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Honoring the Transitions of a Woman

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As women, the stronger species, which I can say because I am one, we have two major transitions biochemically that we go through. Men, of course do, too, in a different way. This article will be dedicated to female changes and how to influence their grace and beauty.

Many young girls, experiencing menarche, have come to not enjoy the cycles….of normal bleeding that may be accompanied by cramping, bloating and clotting. Accompanying this can be mood fluctuations, acne, insomnia, constipation or diarrhea and weight gain. Our society has come to accept these changes as “normal” because they are “common.” We all know that common doesn’t mean normal. It especially doesn’t mean optimal.

More than most things in life, I appreciate cycles, rhythms, and ceremonies. The female cycle gives us the opportunity to celebrate womanhood – but, we have come to a place where we want to manipulate it so much that even Big Pharma has provided a way that women don’t have to menstruate – to stop the nuisance of the menstrual cycle. I, personally, find this to be very sad as it provides a journey away from womanhood and the wonderful treasures it gives us.

There are several reasons why so many young women suffer with their cycles.

Our society has been very influential in disconnecting us from our uniqueness and has bombarded us with images, sounds, smells, moves, attitudes – sensationalizing womanhood as a contest. Thin bodies that wear clothes like a hanger are indeed easy on the eyes. Strong bodies with both curves and muscle definition are more appealing to the eye for others.

Blonde is certainly beautiful, but so is red, brunette, black and gray. Makeup is pretty, often overdone and that pure natural look will attract someone who appreciates inner strength as it takes that to allow nature to show. Becoming trapped in the magazine ads and TV commercials defines us from the outside, preventing the inside from glowing forth.

Looking more closely at the influences that surround our beautiful teenage girls, it’s hard to dissuade them from wanting the makeup, the clothes and all the things that distract from their inner beauty. One way to do this is to ask the girls how it makes them feel to look at the pictures. Do they make them feel bad about themselves? Are they motivating? Are they inspiring? Are they so far reaching that there is no dialogue about it? This helps you understand how your daughter is interpreting her world. Understanding that opens a whole new world of conversations.

Our food industry is destroying our bodies – from the immune system to the hormonal balance to the skin to the moods. The further away from nature and the longer the shelf life on a package, the more challenging to digest and the least nutritive to the system. In particular, chemically laden foods compromise liver function which is the hormonal harmonizing gland. During teenage years when fast food and candy bars seem exotic, the liver becomes so overburdened.

This creates congestion in an otherwise clean and open system. The congestion prevents the body from properly metabolizing/maturing/eliminating hormones and their byproducts. When the liver becomes congested, elimination is compromised leaving deposits in the skin, emotions become tight and sleep can become fitful. As the parent, assuring that discussions about foods unfold without too much resistance is critical.

Food is a huge vehicle of socialization. The habits and rhythms develop out of bonding. If food isn’t fried and inundated with neurotoxic flavors and colors, it isn’t allowed in the tribe. As young women notice their skin and weight changes, they will become more motivated to discuss food changes with you – and believe me, timing is everything. It’s important not to force choices, but to bring awareness around them.

Assisting them to be more responsible in making healthier choices now will influence the rest of their lives. Whatever habit that is unhealthy can be suggested to be minimized to three times a week rather than once a day. This way she can expand her appreciation of the food/social vehicle and look forward to it and enjoy it more completely. Having trays of fruits cut up, ready to eat and different types of nuts makes it easier to grab and eat rather than make unhealthy choices like the bag of chips.

Specific nutrients can certainly aid the internal balance even though the cycle experiences its natural ebbs and flows. So, if your daughter is struggling anyway with hormonal changes and she won’t discuss food, hydration, elimination, exercise and sleep with you, perhaps you can suggest a supplement that might be helpful.

