• Tania Elfersy

A Path to Sovereignty in Perimenopause and Menopause

For over two thousand years, there have been two systems of medicine: one for slaves and one for those who are free.

Perimenopause and menopause offer us an opportunity to release ourselves from the first system and embrace the second. If we enter midlife as slaves (on any level), we’ll be repeatedly shown the route to freedom, but the choice to follow that route will be ours.

“Slaves are usually doctored by slaves,” wrote Plato (Laws 4.720), and slave medicine, as he described it, is grounded in a materialistic understanding of health – there is no importance given to anything beyond the physical form.

The slave physician is hurried, and quick to diagnose and prescribe from a position of authority, before moving on to the next slave. The patient is quiet and obedient, and consumes the medicine she was told to take. The focus of this medicine is symptom suppression, because the slave, of course, must quickly return to work.

The modern outcome of this system has led to hundreds of millions of patients not healing from their conditions, but rather becoming life-long subscribers to pills for their ills. Every year, the number of these subscribers increases.

“Pills for life” to control chronic pain, blood pressure, type II diabetes, digestive issues, depression, hormones and more, help reinforce the idea that health and wellbeing cannot be found within us, but are instead found in something external to us. Side-effects that inevitably arise from such long-term chemical interventions, are treated with more pills for the new ills.

Systems of slavery are profitable indeed!

Medicine for the free, by contrast, is a journey for the patient and physician. The latter, who adopts a role closer to a teacher or guide, investigates the patient’s spirit and environment, learns from each case and works with the “course of nature.” (Plato, Laws 4.720)

Patients in this system are encouraged to step into their sovereignty. On their journey to healing, they receive insights into their body’s innate intelligence and move forward more empowered than when they started experiencing the condition that had caused them discomfort.

Since last century when menopause symptoms began to interest the medical profession, women at midlife have become increasingly trapped in a materialistic approach to diagnosis and treatment. Menopause symptoms were blamed on ovaries that had “dried up” and the solution offered to women were animal ovaries given via a pill or an injection. Then, once estrogen could be isolated, doctors started blaming menopause symptoms on women’s hormones, which were “getting it wrong” and causing a “hormone deficiency disease.” The solution was to fix the hormones with estrogen and then with estrogen and progestin.

Once studies began to show the increased risks for certain chronic diseases that arose from these medications, doctors started prescribing more antidepressants, anti-anxiety and thyroid medications.

The medicalization of menopause has created a multi-billion-dollar industry, yet there is one fundamental idea that set the wheels in motion and keeps them moving: when women reach midlife, they start malfunctioning. It’s as if a woman’s body becomes a worn-out machine, detached from divine intelligence.

The slavery of it all!

Most perimenopausal and menopausal women who go to a doctor for symptom relief are not greeted by a teacher or guide to help them on a healing journey through midlife. Instead, I have encountered all too many stories of women feeling invisible, unheard, and leaving a doctor’s office with a prescription for medications they didn’t want.

And yet a woman’s frustration with the medical system, arising at the very time she needs support through the sensitive years of perimenopause and menopause, can lead her to a path where she will regain her sovereignty.

All symptoms that women experience at midlife (and at any time) are intelligent responses to a life out of balance.