In this MVP episode, we dive into a topic that effects every woman at some point in her life: menopause.

Tune in this week to one of our Most Valuable Podcasts where I speak with Nicola Douglas, a Women’s Health Acupuncturist who shares her expertise on natural approaches to managing menopause and supporting women’s health.

We explore how Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) views menopause, and how acupuncture can be used to support women during this transition.

We chat about the most common symptoms and imbalances that women experience during perimenopause, including the ones that sneak up on you before you are ready!

Nic is an expert in TCM and all things Women’s Health, and is one of my go-to people for supporting my own health during menopause and beyond!

Plus, we’ll discuss dietary and lifestyle recommendations, Chinese herbs, and how to work with a TCM practitioner to create a personalized treatment plan.

Join us for this empowering conversation!


Links & guest bio:


Nicola is not your average acupuncturist. With years of experience, she’s not just passionate about women’s health and wellness, she is completely obsessed. Nicola has been an established part of the health and wellness community for years, offering individualised treatments and expert advice to women dealing with a wide range of health concerns.

When it comes to fertility, pregnancy, and women’s hormonal health, Nicola is an expert. Her mission is simple: to help women achieve their best state of well-being, health, and happiness. She combines the best of both worlds by combining her knowledge in both traditional Chinese medicine and western medicine, creating a personalised treatment plan that addresses all components of health.

As a 48-year-old mother of four, Nicola knows first-hand the physical and emotional demands women face, especially during perimenopause. And she harnesses that knowledge to fuel her practice. Nicola creates a supportive and nurturing environment that makes her clients feel heard, seen, and understood.

Nicola is a registered acupuncturist with the New Zealand Register of Acupuncturists and holds an Advanced Diploma in Traditional Chinese Medicine, as well as a Diploma in Nursing. She is constantly expanding her knowledge and skills to offer her patients the very best care, recently completing a Diploma in Fertility Acupuncture

With her compassionate approach and expertise in women’s health, Nicola is the ultimate partner on your health journey


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Full Episode Transcript

Hey, before we start, what are you reckon is the top three, main challenges women go through in perimenopause, like just off the top of your head.

Nicola: Tiredness. Yeah. Sense, like a loss of self. Yeah. And probably other things like just insomnia and just that whole like change in the body.

Meegan: And that actually took me back when you said tiredness and then the, the change in body of when it, cuz like, cuz I went through a menopause so early how it kind of snuck up on me. [00:01:00] And you think you’re just tired and you think like, oh, why am I still, why am I putting on weight in the, in a different way how I used to?

And then it’s like, oh shit, it took ages for me to figure it out. For someone to tell me, well

Nicola: that’s right. So I was thinking about that this morning and that like, it does sneak up on you until then you realize you are really in the mud. Yeah. I didn’t realize that it was this.

Meegan: Exactly. And then you’ve got that work to do that quite intensive work to do to pull yourself out of it.

Nicola: Yeah,

Meegan: because you’ve dropped, well, not dropped, but Cause those symptoms have become quite intense.

Nicola: Yeah. Now they’re so big. You are so tired, you are so lethargic and are so off the track. You know, it, you are beyond helping yourself.

Meegan: That’s right. And that’s when you need that intervention, right? Yeah. That is, yeah.

That’s such an important piece because there does, it does get to a [00:02:00] stage where it’s beyond you being able to Google things, look up things, talk to friends, and help yourself. It’s like you actually need an expert to help you intervene and create some change. Starting to.

Nicola: Yeah. Then that structure and that tell me what to do instead.

Yeah. Because then you’re not grasping at everything. Yeah, explain everything because you know, your friends say, oh, you should take this or you should try this. It’s amazing for me. And so, and you know, it might not work for you and you end up with like this whole array of shit that is like, Blowing your mind and doing nothing.

I had a client the other day and she said, seriously, I had never eaten so well. I’ve never looked after myself so well, and I feel like shit. She said she’d started intermittent fast thing, she’d started she’d dropped dairy and started doing oat milk in her coffee it was like, You need [00:03:00] to go back doing what you were doing.

