May is Women’s Health Month!
Each week we’ll be sitting down with one of our practitioners to discuss topics of interest in the health & wellness industry. Aline Talmage, LCSW, MPH joins us this week!
What aspects of your practice do you believe relate in particular to women’s health?
I started my career working in women’s health and it didn’t surprise me when recent, public health studies started to demonstrate how women’s health directly correlated to the health of our families, communities and society. Although I work equally with both women and men, invariably the positive impact of the work ripples through the health of a female. As I partner with my client in reaching their goals, the approach I use is deeply tied to my own dynamic experience and strengths as a woman as the tools and practical techniques I use reflect a multi-tasking interplay of the physiological, social, emotional, and spiritual aspects of a human being.”
What are three health & wellness tips that you’d recommend for women’s health?
Oxytocin is the hormone that is there at the critical moments of life creation (think orgasm and birth) and plays a crucial part in enabling us to not just forge and strengthen our social relations, but in helping us to stave off a number of psychological and physiological problems as well. One of the neat things about oxytocin is that you can get your fix anywhere and at any time. Here are three ways to get your fix:
Take a walk. Walk in the sun. The sun is a nutrient. Walking outside is statistically correlated with higher levels of oxytocin. If you feel way too busy and scheduled, try to take a walking meeting. This helps you bond more with the person you are meeting with, and you might even have an adventure along the way (guess what – scientific research shows that having an adventure with someone also releases oxytocin.)
Regular, Rhythmic Motions: I fell in love with a man who loves for me to iron his clothes. I mean, he really loves it. If I can manage to iron in front of him, you should see his eyes sparkle. The only problem with this very easy way of making him happy is that ironing, especially ironing for a man, pissed me off. I felt, at the time, that ironing shackled me to the full weight of patriarchy and I was duty bound to resist. Fortunately, in the course of my studies on health and wellness, some very wise women mentioned that regular, rhythmic motions (like ironing and washing and folding and sweeping…) not only build oxytocin but were also highly effective tools for mindfulness and meditation. Once I realized what was possible and entered into the activity accordingly, I look forward to these breaks in my day. The sparkle in my partner’s eyes doesn’t hurt either and that ALSO builds oxytocin. Score!
Practice Curiosity: The testosterone that gets released when we argue makes us less trusting, more closed minded. The oxytocin that gets released when we reach out to lovingly understand and forgive makes us more trusting and allows us to see world views we didn’t know existed. When you are triggered, whether internally or externally, practice curiosity instead of judgment. The resulting release of oxytocin can help change your visual and mental perceptions and allows you to see the oneness of all things, the interconnectedness of all of us. When you are arguing, ask lots of questions, some of which will begin with, “Are you saying …” and “Do I understand you correctly that …” The more you learn about the other side of the issue, the less positional you will be. Curiosity can be equally beneficial practiced on yourself!”
Any articles or resources that you find valuable for women’s health that you’d like to share?
I am sharing this article as a way of introducing Alison Armstong, who wrote The Queen’s Code and leads workshops on understanding the dynamics between the masculine and feminine. A woman’s health is so deeply connected to the people she loves and relationship conflict not only affects us all, but deeply impacts our physical and mental well-being.”
This may be the most important article I have ever written. Please feel free to pass this on to all the women AND all the men in your life. – Alison.
Heart and Lungs, Life and Energy
Imagine, if you will, a woman. Let’s look inside of her. Not the way a doctor might see her, but someone with more intuitive vision. In the center of her chest is a very unique organ. It looks like a disk about the size of a salad plate, up to two inches thick, and it fills her chest. When it is healthy, the color is a vibrant red or magenta or red-orange, and the surface is soft and even bubbly. Like the lungs, it pulls life and energy in from the environment. Specifically from nature, from the joy of loved ones, from beauty. Like the heart, it is connected to every part of her body through a complex circulatory system. As life and energy are pulled into it, life and energy travel to every extremity… To continue reading, click here and scroll down to Morsel #36