RACHEL'S RUMINATIONS: Book offers guidance on mastering menopause with grace and dignity

“Beyond Menopause: New Pathways to Holistic Health” by Carolyn Torkelson, M.D. and Catherine Marienau, Ph.D. provides valuable advice for women over age 40.

CRC Press, 2022
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Last spring, I was hostessing a girls’ weekend with college friends and during one of our saunas I asked the group for ideas on hormone related topics for the weekly blogs I write for my website. One of my friends suggested an article focusing on health concerns for postmenopausal women.

Lo and behold, “Beyond Menopause: New Pathways to Holistic Health” by Carolyn Torkelson, M.D. and Catherine Marienau, Ph.D. was just published and fits that request perfectly.

This book is a fantastic resource for any female age 40 or over who is interested in prevention and holistic health. Even though the average menopausal age is 51, many women begin to notice hormonal fluctuations in their early to mid-40s.

In the past, I have always recommended Dr. Tori Hudson’s “Women’s Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine,” which continues to be a treasure trove for any female from puberty through menopause.

“Beyond Menopause” is divided into three sections. Part 1 is entitled “Speak Up for Yourself” and focuses on becoming a self-advocate and building a health support network. This portion of the book also addresses the principles of holistic and integrative health.


Part 2 is titled “Expand Your Options,” and does not need to be read sequentially. This section is truly a reference which you can pick up when you have specific health concerns on your mind. Topics in this part include the following:

  • Menopause (including discussion on hormone replacement therapy and supplements)
  • Sexual health 
  • Sleep
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Weight
  • Bone health
  • Brain health

Part 3 is entitled “Harmonize Your Body, Mind, and Spirit.” This section is very brief, but valuable, and encourages a focus on nurturing body-spirit, self-compassion, loss and purpose.Both Minnesota-native authors have written and designed an informative yet concise (188-page) book primarily for the layperson, although I do think any medical professional would find value in perusing the authors’ collective knowledge.

The book includes many case studies from Torkelson’s clinical practice, and both doctors also disclose some personal insights as well, which always seem to make non-fiction books more interesting.

Rachel Oppitz lives in Park Rapids with her husband, Chris, and dog Pax. She is a naturopathic doctor and owns Itasca Naturopathic Clinic. In her spare time, she loves yoga, hiking, biking, canoeing, camping, traveling, meditating and trying new recipes.

Rachel Oppitz is a naturopathic doctor and owns Itasca Naturopathic Clinic in Park Rapids and Bemidji.
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