There is a significant disconnect today in the world of women’s health. In many traditional healing systems, women’s wisdom was passed down between grandmothers and mothers, daughters and sisters. Female fertility, menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, breast-feeding, post partum and menopause were spoken about, learned and embraced. Women empowered one another, allowing them to thrive in their own physiology and make appropriate choices in service of their health.
Somewhere along the way, this conversation amongst women vanished, leaving us confused, overwhelmed and in fear of our own cycles, fertility and bodies. Many of us turn our hormones over to prescription birth control (myself included for nearly a decade). We’ve willingly relinquished our birthright of knowledge, and I believe women are suffering because of it.
Our hormones are not simply about reproduction, but rather play a significant role in our systemic health and wellbeing. Below, I’ll illustrate six key benefits for reconnecting to our hormonal physiology. From there, we’ll dive into my time-tested road map for balancing hormones naturally. We owe it to ourselves, and certainly to our next generation of daughters to reignite this conversation, and return the power of women’s health to its rightful owner — women.
Female fertility is not just about reproduction – though the nuts and bolts of it look that way. Every month menstruating women ovulate, and every month the lining is shed if that oocyte was not fertilized. Within this endocrine dance, our hormones are interplaying in a unique exchange of energy. There is yin and yang, estrogen and progesterone, a dynamic interplay of masculine and feminine energies. In fact, post-menopausal women still have a cyclic energetic rhythm to tap into, even though monthly menstruation has ceased.
Being born a woman is truly a divine blessing because of our dynamic endocrine system. Our hormones offer us a multitude of benefits when we are willing to dial in, such as:
- Holistic Health: Our hormones can alert us to a potential systemic imbalance, which can then be addressed before too much time has passed. The Thyroid, Adrenal, Digestive and Metabolic systems are intricately linked to a woman’s hormonal cycle.
- Life Balance: Draw on energetic strengths from each phase of the menstrual cycle: Inward Reflection (menstruation); Extrovert and Social Activism (ovulation), Increased Intuition and Creativity (post ovulation).
- Fertility Knowledge: Plan to achieve or prevent pregnancy on your timeline — confidently.
- Inform Habits: Make optimum choices for exercise, nutrition and rest in alignment with your cycle phase and physiology.
- Enhanced Creativity: Our reproductive anatomy is associated with the 2nd Chakra – which represents creative expression, and moves us forward in our life with purpose.
- Access Intuition: Readily access your innate knowing to make decisions about your life and health from a place of strength.
Understanding this unique range of abilities, let’s explore four tools for every woman’s health quest.
Balancing Your Hormones — Naturally
According to Chinese Medicine, the only symptom of menstruation should be bleeding. The mood-swings, acne, intense cramping, breast tenderness, back pain and headaches are not “normal”. Can you imagine? They are symptoms of imbalance and should be addressed.
In health, our hormones cascade one to the other in perfect symmetry – just as our heart beats rhythmically. The body is insanely wise. When we become participants in our innate hormonal landscape, the internal and external confidence we gain is profound.
Here is my go-to map for female endocrine re-alignment:
- Strengthen Digestion: Improve nutrient assimilation and absorption, and make a direct impact on the endocrine system. Fermented foods, cooked foods and collagen are crucial.
- Amplify Nutrition: Our hormones thrive on key nutrients for optimum functioning – specifically nutrient dense fats, proteins, vitamin A from orange-colored vegetables and vitamins D and K from rich sources, like liver.
- Get Still: Meditate Daily — find a practice that works for you, cut out the noise and tune in to the wisdom of your body.
- Find Your Formula: Carefully prescribed herbal remedies offer swift and effective relief for women — here are a few of my favorites: Chastetree Berry for irregular ovulation; Rhemannia for fatigue; Turmeric for cramping; and Milky Oats for increasing female libido.
Always Remember — Your Body Knows How to Heal
Life (and health) moves forward in its own best interest for survival – down to a cellular level. Our bodies are incredibly wise and deserve our trust. When you step in the ring with your own hormonal physiology, you become a constant participant. Not simply when a symptom arises, or you need a prescription refill – but daily. No doctor or practitioner can offer you that.
When tuning in to the wisdom of your hormonal milieu, the volume increases with the frequency of engagement and this connection strengthens. Your confidence in your health (and life) amplifies and you can make choices about your healthcare from a position of strength. As women, we have an awesome opportunity to engage with a dynamic cascade of physiology because of our hormones — and it begins with you.
Erin Borbet MSTOM, L.Ac, Doula
With a Masters of Science in Oriental Medicine and Board Certification in Chinese Herbal Medicine, Erin helps women transform their health from the comfort of their own homes. Her studies in Costa Rica, Peru, China and Tibet built the foundation for her successful acupuncture and herbal practice in Midtown Manhattan. After serving New Yorkers for nearly a decade, Erin now works remotely with women using customized herbal formulas, nutrition and intuitive life coaching. Send an email, visit her website, sign up for Erin’s newsletter — and, for a more personal look, check out Instagram.