MORE support is starting in the region for women experiencing the peri and full menopause.
There are already peer support groups in Dumfries and Balmaclellan but Moffat will next week become the latest community to benefit.
A series of free menopause awareness sessions will be taking place in the town over the next six months and women from across Annandale and Eskdale are encouraged to attend one or all of them.
Holistic health coach Lesley Atkins, of Nourishing Space, pictured, will be running the events at Upper Annandale Parish Church. They launch on Wednesday November 15 at 6.30 pm and will be monthly thereafter.
Explaining more, Lesley said: “It’s aimed at women who may be perimenopausal or in menopause.
“The sessions will provide a safe space for women to share their experiences of menopause, learn from each other and understand what lifestyle changes they could make to not only improve their symptoms but support them for a healthy, long and happy life.
“Each session will cover a different lifestyle topic with some simple actionable take home tips. I’m hoping this will create a bond between local women who can continue to support each other and those experiencing perimenopause in the future.”
Lesley has been involved in a similar group in Kirkcudbright and runs the two peer support groups too.
The idea to start in Moffat came from health improvement practitioner Ruth Grieve and Lesley was keen to be involved as she wants it to be a widely discussed subject, saying: “We need to talk more about this experience as 50 per cent of the population will go through it and it is still not fully understood by many GPs.
“I’m a health coach with a particular interest in the menopause, being peri-menopausal myself. I’m interested in how lifestyle changes can support us alongside pharmaceutical and talking therapies to have a better experience of this mid-life change for women.”
She explained that health coaching is about empowering people to take control over their own health by co-creating small manageable steps to move them to sustainable lifestyle habits, saying: “Up to 80 per cent of our health outcomes are influenced by our lifestyle and only 20 per cent by our genes!
“I have always worked in the food and drinks industry and since my own experience of ill health I became interested in food as medicine. In 2021 I retrained as a health coach with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York and now help people through one to one coaching, group sessions and wellness talks and cooking demonstrations.”
To find out more, go to https://thenourishingspace.com/ or find The Nourishing Space on Facebook.