She five meals a day and exercising a lot more, and she was like a superwoman. And then she tried. And she just like it hit the bottom.

Meegan: She tried to do that collective wisdom. Yeah. Which is what we’re told by our friends, which is not necessarily the right thing to do, right?

When you’re going through perimenopause.

Nicola: No. It’s what suits you. What suits your body, what works for you. Take notice.

Meegan: Yeah. So while we’re on that topic, what do you think about intermittent fasting? I know well, but first of all, from a tcm, traditional Chinese medicine perspective, but then secondly through perimenopausal time.

What’s your like, take on that?

Nicola: Well, in tcm it’s definitely a no-no because we’re supposed to eat earlier in the morning because we have this cycle of. We now organs are peaking and so we can [00:04:00] digest better earlier in the morning. We’re supposed to have a poo earlier in the morning. So TCM’s are quite rigid about that.

About, yeah, three, three meals a day. Intimate fasting, I find can be good for, for some people, especially, like overweight, P C O S people for a little. But generally I say to people, I don’t know how you do it. I’m so hungry and I don’t think you should let your body be hungry.

Meegan: Right. And is that a TCM perspective as well?

Like that you shouldn’t let your body be hungry.

Nicola: Yeah, cuz it needs to be nourished. We need to feel nourished cuz we are always, you know, with the things we’re talking about that we

should do in inverted commas. You’re just ripping yourself off from the joy of life as well.

Meegan: Oh my God, yes. I think you summed up like peri menopause for, for me and for [00:05:00] a lot of women.

And what was it that you said that your client said? It was something like, I’ve never eaten so well in my life and I feel like shit. I mean, isn’t that like the chapter title for perimenopause

Nicola: yeah. And so that sort of brings me onto like, okay, if you’re feeling so shit, why are you feeling so shit? And you’ll go to the doctor and the doctor will say cuz you’re by this time pretty tired, right?

You’re pretty stressed out. And the doctor will say, here’s some antidepressant. It happens a lot. And they haven’t really checked any bloods. So I love sending people off to the GP to get their bloods done because women like in tcm, we are made up of blood. We are yin as woman and more yin as opposed to yang.

And so blood is our essential basis. I see so many people who are iron deficient. And anemic, and it’s [00:06:00] really hard to cope when you’re that tired because the the parameters of what’s acceptable in, in numbers is 20 to 250, and so that’s your iron stores. I mean, that’s a huge range. And if you’re at 21 as opposed to a hundred, well that’s still pretty low.

I don’t know any woman who functions well down in the twenties, let alone. Single digits. And I see women in the single digits a lot. Seriously? Yeah. Bloody hell. Yeah. They’re tired, you know, they’ve got brain fog, they can’t sleep. Yeah. And the doctor thinks they’re depressed and their bloods come back in like normal because they’re in this a very low range, and they’re not offered anything because they’re normal.

Meegan: But that, that’s the problem, right? Is that often the, around that sort of range that it kind of comes into that [00:07:00] binary thing. It’s like, well, if you’re in the range, you’re normal. It’s fine. Yeah. If you’re outside of the range, we need to do something about it. But actually there’s, like you said, there’s a massive spectrum in there.

Nicola: The spectrum is too big and one women do not function well with low iron. And another thing that happens around perimenopause and with after having babies and with menopause is the thyroid can get out of whack as well. So that’s another really important thing to tick off is my thyroid functioning. Wow.

Meegan: God, on damn everything you’re talking about. So familiar for me and my.

Nicola: So alike. I love treating women who come in with like, perimenopausal stuff. They don’t necessarily like label it that. Yeah. It’s like, I know you, you are mean. Come

Meegan: sit down.

You are me. Hey let’s introduce you. Hey, so welcome to the podcast Nicola Douglas.

I thought I’d just jump on in cuz we’ve got so much to share, but can you introduce [00:08:00] yourself please? Aside from being one of my besties and one of my go-to people, what else is important about you that people need to know?

