top of page
  • Writer's pictureamyk73

Top 3 Women's Health Concerns of 2024

There's something about when you become a mom that immediately shifts in your being. Honestly, a lot of things shift and some of it we don't even realize until years later when our children are grown. We however do quickly see our entire identify shift from being that of an individual to a mom. There is no job description but we all quickly learn in our own way all that it entails. What no one talks about though is the effects of this shifting.


From our bodies to our emotional and spiritual well-being, all moms shift in our focus from us to our families. Our needs however don't change much when you uncover ourselves from the diapers, school books and soccer practices. We still need health and vibrancy to do all the things we do as moms and as women.


I'd like to say women's healthcare has come to understand these needs but that would assume they understood us at all. Western allopathic medicine has not adapted under the guidelines and structure that was originally defined by men. Certainly, there are departments for women's health but these too are often limited to the standards long ago defined by men. The two largest standards can be summarized as if it cannot be diagnosed, it doesn't exist. If it cannot be medicated or removed, then it is unfixable. I believe there is more to us as humans and certainly as women when

it comes to our health against these standards.


What I find even more interesting is the lack of specialty for women's emotional, mental, and spiritual health needs. Here we are lumped together with men as if there were not anything unique or different about us in these areas that would warrant specialization.

It does all bring to mind if women's health has really advanced at all.


Why women's health needs are different

Women are unique and despite the standards of healthcare, we do have unique needs on a physical, emotional, mental and even spiritual level. I believe women are much more deeply designed to present the integration of whole health needs that we as a human race deserve. We are more than just the sum of our physical parts for what makes us who we are and the health needs we need supported.


When it comes to moms there are even more uniqueness. Our bodies change as we age in a different way than men because of the reproductive responsibilities we have, regardless of choosing to have children or not. Most important is the integration of our emotions within our physical body. Women are by nature more emotional and this plays out in how we feel physically.


By the way, I do believe men have unique health needs as well but it further demonstrates that the sexes are simply different.


For years women didn't even have a voice in their health decisions. All discussions between a doctor about a woman's body were between her doctor and her husband. In many ways though that model still exists because no one listens to what the woman really is trying to say is going on because it usually doesn't match up to the physician's desk reference of symptoms and medications.

There is much about the woman's body that is unexplainable and by design cannot be solved without looking at a woman in her physical, emotional and spiritual as one complete being. By continuing to only treat the physical woman's body needs we continue to miss the real opportunity to promote healing and health vitality.- Amy Kramer, Dragonspit Apothecary

Our health needs include our emotional, spiritual, mental, economic, social, and cultural states as much as they are about our physical. Health is the perfect balance of these states where we can thrive and live in the most optimized state of being.


What women's health really needs to address and support

To fully provide health for a woman it is to understand all that she needs in all aspects of her life. It is an appreciation for the level of stress most women live under to provide, care for, and support her family. The number of hours she rests in real sleep and how much water she drinks along with what type of supplementation she takes. Yet it is also how connected she feels to other women, her community, her family and God.


By design women are caretakers of others. We take on many roles in our life but at the heart of it is usually caretaking. That means our own needs often go to a lower priority and we have a high level of guilt if put ourselves ahead. I believe this is why women have such a higher tolerance of pain than men. We need nutrition as much as we need confidence that by taking something for ourselves we are not shortchanging others we are responsible for caretaking and protecting.


In our crazy world, this fundamental fact about women has seemed to become lost. Our needs are cancelled out and held back against the need to perform, demonstrate our strength and be all to everyone without any sign of weakness. If we show that weakness or softness than it only serves to prove the point we are not capable. Nothing could be farther from the truth but this is the societal pressure women also feel when they try to balance career, family, community, and self without letting any suffer.


At the most general level women's health needs attention to stress, nutrition, hydration, rest, sunlight, spiritual connection, emotional safety, and economic fairness. As it is women have had to fight for their rights in all these areas and continue to do so today.


I don't know a working woman anywhere that doesn't have high amounts of stress and as a result nutritional deficiency, inflammation, insomnia, digestive complaints, and depression and anxiety. Add to that mix motherhood, family responsibilities, financial obligations, community and culture responsibilities and you can quickly see there is little left for the woman to be herself or get the care she needs to feel her best.


