April 2019 Whole Woman Newsletter
The Foundations of Whole Woman
Our customers have invested extraordinary trust in us and the Whole Woman work. In the spirit of clarity and transparency, I offer the three foundations of the Whole Woman Way.
When I started Whole Woman in 2003, I had two women’s health conditions in my sights - pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence. Since then, my work has expanded to include chronic hip pain, knee pain, menopause, and post-hysterectomy challenges, with more still to come.
All this work is the product of pouring through, highlighting, and notating literally thousands of medical research studies. All of this research has led to the first pillar that supports the Whole Woman work - a profound distrust of the medical system.
Distrust of the Medical System
This distrust is not born of fear, it is the result of my deep study of the system itself, how it works, who the key players are, and the mainspring that drives and runs the system, which can be summed up in one word - money.
The medical system is deeply corrupt. One of the reasons Obamacare is so unpopular with the medical system is that doctors are now required to post how much they are paid by the drug companies for prescribing their drugs.
Back in the 50s and 60s, radio disc jockeys who were taking payments from record companies to play their songs more often were put in jail, but not so with doctors. The doctors don’t seem to see an ethical problem with this practice, they just don’t want the payments to be public knowledge, lest the public start to suspect that doctors and their patients often have a financial conflict of interest.
Drugs are rushed to market without long-term studies, thousands of helpless animals are tortured with experimental drugs for questionable conclusions about possible effects on humans. It goes on and on.
We get calls all the time from women wanting referrals to doctors who are sympathetic to Whole Woman principles and practices. Such doctors are not allowed to exist within the medical system.
Whole Woman represents the antithesis of everything the medical system stands for - safe, science-based, inexpensive methods by which women can stabilize and resolve chronic women’s health conditions on their own, taking full responsibility for their own health.
Doctors want to be the ones calling the shots and their female patients to be passive and accepting of whatever they are told.
There are rare exceptions and the few I have heard about or talked to have either retired from the system or are close to the end of their active careers, and are well past worrying about what anyone else thinks about their opinions. And they have through long experience, developed a keen sense of the system’s strengths and blind spots.
Alternative practitioners such as acupuncturists, naturopaths, chiropractors, and others are generally much more open to the Whole Woman work in my experience.
The second pillar is education. At least in the US, we women are given perfunctory sex education around puberty and virtually nothing else in a formal educational curriculum. Since most of what goes on in our bodies is hidden from view, it is all the more mysterious. In every traditional culture, a woman’s reproductive cycles are shrouded in mystery.
All this makes women particularly susceptible to the fear mongering the medical system commonly engages in, with the resulting anxiety women commonly suffer, and the inevitable desire to trust the authority who knows all and will protect them from harm.
Education is the antidote to this vulnerability. When we understand ourselves better, we are more inclined to take ownership of our health, and less inclined to passively turn ourselves over to the system on the assumption that the system is committed to our health and well-being, which it demonstrably is not.
The third pillar is self-care. Self-care begins with an appreciation that human beings are first and foremost creatures of nature. Yes, we have walled ourselves away from the natural world in cities and housing developments.
For example, we are not taught the miracle of our relationship with the microbial world on which we are dependent for something as fundamental as digestion. Instead, we are sold anti-microbial soaps, wipes, and disinfectants, all fed by fear and ignorance of the unseen microbial world.
We are not taught about the plants all around us that provide powerful medicines, in many cases medicines that have been studied extensively and proven to be effective.
Of course the drug companies that sponsor much of this research are interested in how they can isolate, modify, and patent plant components for their own ends, usually with catastrophic side-effects.
There was a time when this knowledge would have been shared by the village granny from her herb garden. But we have mostly lost our connection to and appreciation of our place in the natural world and the trust that we belong here.
And yes, nature does have its dangerous ways, but anyone who has survived a tornado, hurricane, major flood, or volcano will tell you that all of our man-made “security blankets” to stave off the dangers of the natural world, are no match for nature. Security is an illusion in which we indulge ourselves in spite of the fact that humans are far more at risk from each other than from nature.
Self-care starts with listening to your body, appreciating that conditions like prolapse, incontinence, hip and knee pain are only symptoms, not diseases.
These symptoms are our body’s way of communicating with us and letting us know something is wrong. Paying attention and running experiments in how we live, move, sit, stand, walk, run, lift, carry, and what we eat facilitates a dialogue with our bodies.
After all, who can know our body, what we are feeling and experiencing better than ourselves?
When we are doing life/health/body supporting behaviors, our body will respond by reducing or eliminating the symptoms that got our attention in the first place. It’s that simple.
To summarize, distrust of the medical system does not mean rejection, it means careful management of the system in much the same way as you would manage your relationship with a car salesperson.
Your interests are fundamentally in conflict with the sales person. He or she wants you to pay more, you want to pay less. While the salesperson tries to ignore that conflict of interests, it is a structural fact and therefore you manage the relationship accordingly. That is the appropriate approach with the medical system.
Use it for those things it excels at like diagnosis, disease management, and trauma, but never assume that it has your best interests at heart.
Second, understanding your body and its processes is a richly rewarding investment of time and effort. It will enrich your appreciation of the miraculousness of life and the natural world of which we are inextricably connected.
And education facilitates making self-care a practical reality, empowering you with the knowledge that you are in charge of your health, well-being, and quality of life.
Distrust of the medical system, education, and self-care - this is the foundation on which Whole Woman was built and has proven to be a practical and effective approach for helping thousands of women around the world stay out of the operating room and take charge of their health.
I hope this lends clarity to the Whole Woman Way.