Nicola: So I I’m 48, so I’m dark depths of peri menopause myself. You’re going right there.

I’m in there. I’m an acupuncturist. Before I was an acupuncturist I was a nurse. So like I can come from you know, a TCM point of view in a more of a western medicine point of view. And I love marrying those together. I’m the co-founder of Tahi here, where we’ve got like a great bunch of women who

come together and have a same interest and passion for treating women as well. I love working with women. I’ve got four kids. So, yeah, I’m, I’m quite busy and

Meegan: yeah, quite busy. Nick’s like, Nick’s typically been like someone I’ve looked to who you’ve been like a powerhouse of energy in your life, and I’ve

[00:09:00] always admired how you navigate that piece of having your own business very busy and your own business and having four kids. And so then for you going through this perimenopausal phase, what’s changed for you? Like what is, what’s been coming up?

Nicola: Oh, shit. I had to find the stillness. Mm-hmm. I had to find the space within because like she said, I, like I was go, go, go all the time.

And it got too much and I, it was, I can’t sustain this any longer. And then actually I don’t wanna sustain this any longer. And there was always this like, you know, if I slowed down, it was boring. And I wasn’t achieving anything. And. But it became my number one mission was to find the void or the being able to stop and slow down and be okay with that.

What was the question? Now I’m getting lost.

Meegan: No, no, that’s, that’s beautiful. You answered the question beautifully. [00:10:00] So, hey, in, in TCM through the acupuncture lens, how is like menopause viewed? Because I’ve heard you say a few things in clinic over the years where I’ve. Oh, that’s like a sort of a different viewpoint from what I’ve heard through Western medicine or even other, other lenses.

So what does that lens of perimenopause,

Nicola: menopausal time?

So in Chinese medicine, there’s no such thing as perimenopause. It doesn’t exist because that’s just another imbalance. Whatever’s happening then is something else that needs to be balanced up. And historically they didn’t really become as out of whack as we do because they have a big emphasis on nourishing the body right from the get-go.

They have this like the art of nourishing life. Yeah. And so that’s a big focus right from the get-go on. Moving your body mindfully and it’s not running. Like, they’re definitely not into like [00:11:00] going for a 10 K run. That’s like, they’re like, what? Why would you do that?

Meegan: So, no, because it’s depleting or,

Nicola: yeah.

Right. It’s too, it’s too much for the body. But there’s gotta be mindful movement. You’ve gotta keep the body moving. Mindful of what’s going in your body, what is the food that’s working for you? Does it nourish you sleep? Are you getting enough sleep? Like we can only make hormones when we’re asleep. We can only, our bodies can only reset, rebalance and rewire when we are sleeping and.

We’re not sleeping enough.

Meegan: Hey man, that’s so bloody cruel though, isn’t it? Because if we can only make Hey woman, if we can only make hormones when we sleep and when we’re in perimenopause, sleep is so disrupted. So many women are like, oh yeah, I’m my awake at two in the morning, four in the morning. I don’t go back to sleep.

So then you get caught into this vicious cycle.

Nicola: You’re in the cycle, it’s hard to get out. And in tcm, a lot of those sleep disturbances do come [00:12:00] from a blood deficiency. So that’s why I’m always on about the blood.

Meegan: What does that mean, like blood deficiency? I don’t get that.

Nicola: Blood deficiency is that that nourishing cooling aspect, aspect of the body, and it’s not necessarily that you are anemic.

It might not show up on the bloods. Often it does, like 95% of the time it does. But there’s these other women who present with blood deficiency and their bloods are normal, but they’ve got every symptom of it. Like they’ve got dry skin, it’s itchy, their hair is dry, their eyes are sore, and itchy. Got blood, he’s gotta get out and nourish the skin,

Meegan: nourish the whole body, nourish the skin, nourish the hair.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Nicola: But it also nourishes the heart. So at nighttime, a nice, like juicy, nourished heart is where the mind comes back in, or the spirit can comes back in at nighttime and it’s got this delicious place to rest. And switch off. And if there’s not [00:13:00] enough blood, well it wanders, we can’t sleep.

