Resources for Women’s Health
There are many different ways you can support your hormonal and digestive well being and many of them are inexpensive and easy to do at home. I have compiled a list of resources for women’s health issues that may help you below with guidelines about what they may help and when they should not be used. In each section there are links so you can find out more about how to manage your health. I recommend you do lots of research to find the treatment that is right for you. Whatever you choose you need to feels safe and nourished, and if it’s not pleasurable for you, you are unlikely to be able to sustain it. If you are not sure what to do, consult your GP or other health provider.
This has to be top of my list doesn’t it! The potential for physical and emotional healing with abdominal massage is far beyond what is commonly expected. If you are unfortunate enough to be unable to come to Watford, there are a couple of great directories for abdominal massage therapists specialising in fertility massage and abdominal sacral massage around the world. To really take charge of your own health, doing the self-care massage regularly can have amazing results. You can get your free instructions here.
Excellent for all sorts of women’s health issues, if you want a yoga class appropriate for your issues, have a chat with your local Well Woman Yoga teacher. Teachers trained by Birthlight and in Womb Yoga are both excellent but just asking your teacher about poses beneficial for your issues and listening to her response and knowledge will tell you everything you need to know. It is so important that we give priority to slowing down and listening to the wisdom that arises from within us.
Awareness is the first step to managing hormonal difficulties and I recommend clients who have any sort of issue with their hormones, from PMT to peri-menopause, fibroids and endometriosis, to chart their cycle. You will find your own way to record all or any combination of emotion and feelings, vaginal mucus and body temperature depending on your focus.
You can download my cycle chart and start using it today if that’s your thing.
It can quickly become apparent that stresses at one end of the cycle have repercussions at the other. Alexandra Pope and Sjanie Hugo-Wurlitzer of Red School have an excellent online training in charting and menstrual health, which I can highly recommend. Miranda Gray’s phone app ‘The Flow’ is brilliant too.
If you prefer to chart with the moon, I have a moon chart for that too!
Noticing and recording the vaginal mucus every day is an easy, pretty fail-safe method of telling when you are fertile. There’s more information about how to do this here which includes an excellent chart. If you find that you learn better from video there’s a good one here.
Charting Basal Body Temperature (BBT)
Taking your body temperature first thing every morning will tell you when progesterone rises in your body as you ovulate. This is useful for women wanting to conceive as well as for women who would rather not. You can find more information here. If you like paper and pen there are charts here, or there are some excellent apps for your phone if you like to record things digitally.
Castor Oil Packs
An old-fashioned remedy where you lay a castor oil soaked flannel or pad directly on your skin and add heat on top. Specific compounds in the oil are absorbed into the lymphatic system, boosting immunity and making for a soothing, cleansing treatment. For acute situations apply 3 x a week. This site will give you the background, and you can purchase the oil from chemists or amazon. Castor oil packs are good for…
- Non-specific fertility issues
- Ovarian, fallopian and uterine health.
Not safe for Pregnancy or breastfeeding women. And avoid if you suffer from any of the following…
- Heavy flow
- After ovulation if you are trying to get pregnant
- While you are menstruating
- Have an IUD fitted
- Irritable bowel
- Or have recently undergone surgery
Your mum was right, tucking your vest into your pants really helps your overall health. For those too cool for school (myself included) there are Haramakis or hip warmers. You can also get a discount from the nice people at Nuku-Nuku and read all about these stylish hug-monsters here.
We all know that we are what we eat, but beyond eating our 5 a day, what will really make a difference to our health? These resources will help you find food that will help to heal the issues you are dealing with. For bespoke advice it is best to consult a nutritionist. This website can give you information about how fermented foods and a healthy gut supports your immune system. Here’s women’s health guru Christiane Northrup’s article on creating a hormone balancing diet.
Giving your vagina a gentle sauna has positive benefits:
- The heat softens the tissues in the whole reproductive system
- Special herbs can be used for their specific conditions
You can learn more about yoni steams here. Em Tivey has a selection of herbs for various conditions and offers an excellent menstruality service from cradle to grave. She offers comprehensive instructions on how to steam safely. Steams are good for…
- Painful periods
- Irregular cycles
- Scar tissue
- Brown blood at beginning or end of your period
Do not steam if…
- You experience heavy bleeding
- If you have an infection
- You could be pregnant
- After ovulation if you’re trying to conceive.
I’ve written before about the ground root of this Peruvian plant. It balances out your hormonal system and the malty taste has been a familiar part of the South American diet for 1,000’s of years but no toxicity has yet been detected. I find it really beneficial for my hormonal balance and have some in my breakfast smoothies. The glucosinolates it contains can affect fertility in both men and women. It is good for…
- balancing hormones
You can read more about it here.
These compounds mimic the effect of natural oestrogens in the body. They’re found in many of the plastics we use to wrap our food, the chemicals we use in cosmetics and in our homes and in our foods. Cleaning up your life by limiting the use of will benefit yourself as well as help to heal the planet. This article will tell you more and there’s in depth info here. Your first step if you have any reproductive issues is to stop using tampons and change to pads, preferable organic, washable pads or a moon cup. The manufacture of Tampons and ordinary pads includes bleach, which we do not want to place next to the delicate tissues around our vulvas! Added to which a tampon can leave fibres in your vagina, especially when it’s dry and this can lead to all sorts of issues. Rachel Hertogs of Moontimes has loads of great products and information. You can also buy cloth pads here from a truly inspirational young woman called Bree.
This is a food supplement that is recommended for conditions associated with oestrogen dominance. It is said to be like a truckfull of broccoli delivered in a teeny capsule. You should consult a nutritionist if you are unsure of what to take, but you can find out more about DIM here. Good for…
- Painful periods
- No ovulation
Woman Essence – Australian Bush Flower Remedy
Widely loved, Woman Essence harmonises emotional imbalances during menstruation and menopause. It helps a woman to discover and feel good about herself, her own body and her beauty. I recommend it for any hormonal imbalances and you can buy it as drops, a mist, moisturiser or oral spray. Useful for:
- Women who want a baby
- Painful periods
Encouraging Ovulation with Light
There is anecdotal evidence that sleeping with the light on can encourage ovulation to occur, this article will explain how to do it in detail.
The Deer Exercise
This is a Taoist practice that is used to increase feminine energy, regulate periods and boost the endocrine system. It is featured in Uma Dinsmore-Tuli’s book Yoni Shakti and you can find instructions online here. Be warned, it is pretty powerful stuff! Good for…
- Raising libido
- Harmonising the endocrine system
- Regulating periods
- Kickstarting periods
Old Fashioned Digestive Remedies
If I could pick just one favourite digestive salve it would be slippery elm. This soothing remedy has been used for 100’s of years for
- Inflammation of the gut
- Acid indigestion
You can check out suggested doses and other uses here.
Please remember that you are responsible for your health and well being. Don’t just take my word for the healing properties of these practices, do your research and use a combination of your intellect and guts to decide what will be right for you. It has to feel good to be sustainable, after all.