PMT Werewolf

Posted July 29th, 2011 in Featured, Female Health, Female and Hormone Balancing, Gynecology, Uncategorized by Hannah Yang

One of my favourite terms that I have borrowed from a good girlfriend of mine is ‘’white wine werewolf’’.  You know…when you take advantage of one of the 12 sunny days that we have here on this island by scrambling as quickly as you can, after work, towards the nearest patio that is not absolutely heaving with other like-minded sun-starved vitamin D3 deprived humans, order a bottle of chilled white chardonnay and promptly guzzle the whole thing down with the help of one other girlfriend?  On an empty stomach?  And suddenly you are transformed from this intelligent, witty, normally quite kind and generous human being into a snarling, bitchy, dramatic, sometimes weepy monster who ends up either drunk-dialing an ex-boyfriend or picking a fight with your current partner?  Yup – you’ve got it – you’ve turned into the White Wine Werewolf.

I find that this werewolf rears it’s ugly hide about 3 days before my period.  Which, funnily enough, normally falls on the New Moon.  It’s often after a particularly dramatic row with my husband that I gather enough wherewithal to check on google to see where exactly we are in the lunar cycle.  It is amidst the flying plates and drifting innards of an expensive cushion that I momentarily grasp onto the shreds of my sanity and think to myself ‘’oh shitballs – am I getting my period?’’  And sure enough, it is either a few days before or on the night of the New Moon.

One thing I always say to my nutrition students is to never ignore the intense feeling, no matter how off the wall or out of character they seem, that bubbles up in the days preceding your menstrual flow.  According to many specialists in the field of female health, your menstrual time is your most intuitive – when you are most open to the universe and to your true feelings.  But with great power comes great responsibility: These feelings need to be explored honestly, with the intention of wanting to understand and grow, analyzed with a clear and non-judgmental heart.  Hopefully not through the lens of a bottle of pinot grigio.

Tonight is the New Moon.  And, yup, you guessed it ladies and gents – I have shamefully tucked the hairy wolf tail between my legs and realised that I have eaten the poor innocent heart, pride and soul of someone close to me.  To my latest victim, you know who you are – it isn’t you, it’s me.  Really.  And everything that I said in the heat of my lunar-soaked craze?   There probably is some truth to it.  There always is.  But it should have been delivered with love, not with the blind rage of a hungry caged animal.  Always know that the more painful my bite, the deeper the vulnerability.  And this animal hates being vulnerable.  But I will try to address the obvious hormone-induced anger that I have in my heart and focus that fire into something positive.  Like Biodynamic wine.

Dysplasia Distress

Posted October 4th, 2010 in Female Health, Female and Hormone Balancing, Gynecology, Nutrition by Hannah Yang

I am obsessed with my vagina. This statement may come as a shock to you, the reader, potential client and/or fan, but for those who know and love me, this is pretty much my M.O. After receiving a letter from the NHS telling me that my last smear showed some ‘mild abnormalities’ and to come back in for another smear, I cannot help but be constantly thinking of what’s going down (even more than usual) in the dark confines of my ‘love box’. Or, as the French so eloquently call it….La Chatte. Meow.

Why do we put ourselves through the discomfort of allowing a person who is not your lover (or might be, but that’s none of my business) look deep into the confines of your kitty kat? Two words. Cervical Dysplasia. This is something that approximately 12 out of 20 women experience here in the United Kingdom. It means that there are some abnormal cells in your cervix that should be monitered and may, if left untreated, lead to something more serious. And yet, they still only allow women to have smear tests done once every three years. Where I came from (Toronto, Canada, to be exact) one had the privilege of marching into their GP’s office and being treated like a finger puppet once a year. And not from the age of 25, like it is here in Londinium, but from the age of 18…or from the age you first had sexual intercourse – whichever came first. Ladies, get a smear test done every year. Pay for it privately if you have to. You only have one La Chatte. And she’s high maintenance and will serve you (very) well if you are good to her.

So, what am I going to do to treat this dyskaryosis (dysplasia is the term used in Canada and the USA) you ask? I am pulling out ALL of my naturopathic tricks, nutritionally, supplementally AND emotionally. Alongside my supplemental regime, I have recruited a juicer, significantly cut down the wheat and dairy in my diet, cut down my alcohol consumption (we naturopaths are functioning alcoholics….or potheads…take your pick. Usually both..) and am also looking into the emotional events in my life that probably contributed to the current state of my cervix. Being stranded in a foreign country while going through a divorce was not one of the highlights of my life (although it definitely made me a much stronger and more grounded individual). Many of the issues surrounding my previous marriage, my relationship with my family, my running away to London, my relationship with ME definitely involved my 2nd Chakra (www.myss.com). For those of you ladies out there who have been in the same situation as I find myself, and for all of you fellow females in the world who may find yourself here at some point in the future, remember to know thyself. Healing doesn’t just come from what you eat and how you treat your body physically, although that does play a large part. How you treat yourself emotionally plays an integral role in our physical health – much more than we all would like to admit. Love yourself. Respect yourself. Honour yourself and others with whom you have relationships, casual or intimate. Most importantly, be honest with yourself. Be prepared to examine all the parts of you, your shadow sides, with scrutiny, with humility and with Love. Only once you have faced your weaknesses can you know them – and only when you know them can you learn from them and grow. This dysplasia is simply sending me a message that it’s time to take a closer look at the role I played in the past two years of my life, and come to terms with it. Watch This Space.

Healthy Hormone

Posted August 5th, 2010 in Female and Hormone Balancing by admin

Went to see the much anticipated Sex and the City 2 movie this summer with my “Goils’’ which consisted of one legitimately female friend and 3 of my main Gays.  Two words.   Train Wreck.  Not only was the wardrobe completely disappointing, (which let’s be honest, is 90% of the draw.  Nobody watches this for the writing) but the characters all came across as whiny, spoily, overly-American prats! Half the movie takes place in the Middle East – the colours, the desert, the scenery – there was so much to work with, so much potential!  I was picturing Missoni-esque colours mixed with flowing veil-like fabrics done tastefully, not like the garish carnival depicted on the big screen in HD.  And I knew that Samantha Jones’ character was over-the-top, but that was what made her funny.  In this movie, she became…trashy?  Samantha rubbing estrogen cream on her punany in the office (which had glass walls, by the way)? Samantha rubbing mashed yams on her punany?  Samantha rubbing everything and anything on her punany? Really?  REALLY???

YamsSpeaking of yam-rubbing on the nether-regions, there is something to be said with phyto-estrogenic foods and their balancing affect on the endocrine system in women.  Wild Yam, Black Cohosh, Soy – these are all effective natural substances that help balance out the female endocrine system.  And this is not to say that these are sure-fire treatments.  The key here, ladies, is prevention.  We all know how emotionally intense things can become before each monthly menstrual cycle – but it’s almost as if the body is giving its final reproductive swan song once menopause hits, and if you haven’t done all the legwork with healthy eating, exercising and emotional cleansing by the time perimenopause hits, you’re in for quite a roller coaster ride of hot flashes and vaginal dryness.

What can one do to maintain the appropriate hormone balance? Be good to your liver. Exfoliate your skin on a regular basis. Detoxify through exercise, drink at least 2L of water a day and eat plenty of dark green leafy vegetables.  Juice as much as you can.  Consume soy in its cultural context (fermented forms such as miso and tempeh) not as a vegetarian burger option.  Stay away from plastic as much as you can.  And most importantly, do not ignore the emotional messages your body throws at you premenstrually – these are signs that there are things that need to be dealt with.  I highly recommend reading Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom by Christiane Northrup, MD.