Who's the boss of your body?
If we don’t know any better, it’s not our fault. Yet I worry that in some ways we as women are getting it all wrong. I know myself the chosen education I have enjoyed, has helped me realise how much I had no idea how my body worked.
As women, periods seem to be our biggest excuse for our bodies and minds not feeling balanced. Headaches, bloating, moodiness, back pain, are all common complaints, that the women in our lives share with us. Yet, other than ignoring the symptom, taking pain relief, going on the pill or resting as a bandaid solution, nothing addresses the cause. Our periods aren’t meant to be the bully of our lives, and when we can actually understand the symptoms of imbalance we can heal toward a solution that isn’t a band aid.
Common conditions like Endometriosis and PCOS are growing, often genetics take the blame when other family members suffer also. Yet one thing we need to remember is that other family members suffer too because they often live a similar lifestyle. Endometriosis and PCOS are not simple conditions, and anyone who suffers needs to support all areas of their life - mental, emotional, physical and spiritual.
I’ve had several clients that have been without a period for over a year. Working through past trauma, learning how to feel what they want to feel, destress and understand what foods and movements fuel their body have had periods keenly return.
Even periods that aren’t regular or maybe too light or too heavy, every symptom is information. Information when listened to can actual provide the real solution.
The most common trait with PCOS suffers I experience in clinic, is that they push themselves too hard mentally, physically and emotionally because they don’t accept themselves or feel good enough. They keep striving, needing to work hard to allow themselves to rest. They find it difficult to receive and have a, do it myself attitude, as it seems the easiest option to them so they aren’t let down or things get down the right way. In comparison, Endometriosis clients, can’t meet their needs, they are forever worried about others and don’t priorities themselves, linking in with attitudes of low self worth and value. Endometriosis clients like to stay comfortable, relying on others to solve their issues. There under prioritisation of self means they usually have a hard time eating well and moving their body in the ways that it needs.
I actually didn’t realise how disconnected I was from understanding my menstrual cycle. I was taught sex ed during puberty and instructed what to use when my period arrived but never was I told about the ins and outs of blood flow, discharge variations, ovulation signs and what lifestyle choices supported a healthy cycle.
When I realised I had the capability to influence my period, that’s when everything changed. Labelled with PCOS myself almost a decade ago, through the support of natural health care practitioners I soon saw how what I ate, how I moved and even how I was feeling, all contributed to my body’s ability to function well. If I stopped meeting my needs in any one of these areas things would start to malfunction in my body and always the first thing to go hay wire was my period.
Just think about how your body tightens when your unsure, worried or fearful. If your body is pumping out stress messages, its natural capability is weakened and everything is more difficult and painful such as periods.
A mixture of losing connection with knowing our bodies capabilities, while being distracted by an unwanted environment where a woman doesn’t feel nurtured, supported, safe and can’t or isn’t meeting her core needs creates a recipe for imbalance and even trauma.
I’ve been a witness to helping several women overcome trauma attached to the birth of their babies and the causations are the same. They did not feel safe or nurtured in their environment and they didn’t understand what to expect of their body or how to manage their mind with the changes they were experiencing. Every rush that helped their body open up to birth the baby sent them into a fear response, their minds took over creating panic and doubt, which in turn took away their feeling of trust and control. Women look back on the birth traumatised and often move into postpartum depression as they have lost a sense of ability, control and belief in self.
I have see most fear and stress about periods and even birth are caused by not knowing, feeling a lack of control and not trusting the body. When we search externally for solutions, rather than from within first, we set ourselves up to suffer. Learning that a period is more painful when the body hasn’t been allowed to really rest, or the constant irregularity of a period matches mismanagement of life stresses - that is the real voice to finding a solution.
When we experience imbalances, it's the body simply yelling at us to listen and reconsider what we are currently doing. We need to start to welcome and be grateful that our body is intelligent enough to warn us when we aren't doing what is right for us.
I recommend every woman learns more about their menstrual cycle, ovulation, and general body changes during the month. If you have a bad period or a great period, start to see what could be impacting your body's innate ability to do what it is built to do.
Then, when it comes to child birth, educate yourself on how women have naturally been doing it for years. Work on trusting your body and accept you have control over what you make that experience. During birth some women can allow their mind’s thoughts about pain make them pass out and give up, where other women ride the waves of rushes and describe birth as an orgasmic experience.
Your mind is your most powerful enemy or ally. Remind yourself you have the ability to choose.