Meegan: Is that why like so typically perimenopausal time in menopause, there’s a lot of anxiety.

Nicola: Yeah, for sure. Because the heart is not nourished and we’re also generating more heat around this time, yes. We’re, we’re, and because. As we were younger, all our energy is centered down in our lower belly. It’s all, when we are young, we are all about nurtured, feeling, nurtured, feeling safe, and so that’s all down in the lower abdomen.

That’s the energetics of it. It’s all about reproduction. So all of our energy is down in the reproductive area, But as we get older, we start swapping that in peri menopause and it starts coming up to the heart. So, women are now more heart-centered. There’s like this invitation to bring all the energy up to the heart [00:14:00] and we live with more wisdom and.

We live from our heart. What do we really wanna do? What do we really wanna say? So the opposite of that is like we can fight it. And if we fight it, we are fighting the changes. We don’t like what’s going on. We stagnate more energy, it becomes more stuck, and we create more heat, more hot flashes, more anxiety.

More angst within ourselves. So I think we have to be more aware that what’s going on is not a disease. It’s natural, and we have to allow the body to make those changes and support the body. In making those changes so that we can bring this energy out of the, the lower body and up into our heart and like radiate.

Meegan: Mm-hmm. Oh wow. That’s super interesting. I haven’t thought about it from that perspective, but as you were talking I was kinda like, well, if [00:15:00] that’s a, like the energetic sort of process that’s happening, then it is going to stimulate. Unintegrated traumas or life experiences, do you see that in clinic?

Nicola: Oh, and like this time of life is when it all comes up.

Our body is like a filing cabinet for all our trauma, for all our big traumas for on our little traumas, like the trauma even of having a, an argument with someone. But you know, when you’re. Got little kids and you’re on the go all the time and you’re trying to put on a happy face. There’s no time to process every interaction that we have with people or with ourselves and we file it.

And in Chinese medicine, it’s all we believe it. It’s filed away nicely. It can be filed in blood vessels, in the joints with, and later on, I find, especially at perimenopause, it all starts, [00:16:00] but the filing cabinet, like is now bursting open. We need to do some re jigging and it’s, again, it’s an invitation.

You can enter your filing cabinet and upgrade into using a computer. Or you can just

Meegan: store it on the cloud, baby,

Nicola: you can store it on the cloud. Look, you can decide what you wanna do with it. Some woman they are just, you know, it’s just like, I just want my symptoms to go away. I am gonna carry on with how I live because I don’t want things to change.

It can be a bit scary. Other women come into it, fullheartedly and. I’m gonna, I’m, I’m changing up my life. Yeah. And they can find a smooth way through it because you are, you are willing to make changes. You’re willing to like maybe. Look at the trauma, look at the past. How, how has it affected you? Just being with all of that [00:17:00] and accepting all of that is, helps ease through it.

It doesn’t have to be really fucking hard and horrible, I promise.

Meegan: It’s really. I think that’s such a key piece at this, that time of perimenopause and like, I’m 52, but I went into menopause very early. So I’m kind of out the other side now, but it, it’s. Definitely an invitation, right? To change things up.

Yep. To like, it’s really interesting around that energetics of rising up from the low pelvic area, from maybe the sacral and the root chakra moving up into the heart. That’s interesting from a chakra perspective, right? Cuz it has to rise up through the solar plexus. Power center, and this is where we’ve, we’ve suppressed so much of ourselves.

Yeah. Because we’re so conditioned to people. Please, we don’t and don’t have clear boundaries that hasn’t been accepted. There’s [00:18:00] so much of this stuff that gets to be revisited or visited maybe

for the first time

when you’re in perimenopause in terms of, well, how do I want to let the rest of my life?

 In terms of treatment, so I, I really do like that idea of, you know, getting that support and getting that intervention early. And that’s something I didn’t do cause I didn’t actually know I was in peri menopause. Mm-hmm. I was just bloody tired.

