Important Announcement: Webinar Recordings of the Menopause Symposium are now available for purchase!
ATMS invites practitioners to download the webinar recordings of the Live Streaming, from the Menopause Symposium, which took place on Sunday 7 February 2021 in Sydney.
If you missed attending on the day – ATMS is now pleased to be able to offer all your amazing presenters and a chance to earn 6 CPE points – post-event!
The Menopause Symposium provides a unique opportunity for practitioners to understand the physiology of the menopause transition and its impact on women’s physical and psychological health, and the ways in which natural, allopathic and allied health modalities can support that transition.
Hear from five leading experts in Chinese medicine, naturopathy, endocrinology and pelvic physiotherapy, as they share factors impacting menopause symptoms.
Speakers and Topics include (full topic outlines and bios below):
Dr Kate Levett
Menopause within a Chinese Medicine framework
Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) and infertility
The Genitourinary Syndrome of menopause
Dr Soji Swaraj
Working collaboratively with medical practitioners for menopausal women
Managing menopause – A pelvic physiotherapist’s perspective
ATMS Accredited/Associate Member
Full Speaker and Session Topics
Presenter: Dr Kate Levett – Acupuncturist
Dr Kate Levett is an Acupuncturist, educator and researcher, specialising in women’s health and maternity epidemiology. She is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney School of Medicine, and an adjunct Fellow at the NICM Health Research Institute at Western Sydney University. She has recently received an NHMRC Early Career Fellowship, leading a collaboration of investigators in a large prospective meta-analysis of independent childbirth education and its effect on maternal and neonatal outcomes.
Kate completed her PhD at NICM Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University, and has a Masters in Public Health (Epidemiology) from the University of Sydney, and an undergraduate degree in Education (University of Sydney) and Health Sciences (Acupuncture) at the Australian Institute of Applied Sciences, Brisbane. She specialises in complementary therapies for women’s health and life transitions.
Session: Menopause within a Chinese Medicine framework
Menopause is seen in Traditional Chinese Medicine and other Asian Medicine frameworks as a normal phase in the life cycle of women, and can be explained by traditional concepts of Yin, Yang, Qi and Blood.
However, how women experience this phase of life depends on their underlying constitution as well as internal and external factors that influence the balance of Yin, Yang, Qi and Blood. The relative balance of these ‘substances’ determine how the symptoms of menopause present in each woman.
In a clinical context when women present with ‘typical’ symptoms of menopause which often interfere with everyday life, we are given an opportunity to consider the balance of these Yin, Yang, Qi and Blood, and women’s constitutional framework in our efforts to correct the imbalance and influence the symptoms women experience. How can we apply this and optimise this period of life for all women?
There are key strategies that draw from an understanding of environmental, constitutional, emotional and nutritional influences on health, that we can implement to influence the balance of substances for each woman. Menopause can be a long and healthy time in a woman’s life, but she must learn to harness her Qi and Blood and work for her good health status.
By understanding these requirements, considering research and clinical expertise we can improve women’s experience of health in menopause and support women to achieve this.
Presenter: Leah Hechtman - Clinician, Researcher, Author and Educator
PhD (Candidate), MSciMed (RHHG), BHSc (Naturopathy), ND, FNHAA
Leah is an experienced and respected clinician and has been in private practice for over 20 years. Leah specialises in fertility, pregnancy and reproductive medicine and holds fellowships and memberships with many International organisations. She sits on multiple Scientific Advisory boards and is a Past President of the NHAA.
Leah has completed extensive advanced training and is currently completing her PhD through the School of Women’s and Children’s Health (Faculty of Medicine [UNSW]). Her research is exploring ovarian biomarkers in women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and Premature Ovarian Failure (POF). Leah is the Director of The Natural Health and Fertility Centre, in Sydney Australia. Over the years she has helped thousands of couples conceive healthy, vibrant children often in situations where they were told there was no hope left.
Leah is a keynote speaker and an author of multiple seminal naturopathic textbooks and is a contributor to journals and other texts within the Naturopathic and Functional Medicine areas as well as general gynecology, fertility and infertility.
Session: Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) and infertility
The oocyte is most influenced by a woman’s maternal grandmother’s health and wellbeing than any other variable in her lifetime – known as the trigenerational effect.
In a clinical context when presented with a woman diagnosed with oocyte aging or premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) we are given a clinical conundrum that challenges our belief in current literature, ethical framework of practice and an awareness that some patients recover from oopause to resume cycling normally. How is this so, and how can we optimise this for all women?
There are key strategies we can incorporate that include an understanding of oocyte biology and mitochondrial efficiency that can swing a woman’s fertility back into optimal cycling and oocyte health. Fertility care is inundated with women who face these diagnostic limitations and yearn for offspring from their own gametes. By understanding the requirements, considering new research and clinical expertise we can improve these statistics significantly and support women in achieving this goal.