Antioxidants are the first one I think of. If your daughter can eat 13 cups of broccoli, she will get the equivalent to one capsule of Detox II. It might help your relationship to ask her to take 1-2 capsules daily instead of forcing broccoli for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Natural progesterone cream or tiny progesterone tablets are safe even without testing, and effective for irritability, depression, insomnia, and cramps. Girls can take them all month or just the week before menses. Taking one half teaspoon of progonol cream or 6 tiny tablets of progon B the week before menses is so beneficial. If it’s easier to remember all month, one quarter of the cream and 4 tiny progesterone tablets each night is sufficient in most cases.

Evening Primrose Oil is so balancing to skin health, and it helps with weight struggles as well. GLA 130 – 1-2 caps twice daily can make a difference in just one month.

A good multiple vitamin or B complex can also make a huge difference. Basic Prenatals – 2 a day or Anti stress – 2 a day is plenty to start with.

Home remedies like castor oil packs are so helpful for menstrual cramps. I’m always pleased when young women choose to use castor oil packs as it helps infuse a rhythm of self honor which calls upon resting not just the body, but the mind as well.

The very most important thing we can do to help our teenage girls is to be open, compassionate and responsive rather than reactive to their challenges and the journey will be valued, enjoyed and successful.

So, moms, as your daughters go through puberty, guess what we are blessed to look at – peri-menopause! Yes, another time to honor as a special transition in life towards wisdom and grace of being a woman. We go from developing curves and hormones to losing both – our curves turn into pancakes and loose tissue and our hormones plummet into the toilet.

The experience of mood changes parallels our metabolism changes – yeah! We either suffer continual menstrual cycles or they stop all together, making us wonder if we are going to have another child – scary! Our mind becomes more forgetful….but we trade it for deeper intuition! Our desire for intimacy may drop totally off the map. It’s literally an unpredictable rollercoaster!

We must first realize that this change is not a pathology – although it may very well feel that way…it is a transition. And…it is the greatest biochemical stress that the physical body will ever endure. So, as the internal body goes through (willingly or not) this biological stressful time, the best thing we can do is minimize the external stress in our lives.

Sleeping well, exercising regularly, and eating healthfully are all more important now than ever. The reason is that it is not a time of life that you get away with very much. The smallest drink of alcohol can set off hot flashes or sleepless nights, maybe even an out-of-nowhere fight! Yoga is a gift at this time, as is Pilates, hiking or anything that is both physical and meditational at the same time. Being good to your body right now is the first calling.

It is difficult when the body/mind disconnection (which is exactly what it is as the brain is still trying to keep the rhythm of ovulation going and the body simply cannot respond the way it has for 40 years!), to make healthy choices when it comes to food, rest and exercise. The same rules apply that we spoke about with our teenagers – and won’t we make a great example!

• Whole live foods, limiting processed dead foods
• Lots of water
• Make sure you poop every day
• Exercise somehow daily
• Sleep 8 hours every night
• Limit alcohol to very special times
• Live in gratitude for every small and large event in your life

Please women, don’t fear the discussion of hormone replacement therapy. When done correctly, it is safer to take them than it is not to take them. Remember that we decline, we degenerate, we lose our vitality when we lose our hormones!

Our risks for every single condition increases as we lose our hormones and we prevent the onset of many diseases that come with aging: Breast cancer (one main reason it occurs in our younger than 40 group is due to low progesterone levels – the same reason it occurs in our post-menopausal women in 1 out of every 8 women – we lose progesterone!), heart disease, osteoporosis, colon cancer, Alzheimer’s disease – you name it – when we were young we didn’t have it.

When we were young we had vital hormones, we had strong collagen and an efficient metabolism, a healthy sex drive and a great memory! There are many ways to take hormones and in our practice, the pellets (inserting testosterone and estradiol under the skin) have become very popular for two reasons (1) they require no compliance from you at home, with the exception of progesterone (2) the hormone levels you get from pellets offers a renewed sense of wellbeing within one to two weeks.

Blessings for a joyful New Year,

Theresa Ramsey, NMD

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