Hormone replacement therapy was one of the biggest misses in the medical system. Here are 6 ways every woman can balance her hormones and find power in middle age. There’s a menopause revolution happening across the health and wellness industries, helmed by inspiring wellness leaders like stylist & media mogul Stacy London (you can listen to her Hot Seat interview with HigherDOSE co-founder Lauren Berlingeri here) who are helping middle-age women turn menopause pain into power, beauty, knowledge, and autonomy. But menopause is not a new phenomenon. So, where is the recent revolution gaining its power from? And how do we ensure that powerful practices like hormone balancing do not get treated like another wellness fad (something that can fade away as the next hot treatment rolls in)? In this article, we break down one of the biggest medical misses of the last several decades (hormone replacement therapy), and outline 6 key actions that every woman should take to balance her hormones as she approaches and enters menopause. A HISTORY OF HRT (A.K.A. HOW WE MISSED ON MENOPAUSE) Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was once a common treatment for menopause symptoms. However, a large-scale study known as the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) conducted in 2002 raised concerns about the safety of HRT, leading many women and doctors to abandon the treatment. The study found that long-term use of estrogen and progestin (a synthetic form of progesterone) increased the risk of breast cancer, stroke, blood clots, and heart disease. The results of the study caused widespread panic and confusion, leading many women to suffer in silence rather than seek treatment for their menopause symptoms.A recent study by John Hopkins, however, has shown that HRT may be safe, effective and essential for certain women, particularly those who experience early menopause or have a higher risk of osteoporosis. This revision is powering a reclamation of women’s power over their middle-age wellness journeys. It is important to note that HRT should only be prescribed by a healthcare professional and after a thorough evaluation of the risks and benefits for each individual patient. But it is also so important that more women look into their options, arm themselves with HRT knowledge, and find practitioners that understand their pain and have real solutions to offer. 6 WAYS TO BALANCE HORMONES: 01: FIND A PRACTITIONER THAT GETS ITFinding a healthcare provider who specializes in women's health and is knowledgeable about hormones is essential for managing menopause symptoms and hormone imbalances. Many women are often dismissed by their doctors and told that their symptoms are "just part of getting older" or that they are "crazy." This can be incredibly frustrating and can lead to feelings of isolation and helplessness.A healthcare provider who understands menopause and hormone imbalances can offer a range of treatments, including lifestyle changes, supplements, and HRT if needed. This treatment is not for everyone, but should be an option available for all to explore. Hormone testing can also be helpful in identifying imbalances and developing an individual treatment plan. 02: LIFT HEAVY WEIGHTS TO MAINTAIN BONE DENSITY & INCREASE V02 MAXWeight-bearing exercises, such as lifting heavy weights, are important for maintaining bone density and preventing osteoporosis and osteopenia. These are conditions characterized by low bone mass and increased risk of fractures – and become more common in postmenopausal women due to the decline in estrogen levels, which plays a crucial role in bone health. A study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research found that women who participated in a weight-training program for a year had a 1.5% increase in bone mineral density at the hip, which is a significant improvement.Weight training also increases VO2 max, which is a measure of the maximum amount of oxygen a person can use during exercise. VO2 max declines with age and is a predictor of overall health and longevity. A study published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity found that postmenopausal women who participated in a strength-training program for 16 weeks had a significant increase in VO2 max compared to the control group.03: EAT A BALANCED DIET RICH IN PHYTOESTROGENS & HEALTHY FATS a Phytoestrogens are plant compounds that have a similar structure to estrogen and can help alleviate menopause symptoms by mimicking the effects of estrogen in the body. Foods that are rich in phytoestrogens include soy products, flaxseeds, chickpeas, lentils, and red clover. Incorporating these foods into your diet can help balance hormones and reduce symptoms including hot flashes and mood swings.Healthy fats are also vital for hormone balance as they play a critical role in hormone production and regulation. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish, nuts, and seeds, can help reduce inflammation and support brain health. Omega-6 fatty acids, found in vegetable oils and processed foods, should be consumed in moderation as they can promote inflammation and disrupt hormone balance. Nourish your body into balance and power. 04: MANAGE STRESS AND PRIORITIZE SELF-CAREStress can have a significant impact on hormone balance, particularly during menopause when the body's natural hormone production is declining. Chronic stress can lead to imbalances in cortisol, the body's primary stress hormone, which can affect the production and regulation of other hormones, including estrogen and progesterone.Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and massage, can help reduce stress and promote relaxation. Self-care practices, including regular Sauna Blanket sessions, PEMF therapy, taking a relaxing bath (even better: try out Magnesium soak!), reading a book, or spending time in nature, can help reduce stress, rebalance the body, and promote overall well-being.05: GET YOUR ZZZ’s TO SUPPORT HORMONE PRODUCTION Sleep is essential for hormone balance as it plays a crucial role in the production and regulation of hormones such as cortisol, growth hormone, and melatonin. During menopause, many women experience disruptions in sleep due to hot flashes, night sweats, and other symptoms. It’s a brutal cycle, as their shut-eye interruptions lead to further hormonal imbalances. Establishing a regular sleep routine and creating a relaxing sleep environment can help improve sleep quality and support hormone balance. Avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed, reducing screen time before bed, and keeping the bedroom cool and dark can also help promote better sleep. We swear by PEMF Therapy’s REM-resetting power. However you choose to wind down, be sure to take your ZZZ’s seriously. 06: INCORPORATE HORMONE-BALANCING SUPPLEMENTS & HERBS Several supplements and herbs have been shown to help balance hormones and alleviate menopause symptoms. Black cohosh, a plant native to North America, has been shown to reduce hot flashes and night sweats. Red clover, a plant rich in phytoestrogens, can also help reduce hot flashes and improve bone density.Vitamin D is important for bone health and immune function and can also help regulate hormones. Magnesium, a mineral found in leafy green vegetables and nuts, can help reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality (we love getting our dose of Mg in our topical Get Salty spray or our Chill Chew gummies). B vitamins, particularly B6, can help reduce symptoms such as mood swings and irritability (our Detox Drops are formulated with a wealth of B vitamins). -----------IN THE HOT SEAT: Want to stay informed on the State of Menopause? Stacy London is leading the way. The well-known media personality, fashion consultant, and writer is most famous for her role as the co-host of TLC's "What Not to Wear." However, as she entered her forties, she found herself struggling with menopause symptoms, including hot flashes, mood swings, and weight gain. Frustrated with the lack of information and support available for women going through menopause, she decided to take matters into her own hands and launched a wellness company called "State of Menopause." The goal of the company is to provide resources and support for women navigating this stage of life. Thanks to leaders like Stacy, middle-age women are taking charge of their health and seeking out resources and information to help them navigate this stage of life. You can listen to Stacy’s Hot Seat interview here.