Bloody frustrated.

Like that was one of the

first when I look back now symptoms, I was like,

why do I get so angry now? I haven’t felt like angry like this time as a

kid, you know, like feeling like I was flying off the handle. But so what are, what are the, the, the treatments, the, like how do you approach it?

Nicola: How do I approach it?

 Look, the first step is like just showing up, showing up to whoever you want to show up to and say, can you help me? And I love acupuncture for all of this because it’s a whole. [00:19:00] Mind, body, spirit treatment, which is super important at this time.

And women are like, they’re loving the whole, the wholeness of it, the whole aspect. There’s a lot of talking involved with me because you are unpacking and the talking is, but almost sets up the treatment like of where you want to go on the day. It is like opening up the filing cabinet and speaking with the body around what, what’s important today?

Is it the, yeah. Is it the hot flushes that they really need to go away? Is it the, you really need sleep? Let’s just work on sleep. And then later on down the line, it’s like, what’s, what’s coming up emotionally now? And that last little bit of the picture, you know, it was a, a helpful tool for the for the physical stuff to resolve as well.

Body work. When your body work is just super important at this time, no matter what it is, if it’s acupuncture, like [00:20:00] it’s important. Chinese herbs are really amazing at this time because again, they’re working on every aspect of the body, the divine mind, body, spirit, you know, we can nourish the blood, we can clear heat, we can calm the mind all at the same time with Chinese herbs, but you, you.

Meegan: But you wouldn’t go, like, just go and sort yourself out with that. Right, because it’s very specialized.

Nicola: It’s so specialized and there’s like, I can’t. I know that people wanna say, look, Nicola, what can I take? What do I, Charlie, just tell me what to take. I’m sorry. I I don’t know. You need to come and talk to me for an hour and I’ll find exactly what you need to take.

There’s no one size fits all, and not even with supplementation. I love magnesium. I think all women should be on magnesium. Super one really because it’s calming, it’s good for the bowels. We want to be like detoxing x estrogen and magnesium can help us. We want lots of support for the liver. So there’s [00:21:00] lots of just stuff you can do yourself as well along the lines of good food.

In clinic, I’m always. I’m mostly telling people to eat more. I think like we restrict ourselves too much. Women need lots of protein.

Meegan: I see that a lot of women through that time. We need to increase our protein. Yeah.

Nicola: Building blocks? Building blocks of the bladder? I mean, no, no blood.

Meegan: What about the vegetarians and vegans amongst us in terms of protein? What do we do?

Nicola: They can be really tricky. I find most vegetarians and vegans, most of them are pretty onto it and they know all about protein and they know how to get it into them. Every now and then, like they’re probably. The only time where I am saying, could you just eat a little bit of meat?

They’re my fertility clients. Really. Ah. But yeah, by the time they’re over that, you know, I, they, they know, they know about protein. Yeah.

You can move through it. [00:22:00]

Meegan: Yeah. And what about carbs? Because I know there’s a bit of a, sort of a trend for lower carb eating. How does that impact generally the perimenopausal woman?

Nicola: Women need carbs. We need energy, don’t hold back girlfriend, don’t hold back. You know, I don’t really, I’m not a massive fan of gluten. I find that cutting that out for a lot of women. I have found, and this is like not how I was trained, because we were trained like. This is the menopause diagnosis.

It’s normally a yin deficient and fire rising up and over the years, I’ve found it’s all coming back to digestion for women like they’re coming in with these Lots of patterns of digestive issues. And once we fix that, then everything else fixes the digestion. You know, that’s where we take in the food and it makes energy and it makes blood.

[00:23:00] And if we can get it working well, then everything else has this great knock on. So to getting a diet that that works for that particular person. And often I do get them to cut gluten because even if it’s only for four weeks, cuz it helps the gut line heal again and they feel amazing. And then I’ll say, just bring it in a little bit and see what you can tolerate.