Presenter: Moira Bradfield-Strydom - Naturopath and Acupuncturist
Intimate Ecology M Acu, B Nat, PhD Candidate
Moira Bradfield-Strydom, founder of Intimate Ecology clinical and education services, is a Naturopath, Acupuncturist and educator with over 18 years clinical experience. She has a passion for helping people experience optimal health in sustainable and sensible ways.
Clinically she has a niche interest in recurrent vaginal infections, optimal vaginal and genitourinary health, hormones and the vaginal microbiome (the bacteria and microbes that reside in the vaginal cavity).
Moira holds a Bachelor of Naturopathy Southern Cross University, a Masters degree in Acupuncture from Southern Cross University and is a PhD Candidate at Griffith University, Australia: in the area of the vaginal microbiome and recurrent vaginal infections.
In addition to her role as a Naturopath Moira has lectured in Naturopathy, biosciences and nutrition both overseas and in Australia.
Session: The Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause
During menopause, common symptoms like flushes and mood changes are often readily acknowledged and discussed. Changes in hormones and the gradual decline of estrogen can have a multitude of impacts on the genitourinary system causing symptoms like chronic pain, irritation, urinary tract infections, vaginal infections, changes to sex lives and skin fissures. These presentations are often poorly managed due to being overlooked or a reluctance to discuss them by both patient and practitioner. The issues of menopause like vaginal atrophy are more than just an issue with lubrication and need to be addressed as part of a holistic approach to menopausal health and wellbeing.
Moira will discuss the role of vaginal microbes and vaginal homeostasis in menopause, the influences of estrogen on the genitourinary system and the simple and holistic strategies to question and support menopausal clients in their vaginal and urinary health.
Presenter: Dr Soji Swaraj - Endocrinologist
Dr Soji Swaraj is a Sydney University Medical graduate who completed his training as a specialist Physician at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, he won an NHMRC scholarship to perform research for a PhD in molecular endocrinology at the University of Sydney and University of Turku in Finland.
After returning to clinical medicine Dr Swaraj was appointed as a visiting Consultant Physician (Endocrinologist) at Concord Hospital where he is on call for acute endocrinology admissions, teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students and is involved in research projects.
Dr Swaraj conducts endocrinology practice in private rooms where he provides consultations for patients from around NSW, Australia as well as overseas in his special interests including Holistic metabolic and hormonal health in Diabetes and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (weight gain, irregular periods, acne and hirsutism in women). He has given several invited lectures across Australia, Asia and Diabetes Educators conferences as well as to UNSW and University of Sydney Students
Session: Working collaboratively with medical practitioners for menopausal women
There is substantial evidence that women experiencing menopausal symptoms are significantly undertreated and thus suffer unnecessarily.
This might be a result of a lack of exposure and skills training in general practice, gynaecology and endocrine training programmes. Or the result of misplaced fears among patients and Doctors regarding risks of treatment following the WHI study results in 2002.
In this session Dr Swaraj will explore the most effective menopause intervention strategies from western medicine (such as bio-identical hormone replacement), as well as those from natural medicine, psychology and exercise physiology (preventing co-morbidities and mortality thru the course of multidisciplinary collaboration).
Presenter: Ruth Schubert - Physiotherapist
Ruth Schubert is a physiotherapist with 19 years clinical experience with a unique background in both musculoskeletal and pelvic health. She has toured the country and the world with state and national sporting teams and has a specialist interest in pelvic health with extensive advanced training in pelvic pain, pelvic organ prolapse, incontinence and sexual dysfunction. Ruth is a regular presenter and writer on women’s pelvic health and is passionate about supporting women through their life stages.
She is on the Clinical Advisory Committee for Endometriosis Australia, is a PINC certified cancer rehabilitation physiotherapist, and has a professional certificate in pessary management of pelvic organ prolapse (UniSA). Ruth believes the physiotherapy profession has an important role in optimising women’s experience in the transition through menopause and works full time in women’s pelvic health at Alana healthcare.
Session: Managing menopause - A pelvic physiotherapist's perspective
Menopause is the time when a woman’s ovarian function winds down, and with it can come some unwelcome physical and emotional changes. Vasomotor and mood changes, loss of bone density, joint pain and weight gain can occur at varying levels. One of the best treatments for these conditions is exercise, however pelvic health conditions women can experience during menopause are significant limiting factors on their ability to achieve their daily dose.
Incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse are common conditions during this life stage, and these symptoms can be highlighted and exacerbated during exercise. How can we expect women to do bone-building exercise if she is suffering from incontinence at the gym?
Another common symptom of menopause is vaginal dryness and sexual pain, which impacts relationships and mental health.
In this session Ruth will talk about a biopsychosocial approach, showing how physiotherapists can help women address these symptoms using high level evidence-based treatments and a shared care approach between medical, allied health and traditional medicine practitioners.