all vitally important to provide and protect. However, we have been overlooking a large portion of women searching for insight and treatment for peri and postmenopausal symptoms like hot flashes, sleep disturbances, anxiety, mood swings and brain fog, among others.

There has been a recent uptick in information and conversation around this formerly taboo phase of women’s lives, as Susan Dominus of the New York Times discussed in one of her recent articles, hormone therapy, popular in the 90s fell into ill repute based on a single imperfect study, leaving many women hesitant to try this type of treatment or even to discuss it with their doctors. To be clear, there can be risks associated with HRT (hormone replacement therapy) but the fact that so little research has been done and so many women are suffering, highlights, as professor Rebecca Thurston said in the aforementioned article, that “we have a high cultural tolerance for women’s suffering, it’s not regarded as important.”

It is time to change that. 

Actress Naomi Watts, who recently founded a femme-centric wellness line called Stripes, says she created it because “women deserve support, solutions and the space to figure it all out. Because while menopause may be part of midlife, midlife is a lot more than just menopause.” Many other brands are following suit with products designed to meet women where they are and boost energy, confidence, health and libido, like Pause, Tabu, local favorite LarkLove, Kindra, and Joi, a digital health clinic for women, which offers personalized prescriptions. 

Just like any other type of health care, it can be harrowing to decide what kind of treatment is right for you. 

Of course, speaking with your regular healthcare provider is a good place to start but if that conversation doesn’t provide you with the breadth or depth of information you are wanting there are many additional local avenues available. 

Carrie Ballas at Boulder Integrative Health offers functional medicine solutions for hormone imbalance, sleep disorders and other associated symptoms that focus on your biochemical individuality to create tailor-made solutions. She and her clinic are lovely. 

Karen Kaufman at Kaufman Health and Hormone Center has a passion for providing personalized and comprehensive care to her patients using a combination of conventional medicine and her functional medicine training. She is a fount of knowledge, wonderful to talk to and often uses a combination of hormone replacement and supplements to find balance for her patients. 

Acupuncture and nutrition are also super helpful tools to have in your kit. Cameron Delaney at Solstice Health is a gifted healer that specializes in women’s health at all stages of life. Julie Pelaez and her partner, Jo Schaalman, are guides to eating cleaner and the founders of the Conscious Cleanse, which is good at any age—but can be particularly helpful for boosting energy if you are feeling depleted.

Some women breeze through menopause and their normal routine is enough to keep things on track but many, many others need guidance, information and a wide array of treatments to feel like their best selves in this transitionary time. As singer and philosopher Erykah Badu, 51, posted on her Instagram, “I miss the thought of lil babies in my belly and periods and womb stuff like that, BUT I AM NOW ABLE TO SHARE MY WISDOM AND JOYFULLY GROW INTO THE GLITTER DRIPPING PHOENIX CREATED THRU FIRE.”

Truth. 

In addition to these local healthcare practitioners and helpers, this recommended reading list can provide some much-needed light on the path. 

The Menopause Manifesto: Own Your Health with Facts and Feminism by Jen Gunter

The Wisdom of Menopause by Dr. Kristine Northrup

The Menopause Book by Barbara Kranthowitz

Forthcoming this June: Menopause Companion, The: A Beginner's Guide to Owning Your Transition, from Peri to Post by Sasha Davies and Tori Hudson
 

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