And often they’ve changed. They’ll either go, I don’t eat gluten anymore because I feel so good off it. Or they go to eat it every now and then in small amounts. Yeah,

so good. So fine. Then again some people are fine with it and they go, no, I’m fine. I’m like, okay, keep eating it.

Meegan: Yeah. I’m either in denial or I’m fine with it.

Yes. You know, but, but I do try and go. Like be really mindful of not eating it every single meal, right? Because it can just take up all of like what you are eating, which is not helpful at [00:24:00] all. And certainly when I was going through perimenopause, I had a lot more And you know, I didn’t know so much then about what I needed to eat, but I had a lot more cravings for carbs.

Right. And because I wasn’t like loading in what I needed to around the really good nourishment. And so I had to kind of switch that around. And of course that settled down now. But yeah.

There’s a lot

Nicola: because you normally we’re so tired and we are just reaching for the quick and easy stuff, right? Eating.

Yeah. It takes a little bit, A little bit more planning.

Meegan: Yeah, it really does. And if you’re at the end of your energy levels, it’s like, well, what can I do that’s gonna, you know, take the less planning. You’ve got brain fog going on, you’ve got all these external pressures. You can see why this goes on for. women

Nicola: Yeah. And you get deeper and deeper in the mud and there’s, it’s just, you’re just surviving.

Meegan: Yeah. So what do you reckon? What, because what I don’t want to happen when we talk [00:25:00] about this is for women to. You know, take what we are saying and take what they’re reading, and then use it as a way to like, oh, I’m getting it wrong.

I’m doing it wrong. I’m wrong. I’ve caused this to happen because I think there’s so many, you know, environmental, societal, upbringing, all of that factors that really play into this, and that can make that time be quite challenging. What’s your take on.

Nicola: I’m, you’re in the right place at the right time, right now, you know, and what, often when I hear people’s stories, and again, you know, they’re beating themselves up, like, I should have been exercising more, or, I, I should have been doing that and I should have been doing that.

And quite often I’m like, wow, you’ve done an amazing job at getting through. Life and getting to here yeah. And it’s a lot of that like emotion when we talk [00:26:00] about the emotions being suppressed. That’s how they have that’s their survival. That’s, that’s how they’ve got through they’ve, that’s how they’ve managed to bring up children and feed themselves and run of A home and a business and I’m always like, wow, you went through all of that and you are like here.

Yeah. I’m always like, you’ve done a great job, but now let’s do some work.

Meegan: Let’s support you. Yeah, that’s a really great perspective. So what do you reckon if someone like, I know this is probably a too difficult a question, but I’ll ask it anyway. If I was in perimenopause and I wasn’t sleeping and I was getting hot flushes and Oh, actually, when I went through perimenopause that Migraine headache pattern was way amplified up.

I’ve got all of that going on. I’m, I’m crabby with my partner. My libido’s really low. I’ve got everything’s firing and I come and see you. What’s the kind of [00:27:00] timeframe? I know everyone’s different, but what are we talking about? Oh, weeks, months, six months, two months, three.

Nicola: Always, people feel immediately better, right.

Even if it’s on that short term because they’re now doing something about it. And even like weeks, weeks, they will feel better. Mm-hmm. But it could be you’re gonna have to take these supplements for a year, or you need to stick to this plan and keep altering it for the rest of your life. Yeah. I like to see people generally, and it’s just a general thing, like I like to see people weekly.

For these sorts of things for four to six weeks, and then we spread it out and then it becomes okay, I’m gonna come and see you every few months for a top-up and to, to check in and move my energy seriously. It can take not that long to feel better. And I’m always reminding people, it’s like 100 days for a red blood cell to mature. [00:28:00] So in 100 days you’ve got a whole new set of red blood cells going through around the body. Give yourself three months, you know? Yeah. To be really good. Yeah.

Meegan: Beautiful. And, and the thing is like permeables can last a long time. Right. Years and years. So Yeah. If you are making those changes with someone like you and you’re shifting into that next level of functioning, then.

