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Appearance on BBC Radio Notts- How to Survive the Menopause

Sep 24, 2016

Back on 5th February 2016, I appeared with the lovely Mark Denison on his BBC Radio Nottingham show.

If you weren't able to tune in LIVE, then you can hear the show by clicking here. Scroll down for a transcription if you'd prefer. 



Mark: Hot flushes? Feeling low? Night sweats? Some of the symptoms that will sound familiar to you if you’re going through the menopause. Now, luckily, being a bloke, I’m sitting here thinking, well I’m feeling lucky that I don’t really need to go through any of that.

There is one Nottinghamshire woman who thinks she has the answers to reducing the effects of the menopause. She is Pamela Windle. Good morning!

Pamela: Good morning

Mark: (And we’ll come back to your favourite decade in just a minute. It’s a little bit controversial. (Pamela laughs happily))

Tell me about…we’ve had you on the show talking before about helping women give birth with no pain relief. What is it that you can do for menopausal women, then?

Pamela: I can help them reduce their symptoms massively. So hot flushes, then also the emotional side of it, feeling low…I can help them with that as well. Their libido. And something that many people don’t talk about which is vaginal atrophy. So we can prevent that and even help prevent that going any further as well.

Mark: Right. How?

Pamela: How? Yes it’s…

Mark: Are you going to tell me or is this some big secret?

Pamela: (laughs happily) It’s no secret, it’s no secret. Everybody is available to see it and understand what it is. But it’s literally reducing blood sugars in the body so insulin spikes, really keeping the body calm, from the foods that we eat, making sure that you eat good fats, and protein and fibre.

And also the conversations you have in your head. So self-loathing, and things like that all cause a body to go into a state of stress. And then managing stress on a daily basis, so if you have aging parents and young children, finding solutions to manage that, or be calling for a bit of help. And learning to relax as well.

By reducing internal and external stress, you will actually calm your body down, and reduce your symptoms massively.

Mark: Right. Are you talking about when the menopause has started, or do you need to start this before?

Pamela: Yeah. It’s funny because the menopause isn’t real, you know, the word menopause is. You’re either peri-menopause (which can start from the age of 35 and last for ten years) or you’re post menopause, which is the last…sorry the last day of your last period…it’s 12 months post that. Then you’re post menopause.

So you’re either peri-menopause or post menopause. So people get confused with that. In terms of peri-menopause, say you could be 35 years old and then be at 45 and have your last period. Or 55, for instance.

Mark: Right. So all in all we’re talking about…I mean, it’s a long period of time at the end of the day, isn’t it?

Pamela: Yeah, it is a long period of time. And a lot of women don’t realise that maybe their depression, or some aches and pains could be a result of the hormonal shift that happens over possibly a decade.

So I would advise women in their early 30s to pay attention to their…every time they have a period…because that’s a sign of what’s coming next. Are you feeling extremely low? Do you get really bloated? Are you struggling to lose weight? They’re all, kind of, the tell-tale signs. Are you waking up in the middle of the night, for instance? And you know, there’s lots you can do to reduce that stress hormone, cortisol, so that when you become post-menopause, the symptoms aren’t horrendous. So some of the stories that I hear, clients and I have a group on Facebook which has got 175 women in at the moment, a mixture of ages: the oldest is 64 and still having hot flushes.

But there are things you can do to reduce it.

Mark: So it’s effectively mind over matter. So you’re saying what you do with your mind -relaxing and all these other things- can actually reduce the physical symptoms.

Pamela: Yeah. Well it’s not mind over matter because they are real symptoms, but with hypnosis and the tools in NLP, you calm the body down, so you reduce the stress and then cause the body to work properly. But I also do nutritional advice and exercise as well, so it’s a really holistic programme.

Mark: And with the hypnosis side of things, is this something that people come to you, you guide them through, but then can you self-hypnotize?

Pamela: Yes. So what I do is, so if they have a specific issue, I will definitely concentrate on that. If they’ve got something to overcome: a relationship breakdown or a bereavement of some sort, I will help them to overcome that. But I do teach them self-hypnosis so that when they’re at home, they can go into a really calm state of relaxation…

Mark: Yes that’s what I’m thinking. I mean, it would be lovely to always be able to call on you, but when you’re looking after so many women, you must need to get to the point where you’re doing this yourself.

Pamela: Yes, they also have a recording so they can listen to me as well, but I teach them self-hypnosis, and NLP, something called anchoring, so they can anchor a feeling of calmness just by touching their thumb and forefinger. And they can do that at any point. I teach them how to breathe properly as well.

Mark: And that helps calm you down.

Pamela: Yes absolutely.

Mark: How much of an issue is it, the way that we view the menopause. You hinted at this right at the beginning. It still seems to me to be one of those things that, they don’t really talk about that openly. Is that a part of the problem?

Pamela: I think so. And I think a lot of women feel stigmatised. You know, you’re a certain age, you’re no longer attractive and no longer fertile. And I think that society as a whole makes women feel like, ‘you’re worthless,’ ‘you’re no longer attractive’, ‘you’re not needed any more’. And it isn’t talked about. But I think there a few celebrities out there who are trying to change it, which is fantastic. I worked with Carol Smillie- she was my client and she’s blogging about our time together.

Mark: Oh I remember Carol Smillie off the telly! Doing the DIY programmes and the make over shows.

Pamela: Yeah. That’s right.

Mark: OK. So that all helps raise the profile of the issue itself, the kind of things that…I mean obviously we’re looking at the kind of things that, you know, there’s no guarantee that this is going to work for everyone, but I daresay it might be worth a shot if people have been struggling on their own.

Pamela: Absolutely. I mean, I’ve had one client who I’ve been working with recently after three sessions…the main thing that she wanted to get back was her libido. She felt really guilt. She was married and she wants to have that relationship with her husband. She was in tears in the first assessment with me, and after three weeks, she’s already starting to feel like she’s actually enjoyed sexual intercourse which she hasn’t had for years.

Mark: Only three weeks?

Pamela: Three weeks. Yeah.

Mark: Incredible. I’ve said it before Pamela- I could listen to you all day because I find myself going all relaxed myself.

Pamela: Good! (laughs)

Mark: you have that effect don’t you? It’s quite a gift. Listen, thank you for explaining more. Very interesting stuff. That’s Pamela Windle on BBC Radio Nottingham. As I say, you’ve heard her talking before about helping women give birth with no pain relief, and now she’s talking about getting though the menopause as well.


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