What about menopause? An Interview with Dinah Simon

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What about menopause? An Interview with Dinah Simon

What about menopause? An Interview with Dinah Simon

Menopause Pilates Founder, Dinah Simon, is on a mission to make society more aware of menopause and its full impact on the physical and mental health of women. As Dinah says, we happily talk for hours about puberty, pregnancy and childbirth - why not menopause? Menopause causes muscular, skeletal, structural and neurological issues. When we lack an understanding of this it can often leave women feeling isolated, making their physical and mental health symptoms even worse.

Dinah teaches Pilates online and in-person in the beautiful Cotswolds, England. You can also follow her on instagram @menopausepilates for really helpful tips on managing the menopause transition.

We hope you enjoy this interview with Dinah about movement, education, HRT and natural ways to manage the symptoms of menopause.

Can you explain to us in more detail about Menopause Pilates and the methodology behind it?

The joy of Menopause Pilates is that it’s a bespoke method for women in peri/menopause. We have Pilates for golfers, riders, Pilates for hips, backs, shoulders, Pilates for children, Pilates for footballers, Pilates for dancers and for Seniors - what about MENOPAUSE?!

I’ve created a framework for Menopause Pilates which takes the fabulous principles of Pilates which we know and love and anchors the exercises firmly in the areas of movement practice  we need at this stage of life.

We hone into the vital areas of strength, bone loading, mobility, pelvic floor health, body awareness and breathing, communication and fun!

My unique sessions integrate the knowledge and experience I have from my extensive teaching practice and target the needs of the individual. The Pilates Method was founded in bespoke teaching for each person even within the group, a practice I have maintained for over 25 years.

I read on your website that women during the stages of menopause can lose the joy of movement. Why do you think this happens?

Movement is vital for our health and wellbeing during the stages of Menopause.  The joy of moving can be lost during this time in our lives but Menopause Pilates enables you to regain strength, confidence and the pleasure of ease of movement in your body.  Many women are struggling to balance their lack of sleep, work commitments, family issues, painful joints and all manner of peri-post menopause symptoms which can erode their enjoyment of movement.  Lack of joy itself is a symptom of menopause.  If you’re tired, sore and feeling low it can be really difficult to feel any fun at the prospect of exercise!

That’s why a Pilates class for Menopause will include a time of chatting and sharing, journaling and laughter, we all need this and to feel that the movement practice we’re doing is achievable. If we feel nurtured by our movement we will find it a positive reinforcement.

Recent statistics revealed that the lack of awareness and support around menopause is costing London’s economy 2 billion pounds. Symptoms affecting women’s performance in the office include memory issues, concentration difficulties and fatigue which of course affects the economy in a big way. Do you feel more should be done by workplaces to help women during menopause?

There is a great deal of education needed throughout society and our communities to improve the awareness and understanding of Menopause. Yes indeed we need practical approaches in the workplace, signposting to help and education for all of us.

Each ingredient in our Menopause Tea has been carefully selected for its known benefits in traditionally helping women with the symptoms of perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause. For example, the herb chaste tree berries which is a potent adaptogen with estrogen-balancing effects, which significantly relieves hot flushes, insomnia, and mood changes. Are there any natural remedies you recommend for the symptoms of menopause?

For me it’s really important that everyone has choices for their menopause care and treatment should they wish to pursue a particular pathway. The lack of choice in the last 20 years has been harmful and caused a lot of suffering. Lifestyle including nutrition, exercise, stress management, sleep and a general check in with what we need to navigate this ongoing time in our life is really important and underpins any other management path we may choose. Hormone replacement therapy which is made from Yams can be a bridge for many people to enable them to make the changes in their lifestyle they need to self care and thrive at this time.

What advice do you give for women in their late 30s yet to go through the stages of menopause?

If I were now in my late ‘30s again I would want to educate myself in advance, to have choice and a balanced approach. We learn loads about puberty and pregnancy and perimenopause is no different. I would also want to dispel any fear and negativity about this phase in life. It’s a totally natural part of our life but suffering is optional! By that I mean please be kind to yourself. Support yourself with selfcare, the teas you produce sound fabulous and understanding that we can support ourselves is really important. But as a woman who is now almost 60, post menopausal now for 3 years I wish I had sought help sooner. The more you understand the sooner you can help yourself. Hormone replacement therapy is often viewed as a last resort, I avoided it due to all the misinformation and my mother had breast cancer, we can feel we have failed in our menopause journey if we have to use it. I can’t believe I used to think this, it’s not a competition, it’s about enjoying our life to the full and living well. Post menopause is the rest of our life, we need to nurture ourselves and have options and choices. I know that the supplements I use now work better because my whole system is supported with HRT. So I can now get the best out of any other lifestyle changes I make. I do not see ’natural’ approaches and HRT as antagonistic, my experience is that they support each other. Educate and enquire to empower yourself. I think to be in your late ‘30s now with so much interest and information being shared it is an opportunity to have far more autonomy over how you will live your life in post menopause.  

Our naturopathic Menopause tea is popular across the world for helping women naturally treat the symptoms of menopause. To be enjoyed hot or as an iced tea which works wonders for soothing hot flushes. Suitable from perimenopause to post menopause.


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