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Melike Hussein

Melike is the founder of BreathZone, a holistic wellness company that uses breathwork and meditation to transform people’s lives - especially those of perimenopausal and menopausal women. A qualified nurse, mindfulness teacher and breathwork coach, she’s 47 and lives in Twickenham with her husband Ian and their beloved cat Harry.

1. The best thing about the perimenopause is

For me, without a doubt, it’s the feeling of empowerment it’s given me.
I’ve been perimenopausal for almost two years and have had a mixture of symptoms from hot flushes to dizziness. However, by simply using the tool kit I’ve developed over the years – breathwork, mindfulness and meditation- I am proactively managing each of my symptoms.
They don’t eliminate them but they’re less frequent and intense. I still have hot flushes, for example, but, by using my tools, it just feels like an hour under the sun – a feeling of warmth but not in an uncomfortable way. Taking charge of my health and wellbeing in this way has been the most liberating experience of my life.

2. The hardest thing about the perimenopause is….

Perimenopause (and menopause) can be a lonely place, especially if you are the first and only one in your group of friends – like me. Like so many women, my friends still think of menopause as an event that suddenly happens in your late 50s and most of them don’t even think the perimenopause actually exists. I try to talk to them about it as much as possible so they’re informed and prepared but, even when I share my experiences, I know that they find it difficult to relate to. It’s great that we’re talking more about the perimenopause and menopause as a society but there’s clearly a lot more work to be done.

3. My lightbulb moment was….

Noticing that despite the significant scientific evidence clearly showing the effectiveness of breathwork and meditation in reducing the intensity and frequency of some of the common menopause symptoms such as hot flushes, brain fog and mood changes (some as high as 50-60% reduction), these disciplines weren’t receiving enough visibility and recognition as valid tools to manage our peri/menopause experiences.

As a qualified nurse and a holistic health practitioner, I felt compelled to share these completely natural, side-effect free and safe tools that I have been successfully using to control my own experience of perimenopause. This was the main driver for me to pivot my private practice to cater for women going through different phases of their menopausal journeys.

While I welcome the fact that perimenopause and menopause have been getting a lot of attention recently, it would be so much better if we could take a more holistic approach where all medical and non-medical tools are shared, discussed and their respective scientifically proven merits and effects explained to find the best solution for each individual woman instead of focusing on HRT as the main solution.

4. My selfcare superhero is….

Using breathwork and meditation in my daily life. I believe in turning self-care tools into habits, rather than carving out specific time – that way we’re more likely to use them and reap their benefits in the long term.

For example, I do 1 minute of breathwork or meditate when I’m waiting for the kettle to boil, I do 3 minutes when I’m waiting for the washing machine to finish and I make sure I take one deep relaxing breath every time I pick up my mobile phone (76 times on average, according to research). These simple habits alone mean I add 20 minutes of breathwork and meditation into my daily life without even trying.

This works for me but I’m always encouraging my clients to find their own imaginative ways to integrate these tools into their own lives.

5. I couldn’t live without…

Relaxing baths with Magnesium & Amethyst Deep Relax Bath Soak from Ilapothecary – It has the most wonderful smell and the best way to relax after a long working day. Also dinner and cocktail nights at home. I am not a big drinker, but I so enjoy being treated to a few cocktails and a wonderful home-cooked meal by my other half. They certainly bring a big smile to my face!

You can find out more about BreathZone here.

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