Menopause is a transformative phase in a woman’s life, but it often comes with sleep disturbances that can be challenging to navigate. According to recent research published in Menopause, the journal of The Menopause Society, there’s promising news: therapeutic touch and music therapy can be your allies in achieving better sleep during menopause. In this article, we’ll explore these holistic approaches, backed by evidence, to help you and your loved ones embark on a journey of restful nights and enhanced wellbeing.
Between 40 – 60% of menopausal women experience sleep difficulties such as trouble in getting to sleep or staying asleep – alongside hot flashes, night sweats, palpitations, fatigue, irritability, and weight gain.
The Ascendance of Evidence-Based Holistic Health:
In the world of holistic health, where knowledge meets wisdom, evidence-based practices are the guiding light. With menopause affecting women in multifaceted ways, sleep issues have become a common concern. Beyond conventional treatments, many women are turning to complementary medicine (known as “integrative medicine” in the USA etc.) to find holistic relief. Among these approaches, therapeutic touch and music therapy are emerging as natural allies in the battle against sleep woes.
Therapeutic Touch: Harmonizing Life Energy
Therapeutic touch is a profound practice that aims to direct and balance the flow of life energy within your body. This energy-balancing act is believed to remove blockages and restore harmony, potentially alleviating physical and mental discomfort. While the research on therapeutic touch is ongoing, it’s showing promise in improving sleep quality and reducing the discomforts associated with menopause.
The Healing Sounds of Music:
Throughout history, music has been a trusted companion on the journey to wellness. Melodious tunes can trigger the release of endorphins from the pituitary gland, ushering in a cascade of relaxation responses. This includes a lowered heart rate, reduced blood pressure, decreased respiratory rate, and diminished catecholamine levels. Beyond these physiological benefits, music has a magical way of diverting our focus from negativity, replacing it with soothing vibrations that reduce anxiety, pain, sadness, and stress.
Unveiling the Research:
To investigate the potential of therapeutic touch and music therapy in enhancing sleep quality, managing menopausal symptoms, and improving overall quality of life, researchers conducted a study involving perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. A total of 108 women participated in the study, categorized into pretest, posttest, and control groups. Various tools, such as the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Menopause Rating Scale, and Menopause-Specific Quality of Life Scale, were used to measure the outcomes.
In the therapeutic touch group, participants received weekly sessions for four weeks, while those in the music group indulged in soothing melodies for 30 minutes before bedtime every day over the same period. The results unveiled significant improvements in sleep disturbances, sleep latency, and subjective sleep quality in both intervention groups when compared to the control group. Positive changes were also noted in the Menopause Rating Scale and Menopause-Specific Quality of Life Scale.
The Path Forward:
While these findings are indeed promising, it’s important to remember that this study is just the beginning of our exploration into the potential of therapeutic touch and music therapy for managing menopause symptoms. As Dr. Stephanie Faubion, the medical director for The Menopause Society, wisely points out, “This small study highlights some potential benefits of music and therapeutic touch for menopause symptoms. Although these therapies may be cost-effective and safe, additional research with larger groups of women is needed to confirm their efficacy.”
Action Steps for Blissful Sleep and Enhanced Wellbeing:
As you embrace the journey of menopause, consider incorporating therapeutic touch and music therapy into your daily life and supporting your loved ones in doing the same. Here are some practical tips to get you started:
1. Therapeutic Touch: Seek out a qualified practitioner skilled in therapeutic touch. Regular sessions may help you experience the energy-balancing benefits of this practice.
2. Music Therapy: Explore a variety of calming and soothing music selections that resonate with you. Make listening to relaxing music before bedtime a delightful and calming ritual to promote better sleep.
3. Mindfulness and Meditation: Combine these practices with therapeutic touch and music therapy to amplify their effects. Engaging in mindfulness and meditation can further reduce stress and anxiety, leading to improved sleep quality.
4. Lifestyle Adjustments: Make conscious lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy diet, staying physically active, and managing stress through relaxation techniques.
Recommended Resources and Soothing Melodies:
For those eager to dive deeper into these topics, here are some suggested resources:
1. “The Effects of Therapeutic Touch and Music on Sleep Quality, Menopausal Symptoms, and Quality of Life in Menopausal Women” – KeskinTöre F, Yağmur Y. (Menopause, 2023)
1. “Weightless” by Marconi Union
2. “Clair de Lune” by Claude Debussy
3. “Ave Maria” by Franz Schubert
4. “Ocean Waves” – Nature Sounds
I do hope these suggestions work well for you – and don’t forget to download my Yoga Nidra re Deep Restorative Sleep – here on this website as my free gift to you!