That’s such a good thing.

Nicola: Well, you, and you know, we talked about in Chinese medicine that there was no perimenopause. It’s because they believe that you should just, your periods just peter off and then you don’t hold them and then you’re in menopause. Cuz that’s how it should work. Yeah, yeah. If you’ve got a lot of underlying deficiencies that you know, and you’re coming into perimenopause, often those people are like either poor functioning thyroid or they’ve had a really terrible recovery after births as well.

You know, that’s really taxing on the [00:29:00] body. And I think women, after we have babies, are not looking after ourselves as, as well as we could. We’re not staying home. And eating really nourishing foods. We are up washing the dishes, doing the laundry straight away. You know, we’re not being looked after.

I remember

Meegan: that when I heard my second kid and I was really doing a lot of chigong then and the, the cheat on teacher was, you know, they had this thing of. I dunno what it’s called. What is it? The golden month or something? I don’t know. Yes. Yeah, yeah.

Like you, you don’t leave the house for two weeks after you have the child.

You like four weeks. Four weeks. Oh, well they must have diluted it for, I can only remember it being two weeks, four weeks. That was enough. But it was like like you are really focusing on as resting as much as you.

Nicola: Yeah. So traditionally they would have like the mum move in or the mother Yeah. How moves in [00:30:00] and your only job is basically to breastfeed your baby like you do nothing.

Meegan: Yeah. And we don’t have that now. Right. And so it’s like, it’s not like we are choosing to not. To not look after ourselves. It’s like actually our society’s not set up to support us to do it in that way.

Nicola: Yeah. There is not that support. And it takes a lot of it takes a longer time for a woman to recover and sometimes, you know, 20 years later they’ll come in, they go, I haven’t felt the same since my second child.

Like, I know you’re tired. You never got it back.

Meegan: Yeah, exactly. It’s so bullshit, isn’t it? Because it’s like you, we go through that. There’s all that sort of, I think of it as deficiency in our environment. So then we are having to go back to being really, really active too early. And then you come into perimenopause and you find out, oh, there’s actually this sort of chronic deficiency or fatigue in my system.

And that’s really amplifying [00:31:00] these symptoms for. That was my experience anyway. I reckon I went into perimenopause after I had my second kids. I was 30, 0, 38. Was I 38, 37, I don’t know. But from then I started to have really light symptoms, and then it was all, you know, and then it started building, you know, that I don’t think I recovered.

Nicola: Yeah, and that catches up. But then again, like when it catches up to you, I’m always excited when people turn up. Cause I’m like, yay. Yes, let’s go.

Meegan: Yeah. Actually, let’s not go down to that deep, dark hole because when you do notice it and you do bring in that nourishment and that support, and yes, our culture and society is not set up to really nourish us, right.

In our roles, however, And so then we have to reach out to like someone like you to a practitioner, to support us. That support is there and, and like you said, in a matter of weeks, in a short amount of time, it can really start making a difference.

Nicola: It really does. [00:32:00] It does. And there’s other things on like.

Also like, I wanna say, big ups to talk therapy as well. You know, you might never have tried that before, but you know, that can be super helpful. And I think when you combine things like. Speaking with a therapist, with this body work and with the herbs. Well, you’re taking it to a whole new level. You’re working on every level.

Meegan: Yeah. So then it becomes very, very holistic.

Nicola: Very holistic. Yeah. Ah, and you’re at a flow. We, we need to practice being able to talk about what we’re going through and sometimes, you know, you might just have to pay a therapist to go and practice.

Meegan: God knows I’ve paid a few therapists in my life.

I’ve kept a few therapy businesses going back in the day. Hey. Yeah, and look, honestly, it’s Because I struggled as a young woman. I really struggled to be in life, to live a life that I wanted. And that, that was one of the big things that really got me able to be more resilient in my life and [00:33:00] my world.

So, you know, so much credit to that. How can women contact you work with you? How do they get in touch?

