Women’s health refers not only to those things that affect the anatomically female body directly: gynecology & pregnancy , which is an area of health I (Paula she/her) am passionate about, but also I think we need to consider the broader world in which we live, and how that impacts on women’s health. Women in this modern world we find ourselves in, I find, are expected to DO IT ALL – not just have it all.. so the burden is even higher and most women aren’t great at keeping themselves a priority.
We are expected to not only have an ‘important career’ demanding at least 40 hours of their week, but be the most amazing mothers who home make everything from the food to the kids parties to costumes.. maintain a perfect figure by doing daily yoga, and the gym, go out for ‘girlie weekends away’, look after their own parents and their partners, maintain hair levels – some has to be perfectly quaffaured while other areas have to be completely removed of natural hair growth. Oh and don’t forget they are still responsible for all the housework, ensuring the kids get to all the extra-curricular classes and events. I honestly don’t know how folks find the time or energy to do all this!!
Biomedical Model & Women’s Health
Not to mention the ongoing lack of medical support and understanding of hormonal shifts and the impact this has on our bodies – did you know that only in 1993 were women ‘allowed to participate in medical trials (in the USA)!! Recent research showed that as little as 22% of the test population were female in Europe (the pharmaceutical journal) thus it is hard to assume that there are no negative side effects as as result of womens’ different hormonal landscape.
I hear the results of this pressure on a daily basis – women beating themselves up for not managing to ‘have it all'”, letting one of the many spinning plates drop, – I am honestly debating having a ‘swear jar’ for every time a women apologises to me for stubbly legs or not perfect toe nail polish!!
Wider context affects our health
The reason I mention all of the above is the impact of life on our health – this attempt to have it all not only eats our time but also our mental well-being. It leaves us in a state of stress that makes decision making more difficult, that makes good quality sleep more elusive, it affects our hormonal state.
We aren’t given much choice – if there is a problem with your menstral cycle: pain, mood shifts, heavy bleeding etc they only choice our GP gives is the pill – a form of hormone replacement that does not resolve the problem – merely masks it – its that or have a baby. Now I’m not saying that this isn’t a good choice for some, but as the first line of defence its a bit like taking a sledge hammer to a wee house spider!!
Paula has done a lot of post graduate training in the area of women’s health and can use her skills and knowledge to help you manage
- PMT: sore boobs, mood swings, exhaustion, pain,
- painful periods (dysmeno?)
- irregular cycles
- pregnancy related conditions: (pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, breech presentation, labour preparation, morning sickness)
- bacterial vaginosis (BV)
- cystitis (although not exclusively female anatomy related)
In addition to acupuncture Paula is also qualified in pregnancy massage, abdominal massage and health coaching, all of which can be helpful in managing these, sometimes, complex conditions.