Where opportunity for women's health improvements exist

As the primary consumers making the purchasing decisions for a family, women play a pivotal role in nutrition and health. We are more likely to buy fresh vegetables for our family than we are ourselves. However, using that logic we can also work to help ourselves in health needs.

The real opportunity for improving women's health care is by working to reframe the stress in our lives. Many see that as impossible or a matter of adulting but in reality it is the very heart of so many issues in women's health.


As a society we can preach taking care of yourself first so you can give the best to your family but that logic is outdated. Instead we need to come at women's health from where she is standing in the middle of her life. It is not taking care of herself if we are not also addressing all the things she is caring for too.


Our bodies have a wonderful ability to stimulate self-healing when we are in the right environment that allows that to occur. Removing toxins, stress, chemicals, preservatives, gases and other harmful substances is one way to improve the environment. The other is to address the environmental factors contributing to these situations. Namely stress and nutritional deficiencies as the two largest.


The stress women particularly are under is horrendous these days. No one is exempt from stress and I certainly do not mean to imply men have none. However, women on top of financial, career, political, soci-economic and large scale stress men have, they also have stress from home. Despite the growth in stay-at-home dads and dual income households, women still bear the brunt of home responsibilities for cooking and cleaning. Women are still the primary person sitting down to pay the bills for the family, do the shopping and make arrangements, schedules and ensure homework is completed. Again, not to imply men don't do these things but predominately it is women who traditionally have and still do them on top of things outside the home.


I think its time it was acknowledged and respected the amount of home care women actually do have responsibility for and how that impacts their health physically, emotionally and spiritually. It is not complaining about having to do it but rather having it respected and considered as part of more than just what is expected. The effects to our health that also suffer and go unaddressed as a result of it also bear consideration.


How many women will put off going out with friends for lunch or to the gym because they have things to do at home? I am certainly guilty of that. For many women the burden of responsibilities often comes first before we consider doing something in the name of caring for ourselves. That's not a new challenge. It is however new that we have not yet figured out how to do something about it besides just expect more hours in the day or to figure it out on top of all we need to get done - which most of us work very hard to do and then feel like failures for not accomplishing. It all carries a heavy toll on our weight, health, mental well-being and emotional health.


So has women's health care advanced for the better or do we have just a newer version of the same men's model of care from before?

As a holistic health practitioner I like to think I do things differently. One of the foundational teachings in natural health is the idea of supporting the whole person where they are in their health journey. This means addressing health on the physical, emotional, spiritual and mental levels as one.


That alone is challenging to do and what further complicates it is the easy gravitation to address presenting symptoms. Those symptoms are often uncomfortable and of immediate focus for the client. Yet they are very often not the cause of the problem. So in delivering care to my clients it is a balancing act of supporting immediate relief while helping the client realize there is more work to be done if they don't want those symptoms to come back. Whether it is weight loss, skin and digestive concerns, overall health there is always something deeper going on. However, most of us just want relief to what hurts now.


It becomes my primary role to help them see the connection between the symptom and deeper issue. We then work together to support the root cause so healing can occur on all levels of our being. The results are not only the symptoms fade away but there is an overall improvement everywhere.


A great example is a client I had who was struggling with low energy. She just didn't feel like she could make it through her day without caffeine. Like most of us she has a high stress lifestyle that included just getting through a litany of things for work and home. She tried to eat as well as she could most days, played golf when she could and enjoyed her evening wine to unwind from the day. Why wasn't this working?


We did a liver detox on her. It was about 2 weeks into this detox she messaged me to say her dreams were incredibly "loud." They were from her past, it was tense and uncomfortable. I asked her to track these dreams and see if they were trying to tell her something. I also recommended some flower essences to ease the effect of the dreams on her sleep. The liver is associated with strong emotions and I suspected her dreams were her liver's way of unburdening finally all these toxic emotions she was carrying.


Towards the end of her detox, she updated me on her progress. The dreams had become more pleasant and she was feeling more energy. She also was not drawn to her evening wine any longer. She described it as a smoker who finally breaks that habit and finds smoking unnecessary for themself. Overall she said felt happier, lighter and the energy she felt was more than just physical.


This example shows the power of addressing not only the body's message of a problem but the deeper reason that was occurring. To feel more energy not only in the body but on the emotional, spiritual and mental levels too is where we see health thrive. We feel more like ourselves. It is where I believe women's health care should occur and where real progress can be obtained.


To work with me, schedule a holistic health consultation at dragonspitapothecary.com

0 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page