Nicola: Well I’m on Facebook and Instagram, just Nicola Douglas Acupuncture and I have a website, Nic Douglas acupuncture dot com. And where do you work from, Nic? I’m working from Tahi on Devon Street in New Plymouth.

But I can also work on Zoom. We can work, I can work with people anywhere. Yeah.

Meegan: So you work remotely? I work easy. Done. Yeah. Yeah. But not acupuncture for that. Right.

Nicola: Everything else? Acupuncture, but everything else, there’s like so much we can do without the needles. You know, Chinese herbs really are amazing around this.

And I can post them out.

Meegan: Yeah. And so you can actually set someone up a really powerful protocol that can help them even without their acupuncture.

Nicola: Yeah. And we can make a plan. And also I can find acupuncturists near you who I recommend as well.

Meegan: [00:34:00] Oh yeah. Good call. Good call. And if someone is say seeing their, Doctor, and maybe they’re looking at bio H R T or even h r T, can they still come and work with you?

Nicola: I have people come working with me who are on H R T. I have people working who, who’ve been on it for a while, but they wanna come off it. And people who are thinking about it. And it’s, it’s always a backup, you know, if, yeah, it’s always there. If you wanna lots of studies now. It’s like not as bad as we once made it out to be in Chinese medicine, it does have, its negative things.

It can ch, it can stagnate chi or it. Lead to more emotional disturbances. But you know, for some people it’s like freaking amazing and they love it. So yep. They work with me on it, come in off it mostly. And I find that people who come and work with me don’t end up needing it.

Meegan: [00:35:00] Beautiful. Hey, so Nic, what’s your favorite book at the moment?

Give us a book recommendation. Oh,

Nicola: okay. I’ve got. I’ve got a lot of books sitting on my bedside table, but at the moment, I am loving the subtle art of not giving a fuck by Mark Manson. And I think I love it so much cuz I’m listening to it on Audible and. It’s just pertinent for my time of life, you know, when women are going through pure menopause and they’re learning to give less sparks now.

So I’m really enjoying that. It’s quite light and mostly I like it because they says fuck a lot in the book.

Meegan: There’s lots of swearing there. Subtle out of not giving a fuck. Yeah. Yeah. Fantastic. Thanks so much. Amazing. Well, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom today, Nicola. It’s been such a pleasure and I know we had, so probably could have kept going for hours and hours, but that’s been so, so helpful.

Nicola: Thank you, Megan. Thank you for [00:36:00] having me. I’ve loved it. Good chat.

Meegan: My pleasure. Good chat. Ooh, and speaking of what, you and I are partnering up very soon, so for our local New Plymouth ngāmotu people. We are going to do a talk in just a couple of weeks, right?

Nicola: We are, we’re gonna do, we’re calling it Tahi Talks and we hadn’t actually given it a name yet, but we’re gonna be talking No, we have them this, all of this and more live at Tai on.

Yeah. May was it May the 11th.

Meegan: May the 11th. Yeah. So we’re gonna go for 7:00 PM I think, and I’ll put a link to where you can buy tickets. They’re gonna be super, super cheap. It’s just to cover our costs. But we really wanna share some more around this. We have so many women talking to us about peri menopause and menopause and so come together with other women and let’s start a conversation, share a conversation, give some support, and there’ll be drinks and nibbles as well.


Nicola: I’m sure there [00:37:00] will be.

Meegan: There. Better be. I’m demanding it. He

Nicola: don’t, no gluten, no.

Meegan: I’ll, I’m gonna sneak in gluten.

Nicola: Okay. No, there’ll definitely be gluten.

Meegan: Alright. Right. My love’s Have an amazing day and um so much, Nic.

Nicola: Thank you, Meegan. Bye

Meegan: bye. Hey, thanks for joining me on the podcast. If you liked what you heard, tell your friends, share the episode.

It all helps to get this information into the hands of other people that can use it to really unwind people pleasing, imposter syndrome, self-doubt, cuz we can do without that anymore, right? We need to step up, step into being the leaders we were born to be. Have an amazing week, my friend.