Embracing Menopause Naturally by Gabriele Kushi


Embracing Menopause Naturally is a wonderful introduction to the natural changes that a woman experiences in midlife. The first section consists of portraits of five women and their “take” on menopause. Then, in Chapter One, we read about The Menopausal Passage, a great explanation from  what exactly is menopause, how to embrace it naturally (as in the title), herbs for menopause, and related health issues associated with midlife. Then, we return to portraits and profiles of five more midlife women.

Chapter Two tackles the benefits of Macrobiotics for menopause.  No need to be worried about the term, which simply means “Great Life.” Kushi explains the importance of balance in all aspects of our lives and an awareness for the cycles of nature. This is followed by five more portraits. Chapter Three consists of natural food recipes, macrobiotic style. (I will post a sample recipe in Kitchen Nutrition next week.) Finally, the book ends with the last six stories and portraits. Photos accompany all the stories/portraits, so the words of each woman can be matched with her appearance.

The book is perfectly balanced.  I never became tired of reading the portraits, because they were juxtaposed between the informational chapters. And I never got bogged down with the information, because the portraits and stories offered personal connections that eased us into the next set of information.

Here are some of the tidbits of personal information from the portraits. The women were from all walks of life and different ethnic groups and nationalities, so we get a panoramic view of  menopause from many different angles.

After my monthly cycles ceased I experienced a deep peaceful feeling, which I never had before in my life. It was so beautiful. It made me enjoy life more. Aveline Kushi, wife of Michio Kushi, who helped introduce Macrobiotics to Americans.  (Aveline is also the author’s mother-in-law.) Aveline was born in Japan.

The process of menopause became a spiritual journey. My whole physical, mental and spiritual self changed. Red Elk, a Native American from North Dakota.

There is a depth to my creativity that wasn’t there before.  My thoughts flow like the River Nile. Carolyn Holbrook, African American.

Menopause gives women the opportunity to refine that (reabsorbed) energy into a spiritual quality….I think menopause is the opening door, a gateway to a higher level of life…..It should not be regarded as a sickness, but as a scared passage. Cecile Tova Levin, American/Jewish

The tone of the book is very positive, even when not all the stories are “perfect.”.Women experience difficulties, but the overall feeling if the book is that we need to see menopause and beyond as the next step in our cycle of life, embracing the changes in our bodies, minds, and spirits as a doorway to new experiences, free from the responsibilities of child-rearing, and free to explore our inner selves.

I plan to share this book with my husband’s daughter, who mentioned she has noticed some of the “signs,” and with my older daughter, who is still a few years away from menopause, but close enough to start reading positive books on this topic, so menopause is not swathed in dark mystery, but rather allows us to explore the positive mystery of our “golden years” of creativity.

Gabriele Kushi has given women a wonderful gift with this book. Her poem at the beginning is a perfect way to end the review.

Grandmother Bone

Give me strength

This monthly blood
Soon will be gone.

There must be
Something else?


Embracing Menopause Naturally is published by Square One Publishing and is available at book stores and online at Amazon.com. Click on the icon and it will take you directly to Amazon.

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