Reclaiming Our Inner Wise Woman
I would primarily say that I am a woman’s woman… in my work, my day-to-day life… I’m generally surrounded by female energy, so it stands to reason that my treatments and herbal remedies focus on women’s health… working with and helping to alleviate the conditions that are associated with our transitions, specifically those hormonal issues that come with our cycles and transitions… menarche, perimenopause and menopause, as well as infertility issues.
Many of my female clients also have chronic and painful conditions like fibromyalgia, CFS, ME, which often are exacerbated by the hormonal shifts that we experience as we approach perimenopause… the emotional uproar.
I specialise in gentle healing therapies such as myofascial healing massage, reflexology, aromatherapy and reiki, as well as herbal remedies and nutritional advice which can support some of the more unpleasant physical effects such as heavy and erratic periods, hot flushes, joint and muscle pain, headaches, sleep disturbances.
These transitions in a woman’s life are a natural part of the journey, we cannot stay fixed into any stage of our lives, every decade brings change. When we learn to work with these changes using therapies and herbs, we can ride the transitions with ease and grace, knowing we are supporting our bodies naturally. Like life, it can be a bumpy ride, but we can navigate our way through it with awareness, making it a dance rather than a roller-coaster!
It saddens me when I see all allopathic medicine wants to do is suppress the menopause… fuelled by media images of women that never grow old, we somehow think that the things we experience as we move into our 40’s and 50’s make us broken, symptoms to be “fixed” and ashamed of.
We can, and should, no more stop the perimenopause than we should stop puberty. They are the same thing! The media portrays menopause as something to fear, to shun, that what happens is our hormones stop, our insides whither… that with the stopping of our periods we lose what makes us women… this is untrue!! What actually happens is we get wise, we get feisty! The energy that was spent on a monthly bleed we now hold within. We don’t “lose” our hormones… we actually go back to the levels we had pre puberty!! If we support our bodies and allow our endocrine systems to work as they are meant to, what actually happens is as our ovaries begin to slow, the rest of the endocrine system, the adrenals, thyroid and pituitary glands, begin to take over. However, due to the stresses of modern society, we are often in adrenal fatigue, thyroid burn out, anxiety and stress override our systems, and so we struggle with “symptoms” of the perimenopause such as fatigue, weight gain, hot flushes, heavy menstrual bleeding, PMS, mood swings, emotional uproar, feelings of “going mad”, brain fog, feelings of isolation and embarrassment.
By working naturally to support, nourish and replenish the system, it is possible to have a smooth transition – I know as I have done it.
“Healer, heal thyself” is an adage you may know. Many of us who choose to be of service, whether the label is healer, therapist, coach etc, have started that journey through our own experiences, and then wanting to pass our knowledge onto others. My own journey through many gynaecological problems, years of fertility treatment, got me to this point. If I had not empowered myself and researched natural ways of working through this, I would have succumbed to the pressure of artificial hormones, and a hysterectomy at 40. And I was pressured!
Now I am not saying that some women don’t need that, or that they don’t have their place… these things can be lifesavers, game changers and really useful. But for me, I knew that a hysterectomy would have created more problems… my intuition told me to work through it – although it was very close, and I did begin to prepare myself for it! But, I got through it, with the support of herbs, tinctures, diet, different holistic therapies; homeopathy, massage, acupuncture, reflexology, aromatherapy, energy work, meditation, changing my mindset, becoming more mindful, changing the way I exercised – more yoga, being out in nature, acknowledging and making peace with the woman I was becoming. There was a lot of soul searching, inner work, reflection, over many years and it is still an ongoing process… and yes, I did have to have a surgical procedure, but it wasn’t as extreme as the hysterectomy they wanted to give me… I had to fight for it… go privately to have it, and it hasn’t been without its paybacks. I am sure that if I had found the books, remedies and treatments I used, continue to work with, 5 years earlier I could have saved myself that operation – I had an endometrial ablation, which was incredibly painful, left me with heavy bleeding for a while, the very thing it was supposed to stop, and internal scarring and adhesions. But then maybe I wouldn’t be here, writing this, and supporting women in my work now.
