Tina Shaw interviews our menopause specialist Pat Duckworth in the Autumn 2013 issue of Perception ~ The Cognitive Hypnotherapy Review.
Pat Duckworth is a cognitive hypnotherapist in Royston, a writer and trainer. Pat specializes in helping women with menopause symptoms. Pat published her first Award-winning Author of ‘Hot Women, Cool Solutions’ in December 2012 and is soon to publish her next book ‘How to Survive her Menopause.’
What made you decide to specialize in the menopause?
Firstly, is a subject that I already know something about. I analysed the profile of my clients and although I see a complete cross-section of people, the majority are women and a significant proportion are in the 40 – 60 age group. I then looked at what was available for women going through the experience of menopause and I was not impressed. I used Google key words to check that women were searching for help in this area. I knew Paul McKenna was never going to write a book about menopause!
Can cognitive hypnotherapy put an end to hot flushes once and for all? Or is there a tip for controlling one once it starts?
We know that hot flushes are a result of the changes in the levels of hormones during pre-menopause but I have never found any explanation about the purpose of hot flushes. There is some research that suggests that the changes in the heart rate during a flush help to strengthen and protect the heart. If they are doing me good I do not want to stop them.
There are plenty of cognitive hypnotherapy techniques that can help to reduce the experience of hot flushes. One of my clients was having up to 50 hot flushes a day plus experiencing night sweats. She was exhausted. Using cool visualization and her ‘internal control room’ she has greatly reduced the number of flushes and is much less bothered by the few she still has. And that is part of the secret, if you are going to experience hot flushes be relaxed about it and they pass so much more quickly.
I also ask clients to look at their diet. There are certain foods and drinks that trigger hot flushes and other foods that can help to reduce them. Maintaining a healthy weight is also important and of course cognitive hypnotherapy can help with that.
What’s your view on the menopause and mood swings?
If you have experienced pre-menstrual tension, you understand that changes in levels of hormones can give rise to mood swings. This can be a stressful time in women’s lives because of contextual and external issues such as dealing with teenage children, caring for ageing parents, and having more responsibility at work. She may also be experiencing relationship issues. Therefore, if a woman comes to see me about her mood swings I want to know more about what else is going on in her life.
As with so many issues that we help clients with, their beliefs about this stage of their life can have a major influence on their mood. I have included a section in the book about examining thoughts and beliefs.
Can cognitive hypnotherapy have an influence on the pre-menopause – e.g. very heavy periods?
Women entering pre-menopause, that is the years either side of your last menstrual period, can start to notice symptoms such as irregular, lighter or heavier periods. Some women find this exhausting and embarrassing. You can use hypnotic suggestions to ask the unconscious mind to bring the hormones back into balance. Read more about what Pat has to say about the menopause here…