Everything has a price, but the drugs and surgery allopathic medicine trots out as standard without looking at the full holistic picture, can create more serious health problems in the future, by going as naturally as we can, listening to and working with our bodies, we can empower ourselves to understand this transition. We are all unique, there is no “one size fits all”. Our hormones fluctuate moment by moment, hour by hour. Like the tides of the sea, we have high and low peaks daily, like the phases of the moon, we wax and wane. We just need to get back in touch with our inner selves. This is the time to start the practice, the real practice of self care. And its not without its work. It’s not as easy as popping a pill. We are talking lifestyle changes here… because your life is going to change, in a big way…but you can be at the helm, steering, if you choose.
The great thing about all of the holistic natural remedies is that there are so many to choose from – they all do slightly different things, work with our own unique bodies differently, because some are gentler they can take a long time to work, and some can be as powerful as prescription drugs, or interact with medication that we are already on in undesirable ways, just because they are natural, does not mean they are all “safe”, all our medicines came from Mother Nature at some point! That is what can be overwhelming for many of us, that is why we need the help of professionals, and there are many of us! One of my philosophies is that none of us know it all, I certainly don’t! – holistic is about being whole, treating mind body and spirit – I make it part of my mission to have a tribe of healers, therapists and professionals in my circle, as well as a stack of useful reading resources, that I can refer my clients to if needed, that is part of my commitment to your wellbeing and healing journey.
You don’t have to be all natural, or go overboard either, just adding one or two small changes can be enough – and if you take HRT, or are on the pill, or have had a hysterectomy, or are on any other medication, there is no judgement, we all need to do what is right for each of us, and you can still make powerful and healthy changes in your life by bringing in a natural approach, no matter what it is, every little step will help.
Some Simple Tips
Here are a just a few remedies and lifestyle changes that are easy to implement as you move into this next phase of your womanhood;
- Drink more herbal teas, not the “flavoured” ones… real herbs… a daily cup of nettle tea, preferably fresh in the spring when you can get it, and dried in the winter, is a real tonic and boost for the system. Linden blossom, passion flower and chamomile are soothing, helping to sleep restfully, especially when made with oatmilk.
- Oatstraw infusion is deeply nourishing, try to drink a cup daily.
- Bring flaxseeds into your diet, filled with phytoestrogens they can help reduce hot flushes and night sweats as well as many other benefits. Here is a great article on flaxseeds.
- Agnus castus taken as a tincture is my go to remedy to balance all perimenopause symptoms. It can generally be taken safely right up until you don’t have a monthly bleed any more. Its an adaptogen, meaning it will bring balance to the system – normalising flow, pain, duration, PMS symptoms. There are a few contraindications with this herb, namely it cannot be taken in conjunction with any other synthetic hormones, but there are other herbs that can be worked with in its place, hence the importance seeking professional advice.
- Creating a daily meditation, mindfulness or breathwork practice… even 5 or 10 minutes a day, can have a significant affect on stress levels.
- Getting out into nature, walk as much as you can!
- Yoga, especially restorative practices such as Yin.
- Reflexology is brilliant at helping the body to heal itself and restore balance.
- Seek out the company and support of other women, particularly older ones who have been through it. Go to workshops and retreats, take a course, learn a new skill, make more time for you and time to do what you want!
- Take time to be alone.
The Wise Woman!
Patriarchy and history have denigrated the menopausal woman… made her ugly, repressed her, made her something for us to fear, made us feel ugly, and be fearful of ourselves… because they fear her!! Our ancient Ancestors and other cultures around the world venerated the Elders, the Wise Women. The term Crone was a name of respect and power – “crowned one”!! We can become stronger, wiser, more powerful, intuitive and re-wild ourselves by listening to that inner voice that craves freedom after a lifetime of being tied into a monthly cycle, freedom from some of the responsibilities of caring for children, stepping into our power!
If you are struggling with this transition, and you have a deeper knowing that you don’t want to be fobbed off with pharmaceuticals or surgery, or if you have had surgery, or have gone through the menopause, but still have underlying issues that are niggling away at you, then do contact me for a consultation, which can be done via zoom, or face-to-face, and let me help to guide you into a more intuitive, natural approach to this transition into your Wise Woman Years!
With much love